Dietitian and Nutritionist
- What is a plant-based diet?
- Why is a plant-based diet good for you?
- Should it be a slow transition?
- How do you make sure you have all the protein you need?
Across the world, people are spending more money on vegan products, and plant-based diets are trending online with the annual event: 'Veganuary'.
According to The Vegan Society, in Great Britain alone the number of vegans quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. While not everyone has transitioned into a full vegan lifestyle, over half of Brits also adopted vegan buying behaviours such as buying vegan products and checking if their toiletries are cruelty-free. By now, at least half of Brits know someone who is vegan.
The impact of this is profound. If the world went vegan it could save 8 million human lives by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds.
However, is going Vegan as easy and healthy as we would like to think? How do you turn it into a lifestyle rather than just a yearly event? We spoke to our in-house expert Dietitian and Nutritionist Joanne Kwok to find out.
What constitutes a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet, as suggested by its name, is essentially meals that are composed of mainly plants. A plant-based diet is not a plant-only diet, meaning that you can still eat a plant-based diet even if you don’t consider yourself a vegan or a vegetarian. However, veganism takes it a step further by cutting out meat and dairy completely.
Should it be a slow transition?
This doesn’t have to be a slow transition, and you don’t have to necessarily follow a plant-based diet for all your meals at first. Perhaps you could start with plant-based Mondays, or maybe plant-based dinners while allowing yourself to enjoy your usual lunch routines. You can than increase these to become completely plant-based and adopt the vegan diet as a whole.
How do you make sure you have all the protein you need?
There are many protein-rich foods besides meat! This includes lentils and beans, tofu, eggs, seeds, nuts and nut butters. Some wholegrains are also high in protein, including quinoa, buckwheat, spelt and amaranth. Find the protein that best suits your taste and build your meals around it.
To help you on your way, here's our Dietician's sample meal plan for a healthy and balanced vegan diet.