We all know that eating vegetables is good for us, but sometimes it’s hard to get enough into our diet. We asked Derek Sarno, Tesco’s Director of Plant-Based Innovation and creator of our Wicked Kitchen range, for some tips on how to incorporate more plant-based food into our diet.
Plant based means more than getting your 5-a-day
‘Plant based’ doesn’t mean doing your weekly shop at the garden centre. And it doesn’t need to mean meat-free either. Put simply, a plant based diet is about just eating more foods that we get from plants. Getting your 5-a-day is a great start, but you’re probably already doing more than that. Plant based also means nuts, pulses, seeds and grains. And products made from them like oils, and spreads.
You can also think about getting more of the plant in your food. When it comes to grains – like rice and wheat – go for wholegrain. Wholegrains have more nutrients, lots of fibre to keep your bowels moving, and help you feel fuller for longer. Studies have shown that a higher intake of fibre, particularly from wholegrains, is linked to a lower risk of heart and circulatory diseases, type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, and can help you keep a healthy weight too.
Oils from plants are usually lower in saturated fat which means they are better for heart health. And sugar in fresh or dried fruit is healthier for us than the white stuff in the sugar bowl! Fruit, veg and other plant foods are also great sources of vitamins and minerals.
Enjoy a quick win for your health and make 2019 the year of the plant with simple swaps and changes like these:
- Next time you buy pasta or rice, try the brown or wholewheat version
- Use sunflower, olive or vegetable oil for cooking instead of butter, ghee or lard
- Try hummus in your lunchtime sandwiches instead of ham or cheese
- Go for a wholegrain breakfast cereal, like rolled oats, shredded wheat or wheat biscuits
- Add an extra portion of fruit or veg to each meal – like a banana with breakfast, carrot sticks at lunch and some peas cooked along with or in your pasta for dinner.