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Turn meat-and-three-veg into healthier dishes with these recipes that make vegetables the stars

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 11/07/2019 Olivia Andrews
a plate of food with a fork and knife: You don’t need to give up meat entirely to benefit your health and the planet– just make vegetables the main event © Phu Tang You don’t need to give up meat entirely to benefit your health and the planet– just make vegetables the main event

For all our lives, most of us have been told that red meat is the source of iron, dairy is the source of calcium, and we must eat meat, meat and more meat to satisfy our bodies’ desperate need for protein.

But health experts are now saying that many of us consume an overabundance of animal-based products, that instead our diets should be made up of 70 per cent plant-based foods, and that vegetables should fill up 50 per cent of every plate of food we eat.

There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that eating plenty of vegetables can help us maintain a healthy body weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and protect us against chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains can also reduce the risk of depression and improve overall mood and well-being, as well as memory and learning.

The recipes below are designed to flip the balance of our meals, pushing the meat to one side of the plate and making vegetables the star – ramping up all the nutritional benefits of eating plenty of vegetables, without compromising on flavour, taste and texture.

The best ‘diet’ in life is a sustainable one. For me, becoming vegetarian or vegan, or abstaining from certain food groups for an extended period of time, always backfires, and I tend to overcompensate for any ‘sacrifices’ by bingeing – making up for lost time.

And sometimes, if you crave a certain food, chances are your body needs it. By putting more vegetables on our plates, we are doing so much better by our health, while also contributing to a more sustainable way of life.

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