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Practical tips for preparing healthy and delicious plant-based meals

This is a republished version of an article previously published in MJA Open

It is not only what a diet excludes, but what it includes, that shapes health outcomes. This article is a practical guide for doctors to help them advise patients on nutrient-rich foods, which should form the basis of all types of plant-based diets. Of the recognised types of plant-based diets (Box 1), the most widely studied is the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet.

Key points about plant-based diets

  • Plant-based diets focus on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. Some vegetarian diets also include eggs and dairy, and a few traditional (eg, Mediterranean and Asian) plant-based diets include limited amounts of meat and/or seafood.

  • A varied and balanced plant-based diet can provide all of the nutrients needed for good health (Box 2).2

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