The Vegan Way to Reduce Fat
Public Health England has called on food manufacturers to cut the calories in their products by 20% by 2024 in an effort to help prevent more than 35,000 premature deaths over 25 years and save the NHS almost £9 billion.
According to figures by the government body, almost two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, with many children eating up to 500 excess calories a day and adults eating about 200 calories more than they need a day. Dr Justine Butler, researcher and writer for Viva! Health, the health branch of Viva! Europe’s largest vegan campaigning charity, gives her tips on how establishments can tweak their menu to help win the war against our growing waistlines…
Put simply, we are eating too much unhealthy food – packed full of sugar and saturated fat. Although it isn’t the responsibility of a chef or establishment to monitor the amount of saturated fat their customer consumes, with subtle changes made to certain recipes and more vegan options on your menu, these few small steps may just help combat the growing problem.
The government recommends that people eat less saturated fat-filled foods and more fruit and vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates (wholemeal bread, wholegrain pasta and brown rice) as well as replacing foods rich in saturated fats with healthier foods that contain unsaturated fat, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, plant-based oils and spreads. In other words, more vegan food!
Not just for vegans
Despite more vegetarian and vegan options appearing on menus, non vegans can sometimes be put off by the V word and head straight to the carvery instead – when in fact, they are missing out on fresh, colourful, delicious healthy food. And the magic of vegan food is that it isn’t just for vegans – anyone can eat it!
What to do
Many pubs, cafes and restaurants now offer 100% vegan meal options but you could also consider using vegan ingredients and products in dishes to reduce saturated fat content.
Here’s a few ideas:
Bangers and mash – try vegetarian/vegan sausages and use soya milk in the mash
Full English – serve vegan sausages and rashers, and switch the egg for scrambled tofu. Serve with mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and toast
Savoury pies – use frozen mock meats instead of beef, chicken or lamb
BBQ pulled meat – substitute pulled pork and chicken with young, green jackfruit – available tinned from Chinese wholesalers. Simply shred and serve with BBQ sauce, slaw and fries
Sunday roast – nut roast with all the trimmings
Pizza – try topping with melty mozzarella-style vegan cheese
Sandwich fillings – falafel and hummus, vegan cream cheese and cucumber, mushroom pâté and cherry tomatoes
Frozen or dehydrated soya mince – replace beef mince in chilli, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and cottage pie
For more recipe ideas go to veganrecipeclub.org.uk