Does Eating Vegan Give You All the Nutrients You Need?
In this Nutrition Bite (NB) we share an excerpt from a new book that explores questions new vegans have and face, and how to succeed once you get started.
As you begin your journey on a plant-based diet, you may start to get questions from friends and family. Any time you eat differently than the norm, you’re bound to get some pushback.
It’s like, you could eat fast food for every meal for 10 years and nobody will bat an eye… But trade a fried chicken meal for a green salad topped with sunflower seeds, and everybody suddenly worries about you shriveling up and wasting away!
You may hear, “Why are you eating that?” Or, “Why aren’t you eating that?”
But some of the most frequently asked questions you might encounter on a plant-based diet have to do with nutrients. “Where do you get your protein?” Or “Where do you get your calcium or iron?”
In their July 2019 meetings, the meat, dairy, and egg industries rolled out a new propaganda playbook of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of the US government. Their goal? Scare people into eating lots of animal products for fear of choline deficiency.
Many people believe you can’t get all the nutrients you need without animal products. But plants have protein, calcium, and iron in abundance, in addition to a host of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants…
(And yes, many plants are abundant sources of choline.)
In fact these days, people are far more likely to be deficient in fiber than protein. Only 3% of Americans get their daily amount of recommended fiber.
But that’s not a problem when you’re eating mostly plants!
Still, if you’re wondering how much protein, iron, or calcium you really need, and what plant-based foods to get them from, you need to educate yourself.
Are Supplements Necessary?
No matter how you choose to eat, in the modern world, most diets are lacking in something. In the case of plant-based diets, there are a few nutrients that are especially important to pay attention to.
Supplements you may need on a plant-based diet are:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D3
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin K2
In the case of these nutrients, supplements may be necessary to avoid a deficiency.
This article is an extract from a new book from Food Revolution Network