Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and although the dinner spread usually includes things like potatoes, pumpkin pies, ciders, vegetable salads and more, meat still dominates the center of the plate.

This holiday is usually reserved for the birds, and it’s the one time of year when turkey gets to shine. However, I think prime rib and other beef entrees are becoming more popular in recent years.

No matter the animal protein you serve on Thanksgiving Day, researchers continue to prove again and again that eating meat is a healthy dietary choice that benefits the planet, too.

A recent article featured on the LAD Bible shared the results of a study that proved vegetarians are less healthy than meat eaters.

Stewart Perrie writes, “ Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for all you veg-heads out there, but a new study, conducted by the Medical University of Graz in Austria, found that low consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, due to a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, seemed to carry a higher risk of cancer, allergies and mental health problems.”

READ: Feeling blue? Eat beef to boost your mood

The study looked at 1,320 subjects and tracked 330 vegetarians, 330 meat eaters who also consumed plenty of fruits and vegetables, 300 regular eaters who ate less meat, and 330 heavy meat eaters. According to the article, the results showed that those who ate less meat were in worse physical and mental condition than their meat-eating counterparts.

Not only is red meat nature’s multi-vitamin, but as beef producers already know, animal agriculture is great for the planet, too.

In an article published in the Daily Mail UK, writer James Wilkinson warns that a vegan society would not only be a disaster to public health, but it would also do very little to help the environment.

Wilkinson summarized a report that evaluated greenhouse gas emissions, nutrients found in meat and the sustainability of raising more fruits and vegetables.

READ: How the Washington Post got it wrong on cow burps and greenhouse gases

According to the report, a meat-centered diet makes sense because of the wide variety of nutrients meat and eggs provide, as well as cattle grazing in rocky, hilly and unsuitable areas for doing much of anything else.

Here’s an excerpt: “When animals are allowed to convert some energy-dense, micronutrient-poor crops (e.g., grains) into more micronutrient dense foods (meat, milk, and eggs), the food production system has enhanced capacity to meet the micronutrient requirements of the population.”

Help spread this good news! Folks can eat beef with confidence that it’s good for their health and the planet.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.