1. Plant-based proteins
With more and more people raising awareness on living more sustainably, plant-based substitutes and vegan dishes are slated to make their breakthrough thanks to their positive environmental impact. Although veganism and vegetarianism may not be as popular in Malaysia compared to Western countries, we’re definitely seeing an increasing number of people giving plant-based diets a try.
According to food blogger and plant-based lifestyle advocate Davina Goh, more F&B establishments are stepping up to meet the demand for healthier and more ethical options, making it so much easier to find plant-based options when eating out now compared to three years ago. In fact, with almost half the population of Malaysians suffering from high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death in the country, switching to a plant-based diet is a great way to stay healthy.
“A plant-based diet is the single-most accessible weapon against all these diseases. It is the only diet scientifically proven to not only stop but reverse the effects of heart disease. It is strongly linked to preventing and lowering the risk of the others I mentioned, as well as a range of other modern-day diseases, from cancer to depression,” says Davina.
Besides that, our community also recently welcomed the opening of a vegan grocery store, Vegan District, to cater to the slow but rising demand for easily-sourced vegan products. Davina also pointed out that living on a vegan diet isn’t all about consuming expensive imported things like quinoa, kale and avocados.
“Food supplies for vegan meals are actually cheap and in abundance in our country. The key to keeping things affordable and within reach is to learn basic cooking skills. People overseas are spending top dollars to get their hands on tempeh, tofu and exotic tropical fruits – all of which can be bought on a budget in our local market! As for eateries, I think it’s extremely important them to do their homework. There’s a lot more to plant-based food than just salad or a basic pasta dish. There’s a great deal of information to digest now, and new innovative ways to keep food free from meat and animal by-products without compromising on taste and nutritional integrity,” Davina shares.
For those who want to try practising veganism, the experience doesn’t have to be as daunting as to how it appeals.
“Homework is essential no just for the F&B industry, but for anyone who’s interested in making a positive change in their diet. Read up on books and online articles, and try watching documentaries on the topic. To learn the reasons why people pursue the diet, I recommend ‘Forks Over Knives’, ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘The Game Changers’ that are all available on Netflix. Each person’s nutritional needs are different and it’s imperative for you to take the time to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Instead of being afraid of missing out, a positive attitude will keep you thinking about all the gains you’ll be making – more energy, better health, weight loss, clearer skin, clearer conscience etc,” says Davina.