Start your vego jour­ney to bet­ter health in five sim­ple steps.

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - FEATURES -

1 Know your plant-based pro­teins

We know what you’re think­ing … what about pro­tein? “The big­gest myth about veg­e­tar­ian di­ets is that you can’t get enough pro­tein,” says Radd. “In Aus­tralia, we eat plenty of pro­tein — too much even. But a diet that in­cludes a va­ri­ety of plant foods, in­clud­ing legumes, nuts and seeds, makes it easy to get enough pro­tein, but not too much.”

Plant-based pro­teins tend to have a bet­ter nu­tri­ent pack­age than an­i­mal pro­teins. Plant pro­tein is packed with fi­bre, healthy fats, vi­ta­mins and an­tiox­i­dants. Here’s how to get your pro­tein fix. SOY MILK, TOFU & SOY MINCE are made from the hum­ble soy bean. Silken tofu can be used to make sauces and dips, while the firm va­ri­ety is per­fect for stir-fries, grills and cur­ries. In­clude cal­cium-for­ti­fied soy milk in drinks and por­ridge. NUTS & NUT BUTTERS pro­vide healthy fats, pro­tein and a host of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. Eat­ing 30g of nuts a day (a hand­ful) has been shown to lower your risk of de­vel­op­ing heart dis­ease by 30–50 per cent, and im­prove longevity. LEGUMES such as chick­peas, beans and lentils pro­vide good-qual­ity pro­tein and fi­bre, and have a low-gly­caemic in­dex, which ex­plains why they’re so fill­ing! Aussies don’t eat enough legumes. In fact, we need to in­crease our in­take by 470 per cent to meet di­etary guide­lines. If flat­u­lence is an is­sue, try soak­ing dried legumes in wa­ter for at least 18 hours be­fore cook­ing them.

2 Over­haul your pantry

Did you know that most of us make 250 food-re­lated de­ci­sions ev­ery day? So that it’s a whole lot eas­ier to make healthy choices at home, fill your pantry with whole­some foods that you can eas­ily trans­form into de­li­cious meals. Start with th­ese meat-free must-haves:

3Get ahead on your prep

Stud­ies show that more time spent at home pre­par­ing meals is an in­di­ca­tor of healthy eat­ing. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to the kitchen. Some ba­sic food prep on the week­end will save you loads of time dur­ing the week, so you have more time to sit and eat to­gether as a fam­ily — win-win!

Th­ese five time-sav­ing hacks will give you a head start.

1 Cook a big batch of legumes, brown rice or any other whole grain on the stove top, or in a pres­sure cooker or rice cooker. Di­vide into smaller por­tions and freeze un­til ready to re­heat and add to meals. 2 Roast veg­eta­bles, such as sweet potato, pump­kin, red cap­sicum and egg­plant un­til ten­der, then toss through sal­ads or bake into frit­tatas. 3 Make a tomato-based sauce from fresh or canned toma­toes, pas­sata, onions, gar­lic and herbs. Freeze into smaller por­tions to use in stews, cur­ries, pasta dishes or soups. 4 Whip up a batch of vegie frit­ters, then store in the fridge for lunches over sev­eral days. For recipe in­spi­ra­tion, go to healthy­ 5 Pre-chop ve­g­ies such as cu­cum­ber and car­rots and store in con­tain­ers in the fridge for an easy, healthy snack. It’s a great way to get in more raw veg while wait­ing for din­ner! Turn to p90 for your 7-day veg­e­tar­ian meal plan.

on Cen­tre meals & soy nuts, legumes

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