Plants should be a part of every meal you eat. Dr. Angela Hind explains why plant-based foods are a healthy part of your diet and how to incorporate them into breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Not all mayonnaise is created equal

Mayonnaise is a processed food so it pays to know your mayonnaise’s ingredients. Many traditional brands use low quality oils that have been processed using the toxic chemical hexane, which then can remain in the final product. To avoid this look for “expeller pressed” on the label.

If looking to eat a more plant-based diet, choose mayonnaise made with olive oil, avocado oil, or non-GMO canola oil. Many mayonnaises have added preservatives such as EDTA or potassium sorbet. Avoid these unnecessary chemical additives.

Plant-based snacking

Plant-based snacking means, well, eating plants. If you don’t have apples, nuts or avocados on hand, and find yourself reaching for a bag of snacks, consider this. Choose processed snacks that have high quality ingredients and at least some nutritional value. Chips made with chickpea flour, lentil flour, organic corn, beans and green peas pack some nutrient density and some dietary variety as well. Popcorn is another great snacking food. Avoid chips with long lists of chemical flavors, colorings and preservatives or snacks made with partially hydrogenated cottonseed or corn oils.

Non-Dairy Milks

When trying to eat a more plant-based diet, choosing nut milks can be a good replacement for the cow’s milk in your morning fruit smoothie, and choosing nut-milk yogurt can be a good breakfast. Almond milk and cashew milk are good choices. Choose nut milks without carrageenan, a thickening agent that can be an allergen. Also choose milks with the fewest ingredients and the least amount of added sugar. Better yet, consider making your own nut milk by adding cashews and water to your smoothie instead.

Plant-based Stir-fry

There is no better or quicker one-dish meal than a stir-fry. Plant-based stir-frying provides protein from vegetables such as broccoli, peas, or chickpeas. For even more pant-based protein add organic tempeh. Tempeh is made with cultured soybeans, and varieties such as flaxseed tempeh or garden veggie tempeh also pack some extra phytonutrients that help fortify health. Top your stir-fry with almonds or cashews for a complete protein, high nutrient meal.

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