So, do vegans need to take supplements when adopting a vegan diet?
The answer is, not always. It really is different for everyone and is always best to consult with your doctor to ensure you are getting the right nutrients into your body when adopting a new diet.
Research is key to having a balanced vegan diet - here we explore food alternatives which enable vegans to get the nutrients they need and supplements that some vegans should consider taking.
A study from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics warns of the risk of vitamin B12 deficiencies in vegans, as vitamin B12 is found naturally only in animal products.
Vegans can get B12 from food fortified with B12 such as some plant milks, soy products and cereals. However, some deem it wise to seek B12 from supplements which you can easily purchase in the UK.
It is reported that 40% of the US population is reported to have low B12 levels - therefore it is recommended to take a vitamin B12 supplements whether you're vegan or not.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to our health, with the number 1 source of omega 3 coming from fish oils. So how are vegans supposed to get omega 3?
Some Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean and canola oils. While the other types of Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly found in fish or other seafood.
Therefore, it is advised to take dietary supplements as a more practical way to increase how much Omega 3 you have in your diet.
Apps and Sites such as Cronometer and the Daily Dozen App can be used to track your calories and nutrients. They are also a great way of making sure you are eating a wide variety of high nutrient based foods.
Other simple ways are to make a food diary and ensure you are planning your vegan meals ahead to ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients!
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