A healthy diet should include plenty of plants: Fruit, vegetables, legumes/beans, nuts/seeds, potatoes, and whole grains. Usually, we don’t think of plants as having protein. The great thing about plants is they are a natural low/no fat option. Low in fat and packed with fiber encourages heart health. Here are the 5 trending plant-based proteins that you can easily add to your meals.
Soybean, soy milk, and tofu
Soybeans are a type of legume/bean. The bean can be turned into milk or the soy liquids can be turned into tofu (much like the way cheese is made). Soy products offer high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals, along with phytoestrogens that may have a positive effect on hormones.
Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
Chickpeas have a nutty taste and grainy texture. The most common chickpea dishes are falafel and hummus. However, you can easily add chickpeas to your salads, stews, and soups. To add more fiber to a meal you can blend the beans and add them to meatballs.
Nuts and Nut butter: Almonds and Peanuts
Not necessarily a low-fat option but these are packed with unsaturated fats. Nuts are also a great source of fiber and protein. You can add them to a salad for some added crunch or use nut butter on your toast. Choose nut products with no/low added sugar and salt to boost health benefits.
Quinoa has been cultivated for thousands of years and has a wide range of colors including black, red, yellow, and white. Quinoa cooks in 15 minutes and can add variety to your dishes. Try to add quinoa to salads or make a whole-grain bowl. You absolutely can substitute rice and pasta with this whole grain option.
These have come a long way in the past 20 years! Meat replacements of the past have been a highly processed food that had more additives than maybe their worth. Now plant-based “faux” meats are more likely to have ingredient lists that reflect more vegetables than flavorings. Look for ingredients such as pea protein, mushrooms, and nuts. Note that these meat replacements still have a comparable amount of sodium in them to animal meat.
Written by BWS Dietetic Intern– Tessa Zhang
Continue reading October 2022 Newsletter: Plant-based Milks