More vegan products for health-conscious Singaporeans
According to Mr Tom Oliver, plant-based diets, which exclude animal-based foods, have grown in popularity locally, and there has also been a greater demand for healthy and nutritious snacks.
That is why the London-based health food director of British supplement brand Tom Oliver Nutrition decided to launch a series of vegan supplements in Singapore in September this year. They are exclusively stocked at Holland & Barrett stores here.
The vegan series comprises dark cocoa- and raspberry-flavoured vegan protein powder ($90.90 for a 907g packet) and six flavours of vegan chocolate protein bars ($5.90 each).
Mr Oliver, who was in town this month to speak about weight management at the Celebrate Life Love Your Body health workshop organised by Holland & Barrett Singapore, told The New Paper: "As consumers are becoming more health-conscious, they are looking for natural plant-based products, which double as healthy snacks for convenience snacking.
"However, to enhance taste and flavours, vegan products are usually very high in fruit sugars, calories and low in protein content. In contrast, our vegan products are low in sugar and fat, high in protein and taste delicious."
Mr Oliver, 36, has a degree in sports science and nutrition. He and his team spent more than a year sourcing suppliers of healthy flavourings.
The low-sugar raspberry and coffee flavourings for the vegan snack bars are from Germany and Switzerland respectively.
His main advice for weight loss was to create a calorie deficit, which is to consume 200 to 300 calories less than one requires daily so the body will burn extra fat to generate energy, or by exercising to burn off excess calories.
Mr Oliver warned against consuming "perceived healthy foods" like avocado, which he claimed "contains more calories than a Snickers bar because of its high concentration of polyunsaturated fats".
Smarter food choices can be made by identifying sources of calories, and he recommended consuming supplements to obtain essential nutrients when dieting.
For example, the Tom Oliver vegan protein powder aids in weight loss. It contains L-carnitine, green tea extract and acai berry, which is rich in antioxidants and boosts metabolism to help with fat loss.
Mr Oliver added: "The vegan protein bars also complement weight management regimens as one bar contains only 195 calories and 1.2g of sugar, compared to a regular vegan bar, which can have up to 400 calories and 25g of sugar."
According to diet and nutrition consultant Goh Ling Chih, who was at the Celebrate Life Love Your Body event to talk about plant-based diets, the benefits of consuming plant-based proteins include decreasing the risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease.
Furthermore, plant-based products such as vegetables, grains, fruits and nuts contain dietary fibre and phytonutrients, which help strengthen the immune system and cannot be found in animal products.
Ms Goh, 40, added: "A large percentage of animal products contains antibiotics, which are used in farming and create health problems for consumers, such as drug resistance. So adopting a plant-based diet is definitely more natural and healthier."