Planning to add more “plants” to your plate? Here is how you should proceed


Food derived from fresh, whole ingredients keeps body weight in check and is holistic. The plant-based diet is not restrictive excluding meat.

Meat and seafood are not totally prohibited. It limits or avoids only animal products while emphasizing vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts and legumes. Refined foods such as white sugar, Maida, and processed oils are eliminated while organic foods are encouraged.

A smart vegetarian diet is essential not only to increase your dietary requirements, but also to keep the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease at bay.

Dr Pooja Thacker, Head of the Department of Dietetics at Bhatia Hospital in Mumbai, says: “The plant-based diet is a Mediterranean diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts. It is important to be aware of an individual’s nutritional needs to define a diet that meets their needs.

Start the ball rolling

For non-vegetarians, the switch to a plant-based diet should be measured and gradual while reducing meat consumption and increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Some find the Mediterranean diet, a flexible version of a plant-based diet that incorporates fish and poultry, to be better.

Mohit Mathur, Founding CEO of OneFitPlus, says: “To start a plant-based diet, increase the number of meatless meals. Go for green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, mustard greens (saag), lettuce and include microgreens in salads. Choose your favorite recipes without vegetables and prepare them without meat. Substitute tofu, soy nuggets, jackfruit, or black beans for the meat.

Diversify your culinary repertoire with vegetarian menus. A variety of dishes from other vegetarian cuisines will help meet your nutritional needs.

Prepare your breakfast well

Start the day with whole grains. For example, a breakfast of oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat or barley with fresh fruits, beans and nuts or seeds will help keep energy levels high throughout the day.

Oats are a good source of quality carbohydrates and protein with a good balance of amino acids. It contains a high percentage of oat fat, especially unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, all of which are known to protect your heart, colon, and lower your cholesterol levels.

Having skim milk or dairy free milk with breakfast cereal is a great option. Add oats as an ingredient in dosas, rotis, smoothies, and chillas to increase the fiber quotient while keeping overall calories low.

“Including fresh fruit, chopped nuts or berries can also be a good way to improve the nutritional value of your first meal of the day,” advises Raghav Gupta, founder of Oateo Oats.

“Oats are very beneficial especially for children because it regulates digestion, helps them curb unnecessary cravings by keeping them full. Filled with proteins and micronutrients, it strengthens immunity, ”he adds.

Read the label

The first such report from LabelBlind® in collaboration with Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences (University of Delhi) on “Consumer Perceptions and Industry Standards on Clean Label Products in India”, gave impetus to the globally, with reputable food manufacturers leading the product deconstructions and innovations to catch up with burgeoning consumer demands.

LabelBlind is India’s first food rating system designed and developed by The Nutrition Alchemy, a NutriTech company that simplifies complex nutritional concepts and democratizes the principles of nutrition science to bring good health and well-being into the world. people’s life.

“The platform examines and rates food products based on a proprietary assessment tool that takes into account 14 vital nutritional parameters. LabelBlind® is free for consumers and works with the food regulator, food companies and businesses to design nutritional solutions that impact food consumption habits, ”says Rashida Vapiwala, founder of LabelBlind® and author – Clean Label Report on Indian Packaged Food.

Say “no” to processed foods

Sometimes we indulge in treats. A vegan cake can be healthier for the environment and it may contain less saturated fat than a non-vegan cake. “Packaged or processed foods contain excess sugar, sodium, trans fats and high consumption of these foods will lead to a deficiency of essential nutrients for the body. It is not a healthy food and it should not be eaten too often. However, one slice of vegan cake is healthier than having two slices of vegan cake, ”says Alisha Falerio, Executive Pastry Chef, Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts, Gurgaon.

From farm to table

The dominant farm-to-table trend is delivering fresh food direct from executives to consumers. Raghav Gupta, Founder of JIWA Foods, a health food company, says, “Farm-to-fork is a powerful and potentially disruptive concept that includes the planning, sourcing and distribution of food products throughout the entire journey. supply chain in a way that reduces food waste, costs, transit time, eliminates middlemen, preserves shelf life and makes food available to end users directly without multiple handling.

Good for the skin

Certain foods such as dairy and animal products can increase inflammation, while plant-based foods are anti-inflammatory. Dr Niketa Sonavane, famous dermatologist and founder of Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai, says: “Due to the high concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, it helps the body defend itself against chemicals. dangerous, thereby reducing chronic inflammation.

She says going dairy and meat free can improve your skin and hair.

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Posted on: Sunday September 26, 2021 9:10 am IST

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