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Your Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy on Vegan Diet

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Your Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy on Vegan Diet

LifeCare Diagnostic

November 5, 2020

What is a vegan diet

  • Vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants.
  • Vegan diet does not contain foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.

Pros of vegan diet

  • Improvements in ischemic heart disease mortality, as well as decreases in hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cancer incidence.

Cons of vegan diet

  • Vegans may be at increased risk for deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein.

Your guide to stay healthy on vegan diet

Protein

Function

  • Maintain and increase muscle mass.
  • Increase immune system.


Food sources

Food sources which provide ~7g of protein:

  • Legume (~1/2 cup)
  • Nuts (~1/3 cup)
  • Peanut butter (~2 tablespoons)
  • Tofu (~1/4 cup)

Recommended nutrient intake

  • 0.8g-1.0g of protein/kg body weight/day
    For example, if you are 55kg, you need 44g-55g protein/day.

Iron

Function

  • To carry oxygen and nutrients in the blood.

Food sources

Food sources which provide ~7mg of iron:

  • Blackstrap molasses (~2 tablespoon)
  • Lentils (~1 cup)
  • Tofu (~1/2 cup)
  • Prune (~4 cup)

Recommended nutrient intake

  • Women: 11-29mg/day.
  • Men: 9-14mg/day.

Tips to increase iron absorption

  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, guava.

Vitamin B12

Function

  • Helps in proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.

Food sources

Food sources which provide ~4µg of vitamin B12:

  • Nutritional yeast (~1 tablespoon)
  • Fortified cereals (~1 cup)

Recommended  nutrient intake

  • 4.0 µg/day

Calcium

Function

  • Helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones.

Food sources

Food sources which provide ~300mg of calcium:

  • Almond (~1 cup)
  • Calcium fortified soymilk, other plant-based milk or juice (~1 cup)
  • Kale, cooked (~1 cup)
  • Tofu (~ 1/2 cup)
  • Sesame seeds, whole roasted (~2 tablespoons)

Recommended nutrient intake

  • 1000mg-1200mg/day

Vitamin D

Function

  • Aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones.

Food sources

Food sources which provide ~400IU of Vitamin D:

  • Mushroom, raw: (~ 3/4cup)
  • Fortified soymilk or plant-based milk (~4 cup )

Recommended nutrient intake

  • 400-800IU/day

Other sources

  • Sunlight

Omega-3 fatty acids

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is plant-based essential omega-3

Function

  • Help build cell membranes throughout the body and play an important role in heart function.

Food sources

Food sources which provides ~1800mg ALA:

  • Walnut (~2 tablespoon)
  • Flaxseed ( ~1 tablespoon)
  • Canola oil (~1 dessertspoon)

Recommended nutrient intake

  • Women: 1100 mg per day
  • Men: 1600mg per day

Talk to your dietitian if you are concerned about your health as a vegan.