Nourish Your Body and Meet Your Needs with Plants
Plant-based eating has taken off in the last few years, with tons of new plant alternatives to common products like milk, yogurt, cheeses, meats, and more. When considering plant-based eating, it is important to find a style of eating that meets your needs, makes sense with your lifestyle, and aligns with your health goals.
Plant-based or Plant-forward eating does not have to be all-or-nothing, integrating more alternatives to animal-based proteins into your routine will be beneficial for your health regardless of if it is happening every meal, every day, or just a few times a week/month.
We know that the over-consumption of meat or animal products is not only unsustainable for our environment but can also negatively impact our overall health. A high intake of meat, notably red meat, has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, certain cancers, inflammation, and more. Therefore, reducing the consumption of these products and replacing them with plant-based proteins such as soy, lentils, beans, or other plant-based alternatives can be highly beneficial.
However, when relying more on plant proteins, we need to be a bit more strategic in planning how to meet our body's basic needs for optimal functioning. This is for a few reasons, including:
Some plant-proteins are "incomplete", meaning they lack certain amino acids
The volume of food often has to be much larger to meet the same protein levels, therefore having some tricks up your sleeve can make it a lot more realistic
The iron in plant protein is not as readily absorbed in the GI tract
There are some essential nutrients we likely need to be supplementing with when not consuming meat on a regular basis
Higher fibre from plants means a higher likelihood of GI upset
Working with a dietitian can help you feel confident you are meeting your body's needs in a safe and effective way.