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National Vegetarian Week runs from 10th to 16th May 2021, and what better time to try out a meat-free diet. A vegetarian diet can be a great way to add colour, texture and variety and it is also generally lower in saturated fat and higher in fibre, which is great news for your heart.

Here are some tips for getting you started with a healthy vegetarian picnic.

Meat alternatives

Meat is high in protein and finding alternatives can be challenging. There are many meat substitutes available in shops and supermarkets that can add variety to your picnic. Some meat substitutes, such as vegetarian sausage rolls and Scotch eggs are high in fat and salt and should only be eaten in small quantities. Try swapping meat and fish for protein-rich vegetarian foods in your picnic, such as tofu, beans, pulses, unsalted nuts, seeds, eggs and reduced calorie yoghurts.

Include a variety of foods

If you do not eat a wide variety of vegetarian foods, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as iron, calcium and vitamin B12.  Try to include vegetarian foods from each of the food groups shown in the Eatwell Guide in your picnic

Find healthy picnic recipes
Look online for healthy picnic recipes that include wholegrain foods, low-fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, seeds, beans and pulses and plenty of fruit and vegetables. You can find recipes and information about hosting a picnic at Heart Research UK’s Big Scottish Picnic webpage.

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