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Plant-based eating

Table of contents

    What is plant-based eating?

    The term “plant-based diet” encompasses a variety of eating patterns which prioritise healthful plant foods with no or moderate amounts of animal-derived foods. Plant-based eating does not automatically exclude all animal products, rather it puts plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, soya, nuts, seeds and plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy, at the core of the diet.

    Flexitarian diets include mostly plants, with moderate intakes of meat, dairy, and eggs. Flexitarian diets encourage variety and reflect many national food-based dietary guidelines. Individuals who actively attempt to minimise animal products in their diets often do so for health, ethical, or environmental reasons. Pescatarian diets exclude all animal products with the exception of seafood. Vegetarian and vegan diets are in the main based on plant foods including vegetables, fruits, soya, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Vegetarian diets exclude flesh meat and fish, but may include dairy and eggs (lacto-vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian). Vegan diets typically source all calories from plants and exclude all animal products.

    Why plant-based eating?

    “Food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.”

    EAT-Lancet commission, 2019

    To maintain our food systems within the planetary boundaries, we need a comprehensive approach including:()

    1. Significant dietary shifts towards healthy plant-based eating which can include some meat and dairy

    2. Cut food waste in half

    3. Improvements in agricultural efficiency

    4. Transition to low-carbon energy

    At Alpro Foundation we agree that our dietary choices can have a huge impact on our health as well as that of our planet.

    Our top tips for better human and planetary health

    In the main it's important to change our mindset

    • When planning meals, we need to think healthy plant foods first: Centre meals around plant foods and use meat and dairy as a garnish

    • Include meat-free meals/days as part of your weekly routine

    • Search for plant-based recipes to inspire you

    Plant-based eating in numbers

    PB Eating impact global - PBE page

    References: ,,


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    23. Benton T, Bieg C, Harwatt H, et al. Food system impacts on biodiversity loss. Three levers for food system transformation in support of nature. Chatham House, 2021. Accessed Feb 2022.

    24. Taylor A. Land of plenty. WWF-UK, Feb 2022. Accessed Feb 2022.

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    Alpro Foundation report

    Sustainable diets for better human and planetary health

    Scientific review

    Plant-based eating & carbon footprint


    Changing behaviour: from policy to table. Moving the dial towards sustainable diets

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