Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular with many people making the switch due to animal welfare concerns, health reasons, or to reduce their ecological footprint.

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As plant-based diets have gained popularity, the amount of information available about how to eat a balanced and nutritious diet while avoiding animal products has increased. But, much of the information is from social media “influencers” with little or no nutrition qualifications.

Our NAPHL Health Hub Accredited Practising Dietitian Teri Ho cuts through the gobbledygook and explains what you should be eating to stay healthy while following a plant-based diet.

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“Luckily nowadays there are a lot of alternatives you can choose from restaurants and supermarkets that make switching to a plant-based diet a lot easier,” she said.

“But, if you don’t pay attention to the nutritional values, you may end up having a high fat and carbohydrate plant-based diet that is low in protein.

"In the long run, a plant-based diet could still give you problems such as obesity and heart disease.”

Teri said while plant foods have a reputation as being high in carbohydrates, many are actually high in protein such as tofu, edamame, baked beans and potato.

Food Protein in grams
Soy Milk 6-8g protein per cup
Tofu (firm) 15-17g protein per 100g
Tofu (silken) 4-5g protein per 100g
Edamame, unshelled 8g per cup
Baked beans / legumes / lentils 6-8g per half cup
Peanuts / almonds / cashews 3.5g per level tablespoon
Tahini (sesame paste) 4g per tablespoon
Oats / quinoa (cooked) 5g per cup
Corn 3-4g per half cob
Potato 5g per medium potato

Teri's top tips for eating a nutritious diet while living a plant-based lifestyle include:

  1. Include a high protein food in every meal (at least 3 times a day e.g. main meals)
  2. Drink two cups a day of calcium-enriched plant-based milk to meet your calcium requirements
  3. Not all vitamin B enriched products include Vitamin B12. Always check the label if you’re concerned.
  4. Talk to an Accredited Practising Dietitian if you have special requirements such as following a keto diet, have high protein or nutrient requirements for sport performance, you’re a teenager or have diabetes or high cholesterol.

Teri is now taking on new clients at our NAPHL Health Hub at 51 Fulham Rd, Pimlico. You may be eligible for a rebate form your private health insurance fund. Teri can also conduct appointments via phone or video for clients outside of the Townsville area.

Call (07) 4722 8750 to book an appointment with Teri