Vegan diet can be said as a complete reliance of plant source foods. Vegan are missing out the goodness of animal based food sources that contributes to the complete proteins, excellent omega 3 sources, vitamin B, calcium and vitamin D.
The only problem with vegan is they never felt that they are missing out. To them, missing out is the best option to prevent animal suffering and for the environment. It is a perfectly right food choices for them. In fact, you will often hear that vegan claims that they are capable of obtaining equal amount of nutrients that our bodies need.
Well, that is true for vegan who really know and track what they are eating. Most vegetarian tried but many more aren't able to make up to the standard. Dependence on food blog suggestion to be a vegan doesn't help much compared to tracking your daily diet.
Without the nutrition background, I know estimating the nutrient value is difficult. Fortunately, there are online food tracking system available. See for yourselves if you are getting enough. Bear in mind, plant sources often have lower bioavailability meaning harder to be utilize by our body.
Obtaining nutrients go beyond the amount of nutrient. It is also about the quality of the nutrient. With high chance of lower quality nutrient plus inappropriate meals choices, vegan face higher risk of nutrient deficiency.
How about getting supplements? It helps. Yes but only vegan would know the difficulty of finding the right supplements. Why? What is lack in vegan diet was animal source? To fill in the gap, these nutrient also mostly came from animals. There are few choices left when it comes to vegan supplements.
Let me just give you an example. Calcium mostly come from milk or shells. These source do not please the vegans. What else is there? Soy, almond plus calcium fortification but you need lots of these just for calcium.
Popular vegan source for vitamin B12 is spirulina. Again, you need more of these capsule for the same amount in the meat due to the difference in the bioavailability.
Key take away point:
Supplements are essential for vegan because most vegan do not have sufficient nutrients and lower bioavailability in plant source
Choosing supplements for vegan can be difficult. Be aware of the sources and fillers.
Copyright (c) 2014 Felicia Loo.