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7 Key Nutrients Vegetarians Need to Watch

Vegetarian or Vegan? Make Sure These are Part of Your Diet


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I have been vegetarian my whole adult life when I was finally free of my meat eating family. I consumed dairy products, but was a 'bad' one, eating processed foods like pasta, beans, bread and soup. I only gained weight later in life due to junk food. When I cut it out I did lose some of the weight. Part of my problem was eating too much bread. I didn't finally lose all my weight until I eliminated grain products. My Naturopath suggested a vegan healing elimination diet to cure my RA. The foods most likely to cause inflammation are gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, sugar, eggs. My blood tests have always been good, so obviously I am doing something right in my choices of food and supplements. A lot of illness is caused by what you eat. You can have a food sensitivity and not even know it. Being diagnosed with IBS is a clue. My RA is in remission, but my osteo is not. I added back some dairy, but may have to take it out again. It is considered by many to be a good healing diet, but not something to be on permanently. The claim is vegans have a high rate of sickness. I don't get sick. While people all around me hack it up with colds or get the flu, I haven't had one, ever. Only once, when I was a kid, I caught the flu. But we are all experiments of one and have to find the sweet spot of what works for us. Report
Lots of different replies on this one Report
There are many outstanding plant sources of calcium as well as protein. I'm on a limited protein diet (Ornish) and have to track/plan carefully to not exceed my protein allowance for the day on a vegan diet. Report
I need to make sure I get enough protein. Report
I have been a vegetarian since day 1 of life. I have never eaten a chicken nugget or hamburger or fish or anything. I do eat dairy and eggs rarely, but I've never had any nutrition issues in the whole 34 years of my life. I have gained lots of weight, dropped lots of weight, and given birth to 2 perfectly healthy kids with no issues. I've never taken vitamin supplements (except some vegan prenatal vitamins when pregnant), and I still have long/healthy hair, healthy/strong nails, no health issues, lots of energy, and I'm in a healthy weight range. It can be done! :)

I'm not saying everyone would be like me as a vegetarian, and maybe if you've eaten meat in the past it's different? I don't do anything out of the ordinary with my diet (other than avoid meat) and eat lots of varieties of food. IMHO, variety is the key...I'm not going to go out & buy a bunch of random foods just to perfectly match nutrition requirements. What a pain! Report
This article is outdated and a little silly. Plant based foods literally offer the highest quality and best source of all nutrients. Healthy vegans (not junk food vegans - but whole foods, high carb vegans) literally lack nothing except perhaps B12. Report
Dietary supplements for vegetarians is kind of hard to be fulfilled. Specially, if you do not have access to organic farm products. Most fruits and vegetables have injected hormones, and most people tend to avoid it. Report
my dr put me on a protein diet , just meat , vegs , salads , fruit , how much weight you can tell me how much weight can i lose in a month , Report
When your deathly allergic to dairy it's not always possible to eat/drink fortified foods for calcium especially. The calcium source usually tends to be a dairy bi-product of some sort... at least in everything I've seen.

While these articles are interesting, they sometimes really are not helpful. This one states spinich isn't a good source for iron to rely on while another article I read last night says it is a good source. Which is correct? It's hard to get good info when articles on the same site contradict each other with information like that. Spinich is my main source of iron, or was... now I am not sure.... Report
great article Report
If you are eating vegan "whole foods", you do not need to buy processed foodstuffs just to get the nutrients listed in this article. B12 is the only one you will be lacking - AFTER 2-3 years of no meats and dairy. Vitamin D - get it from the sun unless you live in Alaska in winter. Health vegans don't eat "much" processed food (less than 5 percent". Unhealthy vegans eat crap processed food instead of whole foods.

No need for ANY processed foods to get "fortified" food with vitamin and nutrients - they abounds in the whole foods veggie, fruit, nuts, and seeds kingdom. Add a B12 supplement once a week and you are good to go IF you eat natural foods as nature grew them.

Google John McDougall )of Starch Solution and many other books), and read his website including his "free plan". Google Jeff Novick Nutrition and read links there. Report
Even though I'm generally a higher protein sort of person, (one reason I'm no longer a vegetarian), those protein guides are unrealistic for most people and particularly for vegetarians. Most people are on sparkpeople because they're larger than average and want to lose weight. 68 g of protein is doable but 114 for a person who weighs 250 (like me) is hard even if you eat meat.

If you want to be a vegetarian, lose weight, keep your nutrition up and not always feel hungry, you need to be very careful about your carbs, rarely eating white flour or sugar. You will also need to be careful of your cheese intake if you are ovo-lacto. This is very hard to do and still go out with friends to eat in this country. Report
The comment by MarkSS on combining proteins (ie beans and rice) comes out of a theory in the 1970's which has been disproven. It is rather easy to get enough protein if your calories are coming from fruits and vegetables rather than high sugar sources.

Don't want people to be scared of reducing traditional protein sources because of elaborate food planning; not needed.

bining-from-the-woman-who-launched-the-idea Report
This article was disappointing and inaccurate. I have been veg for 20 and not once have I been nutritionally deficient in anything or had to be careful that I was getting proper nutrition. I would like to see the article written to all types of eaters about how to make sure we are all getting proper nutrition. Meat and dairy are not some nutritional panacea. If that was all you ate you would get scurvy. Report
To the authors: you may not be aware, but the phrase "rule of thumb" refers to an old law that permitted a man to beat his wife with a stick, as long as the stick wasn't thicker than your thumb. FYI.

Otherwise, good article. Report

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