A number of doctors, dietitians, and other health experts recommend the same, basic principles for vegan eating. Here they are in a nutshell:
- Your new four food groups are: Fruit, Legumes, Whole Grains, and Vegetables
- Fruit – at least 3 servings a day
- Legumes – at least 2 servings a day
- Whole Grains – 5 or more servings a day
- Vegetables – at least 4 servings a day
- Don’t forget to take B12 vitamin or eat food that is fortified with B12.
- Be sure to eat some foods that are high in calcium or that have been fortified with calcium.
- If you don’t have regular exposure to sunlight, consider taking a vitamin D supplement or eating foods that have been fortified with D.
- If you have trouble maintaining a plant-based diet, seek advice from vegan experts.
For more details about being a healthy vegan, take a look at these resources:
- The USDA offers some basic tips for vegetarians and vegans: http://www.mypyramid.gov/downloads/TenTips/VegetarianTipsheet.pdf
- PCRM four food groups: http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vsk/food_groups.html
- MFA vegan food pyramid: http://www.chooseveg.com/vegan-food-pyramid.asp
- The American Dietetic Association lists important nutrients: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6374
- Vegan RD food guide: http://www.theveganrd.com/food-guide-for-vegans
- If you have specific questions or issues, Vegan health is another excellent resource: http://veganhealth.org/