Going Vegan with Sacrificing Needed Nutrients

Peruvian yellow chili pepper & lemon
Without question, a vegan diet can be a healthy lifestyle to follow. Some people follow a vegan diet for a shorter time period and others follow a vegan diet for a lifetime, but regardless of the duration of the diet it is critical to be intentional about getting sufficient amounts of nutrients. Cutting out all animal sources of food can offer great health benefits, but it also removes some easy sources of critical nutrients. With careful planning, you can adhere to vegan diet guidelines and still have all the nutrients you need in your diet.

Take Note. When you are new to the vegan lifestyle, consider keeping a log of what you eat for two to four weeks. At the end of each week, go over your data for the week to look for strengths and weaknesses in your diet. Programs and websites are available to help you complete a nutritional analysis. By analyzing your diet in a more formal way like this, you will be able to adjust for any gaps you may have before a pattern of deficit develops.

Get Creative. Excellent, vegan friendly supplements are available to help you make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. For example, a spirulina capsule or powder can be added to your diet to increase your intake of multiple nutrients. Spirulina has significantly more protein than eggs, more calcium than milk, and more iron than beef. With a nutritional profile like this, it is easy to see that getting creative with your sources of nutrition may actually improve the quality of your dietary intake.

Be Wary of Processed Foods. Most vegans are already aware of the unhealthy ingredients contained in most packaged foods, but it is worth noting than many packaged vegan foods are still loaded with undesirable ingredients. Consider a flavored soy yogurt. Though it may meet vegan diet guidelines, most are still high in sugar content. Be a careful label reader and opt for unprocessed food choices whenever possible.


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