Healthy Eating Plate

Are you wanting to adopt more plant-based meals but don't know where to start? Recent Newspoll research suggests 70% of Australians consume plant based meals in the belief that eating less meat and more plant foods improves overall health.

What are plant-based diets?

Plant based diets are based on legumes, wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds but may include some eggs or dairy products. The most common type of vegetarian diet is the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Some traditional plant-based diets, such as the Mediterranean or rural Asian diets, may also include limited amounts of chicken, meat, fish and seafood.

How to lower your disease risk

Eating plan-based meals can help you reduce your risk of common chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes. If you already have one or more of these conditions, studies show plant based diets can be used to provide an optimal way to better manage these.

Getting enough nutrients

A well planned plant-based diet has more health benefits than risks. New research by Australian and international academics published in the Medical Journal of Australia shows getting everything the body needs while maintaining a vegetarian diet is not as complicated as once thought.

Depending on your level of restriction of animal products some nutrients may need more attention such as calcium, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega 3. Fortified foods and/or supplements can provide additional amounts of these nutrients if required.

Planning your meals

If you're new to the world of plant-based eating or simply wish to incorporate more whole food meals based on legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds into your weekly repertoire, follow Sue Radd's Healthy Eating Plate to design your own meals.



Getting personalised advice

For more detailed advice and a personalised meal plan relevant to your lifestyle, medical conditions and body weight, please speak to one of our friendly Accredited Practising Dietitians who have a special interest in plant-based nutrition. Plant based eating involves much more than just leaving meat off the plate! You need to ensure you still meet your nutritional requirements for nutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12.

Sample healthy food plates

Check out these sample food plates, which show you how to translate the theory into practice. Cook delicious meals that would tempt even the most dedicated carnivore!

See our recipe page for instructions on how you can make some of these and other yummy dishes.



Multi-grain chia seed porridge topped with walnuts, dried white figs and berries

Vege sausages with grilled tomato, avocado, caramelised onions and cafe-style grainy toast

Soy and linseed bread with tahini, sliced banana and honey drizzle



Bruschetta piled with black-eyed bean, lemon and shallot salad

Kumera red lentil and dill soup served with sourdough seeded bread

Quinoa salad with black beans, shaved fennel, orange slices and mint



Barley risotto with porcini mushrooms, pine nuts and sage served with dressed rocket salad

Yellow split pea curry with Persian lime, red and wholegrain rice combo and yoghurt cucumber salad

Roasted vegetables on wholegrain cous cous with Moroccan dressing, pepita seeds and fetta


Acknowledgement: We thank Greg Teschner Photography for food photography.

These images can be freely downloaded for use in educational purposes. Please provide credit to the copyright owner: Sue Radd 2011.