Nowadays, lots of us are taking a long hard look at our diets and wondering what we can do to make them a) healthier and b) better for the environment. We’ve all watched those documentaries about meat and fish farms that have scared the life out of us but overall, we’ve all realised even just from a health perspective, that we need to be eating a little less meat.
There are many interpretations of what ‘plant-based’ eating looks like. Some practice semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diets, which still include small amounts of animal products such as meat and fish but relies mainly on vegetarian foods. Some only consume fish only, no meat and are called pescatarians. And those who still include animal by products but not the meat of the animal itself are referred to as vegetarian, while those who cut out any animal derived products, including dairy, eggs, and gelatin are vegan.
Plant-based diets, when executed in a healthy way, have high fibre, vitamin and mineral intake. The incorporation of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds as the main staples of your diet includes benefits such as lowered cholesterol and BMI, as well as reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
And while all of these benefits are eye-opening and a huge advantage to switching to a plant-based diet, it can feel like a daunting task in a world so focused on a meat-based diet. The idea of restaurant menus and organising dinner every evening becomes a problem, if we don’t gradually transition from one diet to the other.
And one of the biggest problems for people trying out new vegetarian recipes and meals is that they lack protein. When we don’t know how to cook without meat, it can be hard to find alternatives that fill us and keep us form craving other foods outside of mealtimes. It’s important to be aware of the many many vegetarian sources of protein that are out there. To help your next vegetarian dinner night, we’ve put together a masterlist of the sources of protein that you can include in your next meat-free meal.
Hard boiled eggs
Whole wheat bread
Whole wheat spaghetti