Fruit, Vegetables, Vegetarian -

National Vegetarian Week 2022

This week (16-22 May) is National Vegetarian Week!

The Vegetarian Society are promoting an awareness week here in the UK, and are focusing on the positive impact eating a vegetarian diet can have on our climate and wildlife.

Could you swap out one non-vegetarian meal a week, or even go for a whole week on a vegetarian diet? That's the challenge The Vegetarian Society have set, and you can even sign up for tips, recipes, information and discount offers during the week. 

I'd always recommend eating a diet centred around vegetables, fruit, pulses, legumes and grains etc. This kind of diet is known to provide the essential nutrients we need to give us the best chance of good day-to-day health and helping prevent many diseases.

Here in the UK, it's fair to say the majority of us aren't eating as many fruit and vegetables as we need to. The image below gives us an idea of the kind of plate composition to aim for.

Vegetarian / Vegan food plate

If you're not looking to go full vegetarian, a plate with 50% consisting of fruit and vegetables, 25% protein and 25% carbs is a good one to aim for. I'd strongly advise people to try and form their plate with as many unprocessed foods as possible in aiming for this kind of split. This helps to maximise the healthy nutrient content and minimise additives like salt, sugar and preservatives.

Organic is ideal if you can afford it, due to the way it is grown and farmed. Overall, organic foods usually contain higher concentrations of beneficial nutrients and have not been sprayed or fertilised with chemicals, etc.

Eating a vegetarian diet can prove cost effective, as meat and fish can often be a lot more expensive (especially if they form the biggest part of your plate). You can find many web sites and books etc. to help with ideas for vegetarian or vegetable based recipes, such as from BBC Good Food and Jamie Oliver.

So - the challenge is set. Will you decide to eat more fruit and vegetables to help with climate change and improve your own health?