The Most Sustainable Vegan Diet

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There are plenty of great reasons to switch your diet to a more plant-centered one. For starters, it’s better for your health, and it shows compassion toward animals.

But what about reducing your carbon footprint?

With that in mind, here are two tips to consider when filling your plant-based grocery cart to keep its environmental impact at the lowest possible. 

Local Produce all the Way!

Exotic fruits and vegetables travel thousands of miles before landing on our dinner plates. Think about how many times coconuts, avocados, and jackfruit, are incorporated into vegan recipes.

When it comes to coconut (the main source of saturated fat in a vegan diet), it’s transformed into everything from butter to sugar to soy sauce substitute, so relying on an imported exotic product is not the best thing you can do for the environment. The bottom line is that we can’t rely on exotic foods that travel from afar as everyday staples in the long run.

Protein from Home

Good news; your best protein sources grow right here at home. Whole grains can be a great source of protein – just one cup of wheat berries gives us 24 grams of protein. That’s the equivalent of a whole chicken breast. Not only are whole grains a great source of protein, they’re also packed with fibre, B vitamins, and lots of minerals.

Legumes are another great example of a Canadian grown plant-based protein – Canada is a world leader in producing both lentils and dried peas. They’re an excellent source of protein but unlike animal-based protein sources, they offer tons of fibre and minerals, too.

As goes with any diet, the more often you can find whole foods straight from nature, the better.

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This article was written for Daily Hive by Choices Markets dietitian Jess Pirnak, RD and  nutritionist Elizabeth Whalley, RHN.