If you want to start swapping out animal products for something healthier and more ethical – but equally as nutritious – here are the best substitutes
Embracing a diet of plant-based foods and fewer animal products is “healthy, sustainable, and good for both people and planet”, says the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health. But while meat is known as an important source of nutrients, such as protein, iron and B12, is it possible to get the equivalent value from plant-based alternatives?
“Yes, but it depends how you do it,” says Priya Tew, director of Dietitian UK. Relying on ultra-processed ready meals or plant-based “meatballs”, say, is not going to be nutritionally superior to meat. In fact, adds Tew, “that can be worse”. Instead, adopt a variety of plant-based sources – fruit, vegetables, legumes, soya, wholegrains, pulses, nuts, seeds – and cook as much as you can from scratch, which, of course, requires some planning. Here’s a start: easy ways to swap animal protein for plant-based alternatives.