Best Foods to Add to a Plant-Based Diet
Transitioning to a plant-based diet doesn’t need to be difficult. Focus on planning easy meals and snacks that have a combination of plant-based protein, fiber-rich carbohydrate choices, healthy fats and loads of non-starchy vegetables! Add these foods to your grocery list to create a variety of meals and snacks throughout the week.
A handful a day or 1/4 cup of nuts is fantastic for heart health. If you keep the portions to 1/2 cup or less daily this will not negatively impact your weight management plan.
Nuts are full of healthy fat, protein, fiber and important vitamins and minerals.
Beans & Lentils
Beans and lentils are an affordable and versatile protein source at meals and snacks. Mix white beans into tomato sauce, snack on roasted chickpeas or stir lentils into soups and stews.
Non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens fill us up with vitamins and minerals and are low in calories. Don’t feel like you have to always eat leafy greens in salads. Try sauteing greens as a side, adding them to soups and stews or even smoothies.
When it comes to nutrition, seeds are small but mighty! A source of protein, fiber, healthy fats and important nutrients. Experiment with various seeds like chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, and quinoa. Different seeds work well in different recipes.
Whole grains go beyond whole wheat and include options like amaranth, barley, buckwheat, brown rice, wild rice sorghum, teff, and farro. Add at least 3-5 servings of whole grains to your diet daily.
Berries are nature’s dessert, sweet, full of flavor and important phytonutrients that researchers suggest may be beneficial from everything from heart to brain health. One cup contains less than 100 calories. Try adding berries to cooked cereals, salads, smoothies and baked goods.
Healthy fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Fat helps you absorb all those fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D, E, K, and A better. It is a good idea to keep several different types of oils at home depending on how you are using them in the kitchen. Some oils have higher smoke-points while other oils like olive oil have lower smoke-points and are better for making salad dressings.
Monitor your portions….1 Tbsp of oil adds about 100 calories to your meal.