This section contains a range of nutrition information on maintaining a healthy, well-planned vegan diet.
In addition to these pages, you may also find the following resources useful:
Nutritional guidelines for vegan diets: a summary
A vegan diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity. As with any diet, it is important to ensure that the vegan diet is well balanced. This can be achieved by adhering to the following guidelines:
- 5-a-day: the UK Department of Health recommends a minimum five portions of fruit and vegetables should be eaten each day. Include a variety of different-coloured vegetables and fruit to ensure a range of health-giving vitamins and minerals.
- Limit the use of refined grains since much of the nutrient content is lost. Whole grains, on the other hand, are associated with many health benefits.
- Avoid hydrogenated fats, which are damaging to health. Good fats to provide are those containing omega 3, for example rapeseed oil, which has the additional benefit of being cheap and readily available.
- Limit the use of salt.
It is important to provide sources of:
Readily available in fortified foods such as yeast extract, soya milk, breakfast cereal and margarine. Daily amount from fortified foods: 3 micrograms. Alternatively a supplement can be provided. Daily amount from a supplement: 10 micrograms.
Found in small amounts in green leafy vegetables and in larger amounts in seaweeds such as kelp. Daily amount: 150 micrograms.
Most Vitamin D comes from sun exposure. If this is limited, foods fortified with vitamin D2 (such as margarine or soya milk) can provide some of the daily requirements, or a supplement can be used. (Note: D3 is not usually suitable for vegans). Daily amount: 10 micrograms.
Daily amount: one heaped tablespoon of ground flaxseed or two tablespoons of rapeseed oil.