Expert Tips from the PBHP team on How to Thrive on a Plant-Based Diet
Top tips from the team at Plant Based Health Professionals UK
Perhaps you have just finished Veganuary and want to know how sustain a healthy plant-based diet in the long-term. Or maybe you’re looking for more guidance on how to feel your best on a vegan lifestyle.
We’ve rounded up the best tips from experts at Plant-Based Health Professionals UK.
Eat in abundance
Rosie Martin, Registered Dietitian
When you eat predominantly whole plant foods, the energy content of your diet is naturally lower due to the increase in fibre and water in your foods. This means you may need to eat more to meet your energy needs. If you feel hungry, eat more plants!
Bag your daily omega-3s by breakfast
Dr Hayley Tait, NHS GP and Founder of “Vinny’s Kitchen,” a Community Plant Based Cookery School
Add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and/or a handful of walnuts to your porridge, cereal, muesli or granola.
Include soya in your diet
Dr Shireen Kassam, Consultant Haematologist, Founder and Director of PBHP UK and Author of “Eating Plant-Based: Scientific Answers to Your Nutrition Questions”
As you swap out meat, make sure to add soya to your diet. Foods like tofu, tempeh and edamame are great sources of protein, healthy fats and fibre plus an array of micronutrients. Soya milk is also an ideal alternative to dairy. Regular consumption of soya has been shown to have a number of health benefits for men and women of all ages.
Dr Linda Karlsberg, Medical Student Representative
Toppings can provide a boost of nutrition and some extra textures and tastes. For example, add nut butters, flax seeds and fruit to porridge, pumpkin seeds, goji berries and lemon juice to a salad or nutritional yeast and tahini to a bean chilli.
Don’t be afraid of “carbs”
Rohini Bajekal, Nutritionist and Communications Lead
Carbohydrates are key but the type you choose makes a difference. Opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains including oats, brown rice and quinoa as well as starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and potatoes with their skin. These are higher in fibre and will keep you full for longer.
Add more plants to your favourite meals
Dr Gemma Newman, NHS GP and Author of The Plant Power Doctor
Find your favourite foods and think of ways to add more plants. Enjoy a bean chilli? Add in some extra tempeh. How about a chickpea curry with extra wilted spinach? Adding seeds on top of soups and avocado on toast is a great way to boost healthy fats too.
Swap meat for beans
Jay Cox, Director of Videography
Try using beans to replace meat or even instead of vegan meat substitutes. Beans are high in protein, fibre and many other nutrients. They are so versatile and you can cook them in large batches to use in many different dishes; hummus, curry, bean burgers etc. Beans can also be frozen easily for quick and healthy meals later.
Enjoy nuts and seeds with your meals
Dr Leila Dehghan, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Education Lead
Toss a few raw nuts or seeds in your salad, soups or on your vegetables. The fat in nuts will help the body absorb nutrients such as carotenoids found in orange-coloured vegetables.
Make plant-based versions of your favourite recipes and aim for 30 or more plants a week
Dr Alan Desmond, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Author of the Plant-Based Diet Revolution
Try healthier, plant-based versions of your favourite recipes. Going vegan doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your go-to meals. Remember that your gut thrives on a variety of plants. Keep a running total of the different fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and spices that you eat in a week. Aiming for more than 30 is a great target.
Add fresh herbs
Sheetal Kanwar, Registered Pharmacist
Try topping stir-fries, curries or chilli with a large handful of chopped coriander or parsley to increase the antioxidants in your diet. Plus, these fresh herbs add flavour and reduce the need for lots of added salt.
Buy in bulk, try online stores and splitting your order with a friend
Kate Dunbar, Patient Advocate and Graphic Designer
Consider buying from online stores if you live in a small community with a limited choice of whole grains, beans, nuts etc. Many stores offer free delivery when you spend over a certain amount. Or why not buy in bulk and split with a friend or family member.
Find support on your plant-based journey
Dr Laura Freeman, GP, Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician and Medical Director of Plant Based Health Online
Finding support is key at all stages of your plant-based journey. Whether it’s a family member, friend, colleague or online group, having someone to join you or just support you is very important and can help you feel included, understood and provide accountability when you need it.
Join Plant Based Health Professionals UK
As a member of PBHP UK, you play a key role in helping us to help spread the power of a wholesome plant-based diet while enjoying many benefits. Click here to learn more about member benefits. Membership is open to everyone around the world – not just health professionals.
We have hundreds of free resources to guide you including articles, factsheets and CPD-accredited webinars. Don’t forget to try the free 21 Day Plant-based Health Challenge to receive recipes, nutrition advice and motivational tips from nutrition experts.