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Let's Talk Plant Protein.

Hi again 😊

Had my game face on last weekend at the Cairns Ironman...

Today let's talk plant protein. We know that cutting back on meat/chicken and fish is good for our health, the environment and also for the animals. But if we are cutting back on these foods, what are we replacing them with?

Let's firstly have a look at what meat actually provides us with...

Meat provides us with protein, iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins (especially B12) and essential fatty acids.

Remember, a plant-based diet is flexible and can be adapted to where you're at. That might mean just a meat free Monday meal, local meat/chicken or fish once a week or no animal-based protein at all. Regardless of where you're at, if you are picking meat from time to time, here are some tips on how to choose it:

  • Shop from a butcher rather than larger supermarkets- pasture raised, ask where your meat is coming from

  • Choose local meat from small farmers

  • Choose lean meat and avoid processed meats like bacon, ham and sausages.

  • Choose kangaroo - local, sustainable, ethical

For further reading on this, here are some great articles for you to read regarding choosing your meat:

Eating Meat Sustainably | FoodPrint Americans eat a lot of meat, including chicken, beef and pork. And the rest of the world is starting to follow in our footsteps. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans ate a record amount of meat and poultry last year — 138.4 pounds of it per person, on average, placing Americans at or near the top of per capita global levels.

The average Australian eats 95 kilograms of meat each year, compared to the OECD average of 69 kilograms.. It doesn't take a UN delegation to tell us that this is way too much meat...

For those wanting to cut back on or not eat meat/chicken, fish or eggs at all, here is what you want to be choosing to get your protein on your plate:

Plant based Protein first best options:

  • Legumes- lentils, chickpeas, butter beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, soya beans , legume-based dips (hummus mmm), edamame, green peas....

  • Tofu- plain tofu which you flavor yourself OR flavored tofu options are a good start (see list of my faves below)

  • Nuts and nut butters- raw or dry roasted nuts, mix up the type you have, 30g per day is good. Seeds and nut butters such as natural peanut butter, tahini, almond and cashew butter

  • Nutritional yeast- add it to potato or on pasta

  • Seeds- Chia, hempseed, ground flaxseed, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower....add to salads or cereals

Plant based Protein second best options:

  • Plant based meat substitutes/burgers/patties/balls/bites- I don't recommend these as a staple as they can be highly processed and contain a lot of salt (see list of my recommended starters below)

Mattea's Favorite Plant Based Protein Products:

(Check the Vegetarian/Vegan section in the supermarket)

  • Wildly Good - Coles, Woolies and Foodland

  • Beijing Tofu - Satay, Chilli and Garlic flavours - Coles and Foodland

  • Natures Kitchen Range - Coles only (Burgers, bites, Tofu and more)

  • Yums Range including Bites and Burgers

  • Blue Lotus Sweet Chilli Tofu Bites - Coles

  • Bean Supreme Sausages

  • Syndian Range - Foodland, Woolworths and Coles

  • Lynda Mcartney Range - Woolworths, Coles and Foodland

Short, sharp and shiny post today - give some of my recommendations a go and comment below on your faves or any I may have missed!! As always, nutrition is super individualized, there's no one size fits all so if you are looking for a more personalized plan, book in to see an Accredited Practicing Dietitian who can help you plan your protein requirements and help you meet them with plant-based proteins. 😊 Today we have covered plant-based protein only, other considerations on a plant-based diet would be iron, B12, Zinc and essential amino acids which I will cover in future posts... Until next time...

Mattea Palombo Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Accredited Nutritionist (AN) Adelaide Nutrition


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