Vegan Nutrition - A Short Summary
A vegan diet is a strict vegetarian diet without any eggs or dairy products. A well balanced vegan diet provides all the essential nutrients you require and has the same overall health advantages as a vegetarian diet. Nutritional guidelines for vegans are essentially similar to those for vegetarians, although vegans lack the option of gaining certain nutrients from dairy products and eggs. Thus vegans need to plan their eating more carefully to ensure optimum calorie-intake and dietary nutrition.
Vegan Diet - Possible Pitfalls
Being more restricted than the more popular lacto-ovo vegetarian diets, vegan eating plans need to ensure adequate intake of certain nutrients listed below, by consuming adequate quantities of the plant-food sources given.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Certain studies have found vegans to have a low intake of vitamin B2. Good sources of vitamin B2 include: whole grains, mushrooms, almonds, leafy green vegetables and yeast extracts.
Vitamin B12 is absent from plant-foods, being found mainly in meat products, dairy products and eggs. Fortunately, vegans may obtain B12 from a wide range of B12-fortified foods. Such B12-fortified foods include: yeast extracts, veggie-burger mixes, breakfast cereals, vegetable margarines and soy milk.
Vitamin D is found in oily fish, eggs and dairy products. It is not found in plant foods. Fortunately, as with vitamin B12, vegans can obtain vitamin D from vegetable margarines, soy milk and certain other foods which are fortified with vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D is obtainable from sunshine, so vegans with access to sunshine may increase their vitamin D intake accordingly. Note: Vegans or infants who are confined indoors may be recommended a vitamin D supplement.
Some studies have indicated some vegans have a low iodine intake. Plant-sources of iodine include: seaweeds, vegetables and grains, although amounts of iodine in the 2 latter sources will depend on the iodine content of the soil.
Adequate Calorie Levels
Many plant-foods in a vegan diet are high in bulk and may satisy hunger without providing sufficient calories. Vegans should therefore watch their calorie-intake to ensure they have adequate energy levels.
Handy Foods for the Healthy Vegan
Useful vegan foods to keep handy include:
See also Vegetarian Nutrition
Vegetarian Diet Information
Vegetarianism is a healthy option and vegetarian
diets can be perfectly healthy eating plans but care should be taken to
ensure optimum nutrition. So, whether following an ovo-lacto or other
type of vegetarian food plan, or vegan diet, for a healthy body and weight
make it a balanced eating plan and take regular exercise. Always consult
a doctor before beginning a weight loss diet or new fitness routine.