A DUNFERMLINE mum has swapped eating meat at every meal for a plant-based diet after seeing the huge change it had on her health.

Emma Golder was inspired to take part in Veganuary last year after a diagnosis of diabetes and now says she will never go back.

She has seen her cholesterol levels drop, blood pressure lower and a noticeable difference in recovery after she exercises.

The 38-year-old told the Press: "I was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago and it was really quite scary so my health was the main motivator to giving the vegan diet a go.

"I was a big meat-eater – lots of big joints of meat, lots of dairy, but, after my diagnosis, I realised it was really important I keep good control of my blood sugar and also try to limit the effects of the diabetes, such as the increased risk of heart and vascular disease.

“Controlling my cholesterol is the best thing I can do, along with trying to control my weight, and after a few months of changing my diet I saw my reading come down by a whole point.

"It doesn't sound like much in medical terms but it is significant as it reduces my risks significantly.

"My diabetic specialist team was delighted to see such a big change in a short space of time.

"This is attributed to there being no saturated animal fat in my diet, furring up my arteries.”

Emma's husband, Mark, also joined her in the change to a plant-based diet and the family of four are now saving around £200 a month on food bills.

The medical researcher explained: "We decided to try one meal and then one meal became a day, and a day become a week.

"I think we only signed up to Veganuary in the middle of January and now here we are a year later.

"As we became more interested, we realised the environmental impacts too and it really just cemented for us.

"The kids eat what they want but seem to be happy eating what we are but I certainly wouldn't deny them a bacon sandwich because it's mine and Mark's decision."

And is there anything that Emma misses?

"We've actually found it really easy and there is so much information out there," Emma said.

"For almost anything, there is a vegan alternative.

"As it's become trendy, the supermarkets have upped their game and you don't feel deprived of anything.

"We were fairly heavy meat-eaters and it would be a part of every meal but I just don't miss it.

"Eggs is probably the one I would struggle to say I don't miss because there isn't a replacement.

"Another struggle is cheese because the vegan option is not the greatest!

"Mark has taken to it like a duck to water and he's determined he will stick with it which I am surprised about because he did like his steak!

"But the main reason for the change has always been for health reasons and you cannot put a price on that."

Emma added: "My advice to anyone taking part in Veganuary is to open your mind to trying a new lifestyle.

"I didn’t expect that I’d change my world and outlook on life so easily but taking part was a great decision for me.”

It is free to take part in Veganuary and recipients receive 31 days of emails with tips, nutrition advice and delicious recipes, including a free celebrity e-cookbook. Sign up at Veganuary.com