Many basic food staples you already have in your fridge can be swapped out for a plant-based alternatives that taste great, are better for you and the planet. Here are some simple swaps you can make today.
It’s never been more on-trend to adopt a plant-based diet. From celebrities, sporting stars and every-day people taking part in Veganuary we are making better decisions about what to eat and embracing plant-based foods for health, sustainability and ethical reasons. The evidence is out there and consumers are beginning to listen to it. Climate change is one of our most prevalent challenges and food production makes a significant contribution.
As the world population approaches 9.3B in 2050, the time for a sustainable food system is now. Plant-based foods tend to be healthier and more environmentally sustainable than their meat and dairy counterparts. Adopting a plant-based diet is recommended as one of the most impactful actions individuals can take to reduce their own carbon footprint. Grains and vegetables have the lowest greenhouse gases per serving with meat and dairy the highest amount of greenhouse gases.
This year, 2020, has seen a rise in global awareness. Veganuary saw record numbers with over 400,000 people signing up for the challenge of removing meat and dairy from their diet for the month of January.
Veganuary is over, but for those who are committed to looking after their body and making sustainable and eco-conscious decisions, it is only the start. Having survived Veganuary (perhaps surprisingly well), you may have made a conscious choice to keep it going in February, March, into April and June and beyond. But several months on, how easy is it to maintain?
How hard can it be to eat better? Go Vegetarian or Vegan? Eat more greens?
At Upfield, the leading producer of plant-based spreads globally and a global leader in plant-based nutrition, we’re playing our part. Our purpose is to make people happier and healthier with great tasting plant-based margarine, butter, creams, oils and cheeses that are better for the planet. We are deeply committed to bringing people a broad range of delicious products that are advancing the role of plant-based nutrition in people’s lives. Our goal is to make it easier for you to make good dietary choices by giving you tasty and better-for-you and the planet, plant-based options.
Whatever plant-based options you’re considering to either improve your health or reduce your personal footprint on the environment, it’s simple to make the swap. In fact, there are basic food staples already in your fridge that can be swapped out for a plant-based food that tastes great, is better for you and the planet, and for which you don’t have to change your lifestyle.
Here are three to get you started.
1. Plant margarine is healthier and kinder to the planet
Dairy butter has a big impact on the environment, not to mention a lot of saturated fat. The good news is that there are now plant-based alternatives that taste, cook and bake like dairy butter. Today’s dairy-free plant-based margarines and plant spreads such as Flora and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® are made with oils from nuts, seeds, fruits and plants instead of animal fat or milk.
Plant-based diets are generally healthier due to being higher in fiber, good fats, carotenoids and other plant-based nutrients.
Plant margarines and spreads like Flora do not contain animal fats and have zero trans-fat, unlike dairy butter which is higher in saturated fats and has trans fats. They also contain good fats made from plant-based oils with Omega-3 ALA. A diet with trans fats and high saturated fat can lead to higher levels of cholesterol. High cholesterol increases consumers’ risk of heart disease and stroke.
Plant-based margarine has a much less harmful impact on the environment than raising livestock for use in dairy butter production. This includes on-average significantly less CO2 emissions, two-thirds less land use, and half of overall water use.
2. Non-dairy milk – so many tasty, healthy choices
Non-dairy milks have long been the choice for those who are lactose intolerant. But that’s all changed. Beyond being much more environmentally friendly to produce compared to milk from dairy cows, non-dairy milks also have many health benefits. They are lower in calories compared to whole dairy milk, and do not have the antibiotics, hormones or other additives that are often found in dairy milk.
A few options to consider include:
Almond milk has high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids which are better for heart health and may also help reduce bad cholesterol.
Oat milk is an option for those suffering from food allergies, plus it contains fiber that can help lower cholesterol.
Soy milk is cholesterol-free and contain a full range of amino acids that our bodies need.
3. Vegan yogurt
Vegan yogurts are fast gaining ground on other yogurt brands because they taste good and are healthier. Made with ingredients from coconuts and cashews to oats and avocados, plant-based yogurts can contain 25% less sugar. Plus, plant-based milks used to make vegan yogurt are typically fortified with good-for-you calcium and vitamin D.
Eat better with one plant-based food swap at a time
Eating better has never been easier for the health and environmentally conscious eater. But you don’t have to do it all at once. Keep it simple. Swap in one plant-based food at a time – a splash of oat milk in that afternoon latte or baking a Victoria sponge cake, swapping out dairy butter for a plant-based margarine. Finding healthy plant-based foods has never been easier or tastier. You’ll notice how simple it is to make the swap and allow you to make conscious decisions that sustain and protect our bodies and our planet. So, what are you waiting for?
This is a paid promotion from Upfield.