An introduction to Plant Based Eating.
There is increasing interest in plant based eating from many groups, including animal rights and environmental campaigners, alongside experts in nutrition.
What is plant based eating?
Simply, it means basing your diet around plant foods. Plant foods being vegetables, fruit, wholegrain starchy carbohydrates, pulses, beans and legumes, nuts, seeds and plant based dairy alternatives (such as soya, rice or oat milk).
You may be pleased to hear, this doesn’t mean excluding meat completely – just altering the ratio of animal to plant foods in your diet. Plant based eating includes many styles of diet:
- Vegans (who avoid all animal products)
- Lacto-vegetarians (who have dairy foods)
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians (who have eggs and dairy foods)
- Pescatarians (who have fish, eggs and dairy)
- Semi-vegetarians (who also eat meat in very small amounts)
- Plant based (who’s diet is at least 2/3 plant based foods)
This means plant based eating is very inclusive (something we are passionate about at Liberto!).
Why is it becoming more popular?
• It’s cheaper (plant based protein is cheaper than meat, albeit less concentrated)
• It’s greener (not just in colour, but also a lower anticonvulsants carbon footprint)
• It’s good for animals (as we are not eating them!)
• A diet high in plant based foods may help you have a healthier, less processed diet
How to start?
- Reshape your plate – aim for 2/3 or more to be filled with plant based foods at each meal
- Eat the rainbow – choose a variety of fruits and vegetables to maximise the micronutrients in your diet, and to keep it interesting
- Aim for at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day – vegetables tend to be lower in calories and sugar so try to make them 3 of your portions
- Include a wholegrain carbohydrate at each meal
- Use beans, chickpeas & lentils to boost your protein intake
- Use plant based healthy fats, such as rapeseed oil or olive oil
- Experiment with new recipes #meatfreemonday is a great source of inspiration!