Plant-based diets are gaining popularity as people begin to understand more of the benefits. Reasons for adopting a plant-based diet range from personal health, environmental as well as ethical.
A survey, based on responses from 1,049 Canadians, conducted for Dalhousie University professor Sylvain Charlebois found more and more young people are adopting a plant-based diet. The results showed that British Columbia leads the country when it comes to plant-based eating as nearly 40% of British Columbians 35 and under say they follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.
The new Canadian food guide also reflects the benefits of a plant-based diet, urging Canadians to choose plant-based protein over animal-based protein.
I recently spoke with Hanna Rakowska, a nutritionist at Choices Markets and she offered some tips on how to transition to a plant-based diet:
1. Start with Breakfast
Breakfast is the easiest way to start transitioning to a plant-based meal. Chances are you are already eating a lot of plant-based options for breakfast like avocado toast, cereal, oatmeal, almond milk and so forth. If you enjoy scrambled eggs for breakfast, consider doing a tofu scramble.
2. Remember It is Not an Overnight Change
Review what foods you are already eating that are plant-based and try cycling them through the week. Get used to this new schedule before incorporating them into new dishes.
3. Gradually change how your plate looks
In a meat and cheese-centric society, it is hard to take certain tasty foods away. Look at how you can add in more plant-based food into your diet and changing the proportions. Make a gradual change of reducing animal-based foods and adding in more plant-based ones.
4. Connect with Like-Minded Individuals
Get inspired and excited with eating more plant-based by connecting with a like-minded community. Research new recipes, learn about restaurants that cater to plant-based diets, and get tips on meal planning. Get together a group of friends and have a plant-based potluck to get new ideas.
5. Be mindful of your protein intake
When we think of protein, we usually think of animal-based protein like chicken and beef. Most people tend to eat too much protein because the recommended intake is just 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. An average sedentary man and woman needs 56 and 46 grams of protein, respectively.
In terms of eating protein, we need to consider quality and quantity and it is possible to enough protein from a plant-based diet. Animal sources of protein contain complete proteins whereas plants have incomplete proteins. By eating grains – like rice or bread – and plant-based protein sources – like peanuts, peanut butter or beans – together, you can create a complete protein.
Choices Market Nutrition Tours
If you want to learn more about choosing foods for your needs or are looking for recipes and cooking tips, Choices Markets offers FREE one-on-one, 60 minute or 90 minute tours that cater to your interests and concerns. Check out here for more information.