The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

Not sure where to start? Make sure you don’t miss out on nutrition, with our simple checklist

THE WEALTH OF tasty new ingredients available means there’s never been a better time to go vegetarian. It can take a little time and preparation, but becoming veggie is very rewarding. Follow our easy steps and you’ll soon be glowing with health.

1. EAT A GOOD VARIETY of foods including vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. Also make sure to consume enough calories for your daily energy needs.

2. YES, YOU’RE GIVING SOMETHING UP but, more importantly, you’re trying out something new. It’s an adventure. Stock your fridge, veg rack and fruit bowl with an interesting selection of new produce.

3. GET AN INSTANT SHOT of your daily vitamins with a fruit and vegetable smoothie. Play around with new and exotic ingredients and combinations. And waste not, want not – be prepared to drink the odd disappointing disaster!

4. WHETHER YOU’RE VEGAN or dislike the taste of milk, you still need plenty of calcium-rich foods in your diet. The good news is there are plenty of alternatives including seeds, bread and leafy greens. Read our feature on ways to boost your calcium.

5. SET REALISTIC GOALS Changing a long-term habit such as eating meat will take time. Don’t beat yourself up if, bacon sarnie in hand, you give into temptation every now and then.

6. DON’T EXPECT TO DEVELOP Ottolenghi-like skills overnight! Cooking like a pro takes practice, time and effort. Interesting ingredients such as pomegranate seeds, dukkah or tahini instantly add a touch of splendour and delight to your veggie efforts.

7. KEEP IT SIMPLE The most delicious recipes often need little more than seasonal produce at its very best. Combine with storecupboard goodies for great results.

8. BE PREPARED If you’re going to a party, give your host plenty of warning. If you’re worried about falling off the wagon, bring a healthy snack or eat a small meal before heading out. Hunger and willpower are not good friends!

9. BUDGET PERMITTING, TREAT YOURSELF to a bunch of inspiring vegetarian magazines or maybe a vegetarian cookery class. It’s the chance to try out some new recipes and maybe even meet new friends into the bargain.

10. FINALLY, DO YOUR RESEARCH You’ll be cutting out a major source of protein, but don’t simply replace meat with high-fat foods or starchy carbohydrates. You may gain weight and feel miserable into the bargain.

FOR MORE TASTY VEGGIE IDEAS and recipes check out our Recipe Collection Make it Healthy: 100 Vegetarian recipes, £5.99, available in major supermarkets and WH Smith.