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    5 Great Actions for a Plant-forward Lifestyle

    Did you know that eating more plant-based food, not only help your healthy, but also help the health of our environment?

    Adapting a plant-forward lifestyle means focusing on plant-derived, whole foods that are unrefined and minimally processed. Think foods like fresh fruit, nuts, seasonal vegetables, seeds and whole grains. Following a plant-forward lifestyle does not mean you can never eat meat again, but rather for you to eat more plants and plant-based foods.

    Nutritionally, eating more unsaturated fats (in plant-based proteins) than saturated fats (in animal proteins) can lower the risk of heart disease and improve healthy (HDL) cholesterol levels.

    Plus, plant-based protein normally content prebiotic fibre, which helps digestion and weight management. The fibre stimulates the growth and/or activity of certain 'good' bacteria in the large intestine, which considered to be good for your gut.

    A diet higher in plant-based foods than animals foods is linked to less environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy, land and water use. The good news is that going plant-forward does not mean excluding any food groups or losing balance and pleasure in eating,  because small changes can make a big difference.

    Here are some simple shifts you can make it your everyday life to move in the plant-forward direction, to benefit you, your family and the environment:

    1. Eat your veggies. Non-starchy veggies should ideally make up half of your meal plate. If you are currently falling short, work towards this overarching goal by adding a variety of colourful veggies to stir-fries, pastas, salads, soups, and grain-based side dishes.
    2. Legumes/alternative protein. Legumes include peanuts, beans, fresh peas, lentils, and soybeans, and so many more. Try adding any form in salads or soups, adding a half a cup white beans or fresh peas in your favorited pasta dish, or utilizing a combination of tofu, non-starchy veggies, nuts in a meatless stir-fry.
    3. Wholegrain is better. There’s so many choices out there! Add oats or millet to a granola recipe, prepare a roasted veggie and whole grain salad with quinoa, barley, or bulgur, or substitute refined breads, pastas, or cereals with whole grain varieties.
    4. Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds fit in at every meal with minimal effort. Add them as a topper to oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal at breakfast. Pair with dried fruit or cheese for a portable snack. Add a sprinkle on salads, pastas, or your Buddha bowl at lunch or dinner. The healthy oils in nuts and seeds are good for your heart and brain.
    5. Start with one day a week or one meal a day. If you are a meat-lover, don’t worry, just pick one day a week or one meal a day to start with. Replace meat with Tofu, legume, or plant-based meat alternative, this is a very easy way to get you started the journey to the plant-forward lifestyle.