What is plant-based eating?
Plant-based eating conjures up images of a strict vegan diet, but enjoying the benefits of more plant-based choices doesn’t mean becoming a full-time vegan or vegetarian. It is about reshaping what’s on the plate by making a few simple swaps, while still treating yourself to your favourite meat or dairy products now and then.
Everyone will have different reasons for eating plant-based foods. It may be to lose weight or to feel healthier, while for others it may be about making a contribution to a more sustainable planet.
Plant-based eating begins with a diet low in fat, particularly saturated fat, rich in unsaturated fats, and provides a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are thought to promote general health and well-being.
Plant-based products are also naturally free from animal fats which are increasingly avoided by health-conscious consumers.
Eating less saturated fat is particularly important for heart health. Plant-based ingredients such as soya, nuts and oats play an important role in a cholesterol-friendly diet.
Plant-based foods generally have a higher fibre content. This can lower the energy density in your diet (ie lower in calories), which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy body shape
Food with plant power
The good news is that plant-based foods include more than just fruit and veg. Five major food groups should form the basis of a plant-focused diet whether in their original form or as an ingredient in the increasing range of plant based products:
– Rice and Whole grains
– Beans and pulses
– Fruit and Vegetables
– Nuts and seeds
Alpro almond milk, Alpro rice milk and Alpro’s range of yofus and milk alternatives are healthier choices – a smarter alternative to dairy equivalents. They are full of plant goodness, naturally low in saturated fat, and a source of calcium and vitamins.
Making simple plant-based swaps is easier than you think. Incorporate a heart-healthy, environmentally friendlier plant-based diet by eating less meat, especially fatty and processed meats, full fat dairy products such as cheese, cream and butter, and fewer high fat snacks such as chocolate, biscuits and cakes. And where you can, choose soya alternatives, rice, whole grains, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds, and plenty of fruit and vegetables a day.
Giving up meat and dairy completely isn’t essential: even cutting down on half your intake will make a considerable impact on your health and the environment.
Meat and dairy – Plant and waist-line friendlier
Pancakes and muffins – Make with Alpro almond milk or soya milk alternative – both make a light and creamy batter
Yogurt, cereal and porridge – Use Alpro soya vanilla or plant based alternatives to yogurt for a lighter taste. Top with nuts and honey, or add Alpro almond milk to give cereals and porridge a nutty and creamy kick.
Mid-morning smoothie – Pour an Alpro plant based alternative to yogurt of your choice in a tall glass, top with cold Alpro rice milk and stir until combined.
Moussaka or shepherd’s pie – Swap mince for garlicky Puy lentils cooked in tomatoes and red wine. Use Alpro unsweetened milk alternative to make the white sauce.
Beef or chicken curry – Cut the meat by half and add a small portion of rice, potatoes, spinach or lentils to substitute. For an even healthier version, swap the white rice with fragrant brown basmati rice.
Pudding with custard – Keep the pud, and use creamy Alpro custard instead
Hot chocolate or chocolate milkshake – Use delicious Alpro soya chocolate milk instead
Chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk – Bake cookies using Provamel organic soya spread and some dried fruit and serve with a chilled glass of Alpro almond or rice milk
Check out the full range of Alpro here