Simply put: it’s extremely important for vegans to understand how to meet our human nutritional needs with a plant-based diet. Without this understanding, it’s very easy to become deficient in certain nutrients. Thankfully, being aware of just a few basic things makes it very easy to meet your nutritional needs as a vegan. This guide is here to teach you what you need to know.
The Most Important Nutrition Info for Vegans:
- The recommended daily intake for iron on a plant-based diet is 1.8x greater.
- The recommended daily intake for zinc on a plant-based diet is 1.5x greater.
- Vitamin D3 is often not derived from vegan sources, so watch out for this in supplements and fortified-foods.
- Everyone over 50 (regardless of diet) is recommended to supplement or increase intake of vitamin B12.
- Everyone on a vegan diet should ensure that vitamin B12 needs are met.
The first question I’m sure you’re wondering is: do I have to take a supplement on a vegan diet? The answer is: maybe. Did you know that it is recommended that all adults over age 50 take a vitamin B12 supplement regardless of dietary preferences?
Before going any further, I’d like to make it clear that taking a supplement should only be done with the recommendation and supervision of a doctor. There are some supplements that may be unnecessary and might even do more harm than good. An easy alternative to supplements is of course fortified foods, however, again, be sure this is something that you really need first.
Most vegan nutrient needs can easily be met through diet or lifestyle alone. However, there are some that are more difficult to obtain or that may require an increased level beyond what is recommended for non-vegans. To ensure that you’re meeting your nutritional needs, you may need to give some thought to what you’re eating to ensure you incorporate the optimal foods, but it’s incredibly easy to do. What’s involved really is just finding out how much of a nutrient you need, then taking an inventory of the foods you usually eat to ensure they supply enough to meet your needs. Once you’ve established whether your diet is currently meeting your needs, you can either carry on (needs met) or add in a few other menu options to ensure you’re getting all that you need.
Read through the articles here to learn more about the nutritional differences between plant-based and animal-based diets to ensure you are meeting all of your dietary requirements.
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