An estimated 32 million Brits have changed their eating habits during lockdown – including eating healthier food and trying new meals.

A study of 2,000 adults found 61 per cent think their diets are different now, with 29 per cent of those saying it is healthier than it was before.

An eighth are using more plant-based alternatives and a quarter are opting for fresh produce.

And three in 10 have learned to rustle up new dishes – including curry, homemade pizza and cookies.

The research, which was commissioned by FLORA – part of the Upfield brand portfolio – also found 17 per cent of those who have seen their diets change have consumed less meat while one in 10 have reduced their dairy intake.

A fifth are snacking less often and three in 10 tucking into more fruit and veg.

Catherine Lloyd, from FLORA, said: “It’s clear the nation has had to adapt their eating habits during this unpredictable time.

“Instead of eating what we want, when we want, and dining out when we don’t feel like cooking, meals are taking centre stage and becoming a central point of our socialising and day-to-day schedules.

“Our research also shows the nation is making increasingly healthy food choices – including a shift towards plant-based eating, which is great.

“It’s heart-warming to see households and communities coming together during this period of uncertainty, and that people are taking the time to get creative in the kitchen, not just for their households, but also for their neighbours.

“To help provide some culinary inspiration to the nation, our team of professional chefs have created over 175 recipes, hosted on the FLORA website – all of which are suitable for even the most amateur chefs.

“The sense of community spirit across the nation at the moment is amazing and makes all of us at FLORA hugely proud to be British.”

The study also revealed the lockdown has brought people closer together, with 29 per cent talking to their neighbours more.

And almost a fifth have even cooked for someone outside of their household.

More than a quarter of those did so because the recipient was unable to get to the shops themselves, four in 10 cooked as a gesture of goodwill and 38 per cent simply did it because they missed their friend or relative.

More than six in 10 have sat down for a meal with their household or family at least once each day – something only four in 10 did prior to the lockdown.

Overall, two in five have been cooking and baking more during this period.

A quarter of those have made bread, four in 10 have opted for simple ‘back to basic’ recipes and a fifth have experimented with plant-based meals.

While 38 per cent have been ‘forced’ to try new food types recently due to what was available in the supermarket, a tenth are willing to try a flex-diet.

As a result, one in eight have bought more plant-based items when food shopping.

Half of those have purchased dairy-free milk, 35 per cent have picked margarine over butter and 54 per cent went for meat alternatives.

For half, it was done as a way to be healthier, while 27 per cent wanted to save money and 37 per cent hoped to be more sustainable.

A third of those polled have also chosen plant-based alternatives in order to boost their immune system and a third simply wanted to try out new recipes.

One in 10 even prefer their diet now than prior to lockdown and 15 per cent intend to stick to some of their new habits.

To try one of 175 recipes, go to https://www.flora.com/en-gb/flora/recipes

ENDS

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