About all

Food for anemic vegetarian: Ways to boost blood iron levels while eating a vegan or vegetarian diet

Содержание

Ways to boost blood iron levels while eating a vegan or vegetarian diet

If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, or if you’re just aiming to keep your iron levels up, you probably know some of the many vegetables, fruits and grains that are good sources of iron. But did you know that not all iron is the same, and that some foods actually make it harder for your body to absorb iron?

If this is news to you, the folks at Stanford Blood Center have a how-to checklist that will help your body get the most iron out of your diet so you can stay healthy and have enough iron in reserve to donate blood to someone in need.

As the Stanford Blood Center blog explains, there are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in animal products and is generally easier for the body to absorb. Non-heme iron in found in vegan foods and is not as easily absorbed.

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough iron to make hemoglobin — the part of red blood cells that bind and carry oxygen in your blood. As the blog explains, “a vegetarian or vegan diet can make it difficult to keep your iron levels high – but contrary to popular belief, this is because of the type of iron consumed, not simply the amount.”

So, what should you eat? Here are some examples of foods with the highest amount of non-heme iron per serving:

  • Whole wheat breads, cereals, pastas, quinoa and oatmeal
  • Avocado
  • Cooked spinach and cooked mushrooms
  • Baked potato
  • Legumes, soybeans, tofu and lentils

Pairing high-iron foods with ingredients that are high in vitamin C will enhance your body’s ability to absorb iron. Some examples of nosh that’s high in vitamin C are:

  • Citrus fruits and citrus juice
  • Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Red or green bell pepper
  • Kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe and papaya

Conversely, some foods can actually hinder your body’s ability to absorb iron as well, including:

  • Coffee, tea (even decaffeinated) and soda
  • Dairy products and calcium supplements
  • Foods high in dietary fiber
  • Wine and beer

If you still need a bit more iron, you can try iron supplements and even cast iron cookware, which transmits iron to food while it’s heating. Fun fact: In 2008, Christopher Charles, PhD, and his colleagues investigated ways to treat iron deficiency anemia in Cambodia by making iron ingots shaped like a fish — a symbol of luck, health, and happiness in local folklore — that could be placed in cooking pots as an inexpensive, reusable iron supplement.

Previously: Eating for good blood: Tips for boosting iron levels and hemoglobin
Photo by Getty Images

17 Iron-Rich Vegetarian Meals

Lunch and Dinner

Verywell

Continue racking up iron throughout the day by focusing on fortified whole grains, legumes, and dark leafy vegetables such as spinach. They boast impressive nutrient profiles, so should be incorporated into your diet whether or not you’re looking to add more iron.

Each of the meals below offers at least 20% of the daily iron target. Seven of the 11 also provide over 20% of the daily recommended vitamin C amount, helping you absorb iron more efficiently.

You can also pair your meal with one of these low-calorie, vitamin C-containing drinks:

Black Bean Arugula Tostadas

Almost any dish with beans is sure to be high in iron. Here, the salsa adds a bit as well for a total of 26% iron (6 mg).

Along with that, you get 461 nutrient-dense calories—19 g protein, 70 g carbohydrate, 21 g fiber (84%), and more than 20% of your target for 11 different vitamins and minerals. And although the amount of vitamin C doesn’t quite hit the 20% mark, it’s pretty close at 18%.

Vegan Red Curry Lentil Soup With Kale

Legumes are once again the star of the recipe. The lentils in this dish contribute to 30% of iron per serving (about 5 mg). Kale also contains a bit of iron and, along with the tomatoes, contributes a substantial amount of vitamin C.

For 232 calories, you also consume 12 g protein, 32 g complex carbohydrate, 10 g fiber (40%), and more than 20% of your target for 12 different vitamins and minerals, including 52% of vitamin C.

Kale and Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potato

The same star ingredients from the dish above are transformed into a completely different dish with 29% iron (about 5 mg).

For 237 calories you also get 13 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber (40%), and more than 20% of your target for 13 different vitamins and minerals, including 136% of vitamin C.

Yellow Dal With Quinoa

You’ll get quite a bit of iron whether you choose peas or lentils for this dish. Along with the quinoa, the numbers stack up to about 25% iron per serving (5 mg).

This dish contains 330 calories, 18 g protein, 59 g carbohydrate, 16 g fiber (64%), and more than 20% of your target for eight different vitamins and minerals.

Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad

A cup of asparagus is surprisingly high in iron—it offers about 16% of your daily goal. You’ll meet 25% of your daily goal (4 mg) when you pair it with peas and quinoa for this dish.

The 265 calories per serving come with 10 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber (32%), and more than 20% of your target for nine different vitamins and minerals.

Spring Baked Pasta With Lemon Ricotta

Asparagus isn’t the star of this dish, but this iron-rich vegetable is sneaked in among whole wheat penne and kale. Together the three foods rack up 25% of your daily iron goal (5 mg).

The 344 calories per serving offer 19 g protein, 44 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber (24%), and more than 20% of your target for 13 different vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C rings in at 95% of your daily goal.

Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers are usually stuffed with iron-rich beef or chicken. This vegetarian version skips the meat but doesn’t lose the iron. The quinoa and chickpeas contribute plenty—25% of your target (4 mg).

There are 346 calories, 13 g protein, 51 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber (44%), and more than 20% of your target for 12 different vitamins and minerals. The bell peppers and tomatoes stack up plenty of vitamin C—220% of your target!

Stir-Fried Asparagus With Bell Peppers and Cashews

A whopping 22% iron (4 mg) is impressive for a dish made only of flavorful veggies and nuts. Asparagus and cashews in particular offer plenty of the nutrient.

Enjoy this meal for only 302 calories, with 9 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber (16%), and more than 20% of your target for 9 different vitamins and minerals. The variety of vitamin C-rich veggies racks in 107% of your recommended value.

Ultimate Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Eat up this salad and add 21% of iron (4 mg) to your daily count. Like all beans, chickpeas are a rich source of this nutrient.

The salad offers an entire meal. It has 383 calories, 14 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber (36%), and more than 20% of your target for 11 different vitamins and minerals.

Black Sesame Tofu Summer Rolls With Peanut Dipping Sauce

Tofu is a common meat replacement in vegetarian dishes. Made of soy, it also contains protein. These summer rolls have 21% iron (about 4 mg). The peanut butter contributes a bit, too.

There are 410 calories per serving, along with 20 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, and 5 g fiber (20%). Twelve different vitamins and minerals contain more than 20% of your target for them.

The best iron-rich vegetarian foods

Iron is an essential mineral for health. Although red meat and seafood are good sources of iron, many plant-based foods also contain plenty of this mineral.

Numerous vegetables, legumes, and other foods contain a form of iron called nonheme iron, which accounts for the majority of people’s iron intake in the United States. The type of iron in animal products is called heme iron.

Although the body can absorb it more easily, heme iron is not essential to the human diet.

By selecting the right foods, people eating a vegetarian or vegan diet can meet their daily iron requirements without needing to take supplements.

In this article, we list the best iron-rich vegetarian foods. We also provide some tips to help people maximize their iron absorption from nonheme sources.

The following are some of the best iron-rich foods for vegetarians and vegans:

Lentils are rich in iron, protein, and fiber, making them a great addition to a healthful diet. Each cup of cooked lentils contains 6.59 milligrams (mg) of iron and 17.86 grams (g) of protein.

Lentils also contain many other nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Research suggests that eating lentils on a regular basis reduces the risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease.

People can include brown, red, or green lentils in soups, stews, curries, salads, and other meals.

Cannellini beans, or white kidney beans, provide 5.2 mg of iron per cup.

As with lentils, the protein and fiber content of beans makes them a healthful option. They also contain many other essential minerals and plant compounds.

Several studies support the consumption of beans to reduce the risk of heart disease and related conditions.

Other types of bean, including those below, also contain high amounts of iron per cup:

Beans are a very versatile food, and they work well as an ingredient in many dishes, including tacos, chili, soups, salads, and bean dips.

Tofu is a bean curd that manufacturers make by coagulating the milk from soybeans. It is popular among vegans and vegetarians as it contains significant amounts of protein, iron, and calcium. A half-cup serving of tofu contains 6.65 mg of iron and about 10 g of protein.

Some research suggests that soy products reduce the risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Tempeh and natto are other soy products that contain iron and may provide additional health benefits.

Tofu is available in several different forms, including firm, soft, and silken. People can grill or fry firm tofu to use as a meat substitute, add soft tofu to casseroles, and blend silken tofu with cocoa powder and a sweetener to make a delicious chocolate dessert.

This ancient grain is gluten-free and provides 5.17 mg of iron per cooked cup along with over 9 g of protein.

It also contains many other nutrients that are essential for health, including fiber, manganese, and magnesium.

A 2012 review of research on the amaranth grain suggests that it has antioxidant and antitumor effects, reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels, boosts immune function, and improves high blood pressure and anemia.

Other grains that provide plenty of iron include quinoa and steel-cut oats.

Many types of breakfast cereal, including oats, contain iron that manufacturers add during processing. Fortified grains are a vital source of this mineral, providing approximately half of all dietary iron in the U.S.

People should look for fortified breakfast cereals that contain 100 percent of the daily value of iron per serving.

While these cereals are generally suitable for vegetarians, vegans should check if the product also has added vitamin D. Not all vitamin D sources are vegan-friendly.

Although chocolate is traditionally a dessert food, a 3-ounce serving of dark chocolate provides 7 mg of iron.

Cocoa is also one of the best sources of flavonoid antioxidants, which may provide heart benefits, protect nerves, boost immunity, and improve cognitive function and mood.

While dark chocolate is an iron-rich food, it is high in calories, so people should enjoy it as an occasional treat.

Potatoes, especially their skins, are a good source of iron. A medium potato in its skin provides 2 mg of iron.

Potatoes are a staple food in many cultures and can benefit health in numerous ways. They are a source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, resistant starch, vitamin C, and potassium.

For a complete meal, people can top baked potatoes with cottage cheese, hummus, beans, or lentils and serve them with vegetables or salad.

It is best to avoid adding a lot of butter, oil, or cheese to the potatoes as this increases the fat and calorie content of the meal.

Spinach is low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One cup of cooked spinach provides 6.43 mg of iron.

Most people find it easy to incorporate more spinach into their diets by sautéing or steaming the vegetable and adding it to soups and stir-fries. Raw spinach can also be an ingredient in smoothies and salads.

A cup of dried apricot halves contains 4.1 mg of iron. Dried fruits are also rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They make ideal snacks as they are easy to eat on the go.

However, dried fruit is also high in sugar and calories. To avoid weight gain or the effects of too much sugar, people should enjoy dried apricots in moderation.

A 3-tablespoon serving of hulled hemp seeds contains 2.38 mg of iron and over 9 grams of protein. These seeds are one of the few plant-based sources of omega-3 fats, which are essential for heart and brain health.

A 2018 study reported that hemp seed extract demonstrated antioxidant effects in laboratory tests. These antioxidant benefits, coupled with the omega-3 content of the seeds, may help protect against heart problems and neurodegenerative diseases.

People can sprinkle hemp seeds on oatmeal, yogurt, or desserts, or blend them into smoothies for a snack that is rich in iron and protein.

Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of sugar production. Unlike sugar, the molasses retains the nutrients from sugar cane, which include calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B-6.

This thick syrup is also a good source of iron, providing 3.6 mg per tablespoon. However, it is best to limit the intake of blackstrap molasses to avoid consuming too much sugar.

People typically use blackstrap molasses in baked goods and raw desserts, as a glaze for vegetables, or to sweeten oatmeal.

The National Institutes of Health recommend that women over the age of 50 years and all adult men get 8 mg of iron daily.

Women aged between 19 and 50 years should aim for 18 mg per day, while pregnant women require 27 mg of iron for fetal health.

However, some sources suggest that vegetarians and vegans may need up to 1.8 times these amounts because the body does not absorb nonheme iron as easily as it does heme iron.

Low iron intake or absorption can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms may include:

  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • pale skin
  • heart palpitations
  • headaches
  • cold hands and feet
  • a sore tongue
  • brittle nails
  • poor appetite

Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor.

A person can increase the amount of iron that their body absorbs from plant-based sources by eating iron-rich foods alongside a source of vitamin C.

Good sources of vitamin C include:

  • bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • cantaloupe melon
  • cauliflower
  • citrus fruits
  • kiwi fruit
  • leafy green vegetables
  • mango
  • papaya
  • strawberries
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes

They should also avoid foods, beverages, and supplements that reduce iron absorption for up to 2 hours before and after iron-rich meals. These include:

  • black tea
  • calcium supplements
  • coffee
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • peppermint tea
  • red wine

Antacid medications also inhibit iron absorption.

Vegetarian foods can be excellent sources of iron, especially when people eat them in combination with a food that is rich in vitamin C.

People who do not eat meat can ensure that they get enough iron by consuming a wide variety of iron-rich, plant-based foods.

Anyone who is concerned that they may not be getting enough iron from their diet should speak to a doctor or dietician.

Foods to Fight Iron Deficiency

Colin & Linda McKie/iStock/Thinkstock

You may pump iron at the gym a few times a week, but your body pumps it continuously through the bloodstream every day. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, a part of red blood cells that acts like a taxicab for oxygen and carbon dioxide. It picks up oxygen in the lungs, drives it through the bloodstream and drops it off in tissues including the skin and muscles. Then, it picks up carbon dioxide and drives it back to the lungs where it’s exhaled.

Iron Deficiency

If the body doesn’t absorb its needed amount of iron, it becomes iron deficient. Symptoms appear only when iron deficiency has progressed to iron deficiency anemia, a condition in which the body’s iron stores are so low that not enough normal red blood cells can be made to carry oxygen efficiently. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and the leading cause of anemia in the United States.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin and fingernails
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Glossitis (inflamed tongue)
Sources of Iron

The body absorbs two to three times more iron from animal sources than from plants. Some of the best animal sources of iron are:

  • Lean beef
  • Oysters
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

Although you absorb less of the iron in plants, every bite counts, and adding a source of vitamin C to vegetarian sources of iron will enhance absorption. Some of the best plant sources of iron are:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Tofu
  • Baked potatoes
  • Cashews
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Whole-grain and enriched breads
High-Risk Populations

The following populations are at a higher risk for developing iron deficiency.

Women Who Are Pregnant: Increased blood volume requires more iron to drive oxygen to the baby and growing reproductive organs. Consult your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist before taking an iron supplement.

Young Children: Babies store enough iron for the first six months of life. After six months, their iron needs increase. Breast milk and iron-fortified infant formula can supply the amount of iron not met by solids. Cow’s milk is a poor source of iron. When children drink too much milk, they crowd out other foods and may develop “milk anemia.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no cow’s milk until after one year, at which point it should be limited to no more than 4 cups per day.

Adolescent Girls: Their often inconsistent or restricted diets — combined with rapid growth — put adolescent girls at risk.

Women of Childbearing Age: Women with excessively heavy menstrual periods may develop iron deficiency.

How to Prevent Iron Deficiency

Eat a balanced, healthy diet that includes good sources of iron to prevent any deficiencies. Combine vegetarian sources of iron with vitamin C in the same meal. For example: a bell pepper-bean salad, spinach with lemon juice, or fortified cereal and berries.

If treatment for iron deficiency is needed, a healthcare provider will assess iron status and determine the exact form of treatment — which may include changes in diet or taking supplements.



Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, is a Los Angeles-based nutrition expert and freelance writer in private practice.

Preventing iron deficiency with iron-rich foods

Preventing iron deficiency with iron-rich foods – ProVeg International

Privacy Preference

Here you will find an overview of all cookies used. You can give your consent to whole categories or display further information and select certain cookies.

Name

Borlabs Cookie

Provider Owner of this website
Purpose Saves the visitors preferences selected in the Cookie Box of Borlabs Cookie.
Cookie Name borlabs-cookie
Cookie Expiry 1 Year
Name

veggie-hotels

Provider veggie-hotels. com
Purpose Preserves user session state across page requests.
Name

personio_session

Provider personio.de
Name

vegan-welcome

Provider vegan-welcome.com
Purpose Preserves user session state across page requests.

powered by Borlabs Cookie

Privacy Policy

Please share your location to continue

Vegetarian and vegan diets Q&A

Read our answers to common questions about staying healthy on a vegetarian or vegan diet, from looking after your bones to healthy eating in pregnancy.

What is a vegetarian?

Vegetarians and vegans don’t eat any red meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea (such as crab or lobster), or animal by-products (such as gelatine).

Vegetarians eat a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, dairy products and eggs. Vegetarians who also don’t eat eggs, dairy or any other animal products, are called vegans.

Other types of vegetarians include:

  • lacto-ovo-vegetarians – eat both dairy products and eggs (this is the most common type of vegetarian diet)
  • lacto-vegetarians – eat dairy products but not eggs
  • ovo vegetarians – eat eggs but not dairy products

At what age is it safe to become a vegetarian or vegan?

As long as they get all the nutrients they need, children can be brought up healthily on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Children need plenty of energy and protein to help them grow and develop. It’s also important that vegetarian and vegan children get enough iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

If you’re bringing up your child on a diet without meat or fish (vegetarian) or without any food from animals (vegan), they’ll need to have a good source of protein. Good protein sources include eggs, dairy products such as milk and cheese, soya products, pulses and beans, nuts and seeds.

Don’t give whole nuts to children under 5, as they could choke. Nuts can be used if finely ground. Alternatively, you can use a smooth nut butter.

Babies from birth to 1 year of age who are being breastfed should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D, to ensure they get enough.

If you’re feeding your baby with more than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, they don’t need a vitamin D supplement because infant formula is fortified with vitamin D.

Vitamin supplements containing vitamins A and C are recommended for infants aged 6 months to 5 years old, unless they’re getting more than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day.

Vitamin drops are particularly important for vegetarian and vegan children between 6 months and 5 years old. They may also need a vitamin B12 supplement. If your child is older than this, speak to your GP or a dietitian to see whether vitamin supplements should be included in their diet.

Read more about vegetarian and vegan diets for children.

Can babies and children have a vegan diet?

If you’re breastfeeding and on a vegan diet, you may need extra vitamin B12.

Take care when feeding children a vegan diet. Young children need a good variety of foods to provide the energy and vitamins they need for growth.

A vegan diet can be bulky and high in fibre, which can mean that children get full up before they’ve eaten enough calories and nutrients. Because of this, they may need extra supplements. Ask a dietitian or doctor for advice before you start introducing your child to solids.

Read more about vegetarian and vegan diets for children.

Is it safe to be a vegetarian or vegan during pregnancy?

A varied and balanced vegetarian or vegan diet can provide enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy. However, you might find it difficult to get enough iron, vitamin D and vitamin B12.

Talk to your doctor or midwife about how to get enough of these important nutrients. All adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D, particularly during the winter months (October until the end of March).

It’s also recommended that women should take a folic acid supplement while they are trying to conceive and should continue taking it for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. See vitamins and nutrition in pregnancy for more information.

Read more about having a healthy diet during pregnancy.

What are the health benefits of a vegetarian diet?

A vegetarian diet can be very healthy, but your diet won’t automatically be healthier if you cut out meat. Like everyone, vegetarians need to make sure they:

  • eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)
  • include some dairy or dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options)
  • eat some beans, pulses, eggs and other proteins
  • choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
  • drink plenty of fluids – the government recommends 6 to 8 cups/glasses a day

If you choose foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts.

Do vegetarians and vegans need vitamin supplements?

With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegetarian and vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy without the need for supplements.

However, if your diet isn’t planned properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients. Vegetarians need to make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12, and vegans enough calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Women are thought to be at particular risk of iron deficiency, including those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Some groups are advised to take vitamin supplements, regardless of whether they follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. For more information, see:

How can I get enough iron?

Although meat is the best source of iron, other good sources include:

  • pulses, such as beans, lentils and peas 
  • nuts
  • dried fruit, such as raisins 
  • dark-green vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens
  • wholegrains, such as brown rice and brown bread
  • cereals fortified with iron

As long as you remember to regularly include these foods in your diet, you should be getting enough iron.

Adult men (aged 18 and over) need about 8. 7mg of iron a day, and women (aged 19 to 50 years) need about 14.8mg a day. Women over 50 years of age need 8.7mg of iron a day.

How can I get enough calcium?

Calcium helps you maintain strong bones. Non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy foods, so it’s important for vegans to get calcium from other foods.

Good sources of calcium for vegans are:

  • fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat milk
  • leafy green vegetables (but not spinach)
  • almonds
  • sesame seeds and tahini
  • dried fruit
  • pulses
  • brown (wholemeal) and white bread

Adults need about 700mg of calcium a day, so it’s important that vegans regularly include plenty of these foods in their diet.

The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Fortified margarine and fat spreads, fortified breakfast cereals and egg yolks contain vitamin D. You also get vitamin D when exposed to sunshine.

Examples of iron and calcium in your diet include:

  • 100g of canned red kidney beans (drained and reheated) contains 2mg of iron
  • an 80g serving of boiled spring greens contains 1.1mg of iron, similar to a 30g portion (1 tablespoon) of raisins
  • a 25g serving of almonds contains about 60mg of calcium
  • a serving of boiled broccoli (80g) contains about 28mg of calcium
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread (80g) contain around 1.9mg of iron and around 85mg of calcium

Bones get stronger when you use them and the best way to do this is through regular exercise.

How can I get enough vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in foods from animal sources, so sources for vegans are limited and a vitamin B12 supplement may be needed. If you eat dairy products and eggs, you probably get enough.

Vegan sources of vitamin B12 include:

  • yeast extract, such as Marmite, which is fortified with vitamin B12 
  • breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B12
  • soya products fortified with vitamin B12

Adults need about 1. 5 micrograms of vitamin B12 a day. Check the labels of fortified foods to see how much vitamin B12 they contain.

What are good vegetarian and vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids?

Sources of omega-3 fatty acids suitable for vegetarians and vegans include:

  • flaxseed oil
  • rapeseed oil
  • soya oil and soya-based foods (such as tofu)
  • walnuts

Omega-3 enriched eggs are also a good source if you’re a vegetarian and include eggs in your diet.

Evidence suggests that the type of omega-3 fatty acids found in these foods may not have the same benefits for reducing the risk of heart disease as those found in oily fish.

However, if you follow a vegetarian diet, you can look after your heart by eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, cutting down on food that is high in saturated fat, and watching how much salt you eat.

What are good sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans?

Most vegetarians have enough protein in their diet. Good sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans include:

  • pulses and beans
  • cereals (wheat, oats and rice)
  • soya products (tofu, soya drinks and textured soya protein, such as soya mince)
  • nuts and seeds

For non-vegans:

  • eggs
  • lower-fat dairy products (milk, cheese and yoghurt)

A variety of protein from different sources is necessary to get the right mixture of amino acids, which are used to build and repair the body’s cells.

Are Quorn products suitable for vegans?

Not always. Since most Quorn products contain a small amount of egg white and most also contain milk ingredients, they’re not all suitable for vegans.

However, some vegan products are available in the Quorn range. Their suitability for vegans is clearly marked on the packaging.

Do I need a special diet if I exercise?

You don’t need a special diet for exercising if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. The advice about exercising is the same for vegetarians and vegans as it is for non-vegetarians who exercise regularly. 

Most vegetarians have enough protein in their diet for the body to grow and repair itself. If you exercise regularly, make sure you eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, such as rice and pasta for energy, and drink enough fluids when exercising harder.

Read about food for sport and exercise.

Is it healthier to eat organic fruit and vegetables?

Vitamin and mineral levels in food vary, depending on the soil the plants were grown in, when they were picked and how they were stored. There’s no scientific evidence that organic food is healthier.

Eating organic food is a personal choice and many people choose to do so for environmental reasons. It’s important to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, whether they’re organic or not.

Page last reviewed: 2 August 2018
Next review due: 2 August 2021

Iron and vegetarian diets | The Medical Journal of Australia

This is a republished version of an article previously published in MJA Open

Iron is an essential nutrient for haemoglobin and myoglobin formation and is vital for health and peak performance. Much of our iron requirement is met through recycling of the iron in red blood cells.1 The amount of iron stored is carefully regulated by intestinal absorption, as we have a limited ability to excrete excess iron.2

Groups considered at risk of iron deficiency

There are three levels of iron deficiency, in increasing order of severity: depleted iron stores, early functional iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia (Box 1). Iron deficiency limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in weakness, fatigue, reduced immunity, shortness of breath, sensitivity to cold, and heart palpitations. Iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant women can result in premature delivery, low birthweight in infants and higher infant mortality. Other symptoms include delayed psychomotor development in infants and impaired cognitive function.3

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, affecting about 25% of the global population, particularly young women and children.4 At most risk are people who follow restricted diets. In developing countries this is usually due to a limited food supply, but in Western countries like Australia it is most commonly seen in young obese women who follow restricted energy diets to lose weight.5

Iron deficiency is not always caused by inadequate dietary intake, but may result from various medical conditions. Dialysis treatment in people with chronic renal failure can lead to loss of iron; gastrointestinal inflammation (eg, in Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease) may impair iron absorption; and gastrointestinal blood loss (eg, associated with colorectal cancer, aspirin use or genitourinary diseases) may cause iron deficiency, particularly in older people. Excessive intake of zinc (due to zinc supplementation) may also impair iron absorption.3

It is commonly thought that vegetarians (people who exclude meat, poultry and seafood from their diet, but include dairy foods and/or eggs) and vegans (those who exclude all animal products) may be more prone to iron deficiency. Additional concerns about vegetarian diets include lower bioavailability of iron from plant sources (relative to animal sources) due to dietary inhibitors such as phytate in plants. In this article we consider (i) whether plant-based vegetarian diets can provide enough iron from non-meat sources to prevent iron deficiency; (ii) factors that affect how much iron we absorb; and (iii) whether the higher recommended dietary intake (RDI) of iron for vegetarians in the 2006 revised Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand including recommended dietary intake6 is warranted.

Types and best sources of iron

There are two types of iron in food: haem and non-haem iron. In animal products, 40% of the total iron content is haem iron and 60% non-haem iron.7 Haem iron provides 10%–15% of total iron in meat-eating populations, but because of its higher and more uniform absorption (estimated at 15%–35%), haem iron could contribute at least 40% of all iron absorbed.8 Plant foods contain only non-haem iron, which is found naturally in wholegrain cereals and breads; dried beans and legumes; dark green leafy vegetables; dried fruits; and nuts and seeds. Many breakfast cereals and some breads are also fortified with iron.

Even for non-vegetarians, most iron in the Australian diet comes from plant foods rather than meat. Less than 20% of iron intake comes from meat and meat products and about 40% comes from cereals and cereal products.9 The same is true in the United Kingdom, where 45% of dietary iron comes from cereals and cereal products and less than 20% comes from meat and meat products.10 Iron-fortified cereals make an important contribution to iron intake in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal plans, particularly in energy-restricted diets.5 RDIs for iron have been set based on the assumption that a substantial amount of iron will come from non-meat sources. The iron content per 100 g of commonly available plant and animal foods is shown in Box 2. The iron content of plant sources of iron per common serve size is shown in Box 3.

Iron stores: regulation, adaptation and impact on absorption

The amount of non-haem iron absorbed is primarily determined by the body’s need for iron — people with the lowest iron stores will absorb more and excrete less.8,13 Humans can adapt successfully to a wide range of iron requirements and intakes.14 If iron intake is low, vegetarians adapt by excreting less faecal ferritin. In pregnant women, who need the most iron, absorption can increase by 60% relative to normal.15,16 Non-haem iron is nearly as well absorbed as haem iron by people with very low iron stores.13 There is apparently no advantage in storing more than a minimal amount of iron. 17 RDIs for iron are set with the goal of maintaining serum ferritin levels at 15 μg/L or functional adequacy.3

Haem iron and non-haem iron are both absorbed in the small intestine, but via different mechanisms. Haem iron is absorbed through the gut wall intact, regardless of how much we need.18 Non-haem iron absorption is more carefully controlled, as it is more readily absorbed when the body has need for iron — a protective measure for iron overload.13 This sensitivity is vital, as the body has limited mechanisms for excreting excess iron: shedding skin, sloughing off of mucosal cells in the intestinal and urinary tracts, loss of hair, and menstruation.

Bioavailability of iron: inhibitors and enhancers

Non-haem iron bioavailability is influenced by various dietary components that either enhance or inhibit its absorption. The efficiency of non-haem iron absorption in people with low iron stores depends on these enhancing and inhibiting food constituents being consumed concurrently.13 Although inhibitors and enhancers may cancel each other out, particularly in a diet that includes a wide variety of foods,19 it is wise to be aware of their possible effects until more is known about their full impact.

The main inhibitor of non-haem iron absorption is phytate, or phytic acid, which is usually found in legumes, nuts, wholegrain cereals and unprocessed bran. Processing the wholegrain removes much of the phytate content, but also removes other beneficial nutrients such as iron and zinc. Soaking and sprouting legumes, grains and seeds reduces phytate levels, as does leavening of bread.20 Phytic acid may actually provide health benefits as a potent antioxidant, reducing the risk of several chronic diseases, including various forms of cancer.20-22 Other inhibitors of non-haem iron absorption include polyphenol-containing beverages such as tea (including herbal teas), coffee, cocoa and red wines.23

While some studies have found that oxalic acid (present in spinach, silverbeet and beetroot leaves) may inhibit iron absorption, recent studies suggest that its effects are relatively insignificant. 24 Calcium has also been considered an inhibitor of both haem and non-haem iron absorption, but recent research suggests that, over a long period of time, calcium has a limited effect on iron absorption (possibly due to an adaptive physiological response).25 Nevertheless, it may be best to avoid consuming high-calcium supplements with meals.26

The most significant enhancer of iron absorption is vitamin C (both synthetic and dietary), which can enhance absorption up to sixfold in those who have low iron stores,27 overcoming the effects of phytic acid, polyphenols, calcium and milk proteins.3,8,28,29 Absorption is increased as much as three- to sixfold with the addition of 50 mg of vitamin C per meal.30 Vitamin C facilitates the conversion of Fe3+ (ferric) to Fe2+ (ferrous) iron, the form in which iron is best absorbed. Vegetarians typically have high intakes of vitamin C from a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Meals rich in vitamin C may have no effect on serum ferritin levels if iron stores are already elevated.31

Other organic acids (citric, malic and lactic acids),32 as well as vitamin A and β-carotene, enhance non-haem iron absorption.33 An ascorbic acid derivative, erythorbic acid (E315), used widely as an antioxidant in processed foods, appears to be almost twice as effective as ascorbic acid in enhancing non-haem iron absorption.34

Meat also enhances non-haem iron absorption, but animal proteins (milk protein, egg proteins and albumin) inhibit iron absorption.7 It was previously thought that soy protein also had an inhibitory effect on iron absorption,35 but new research shows that iron in soy is in the form of ferritin and is highly available. It has no negative effect on iron status,36,37 and is as well absorbed as iron from ferrous sulfate.38

Estimating how much iron we absorb

The amount of total iron available from a mixed diet (including meat) is estimated at 18%, whereas the amount of total (non-haem) iron available from a vegetarian diet is considered to be about 10%. 3 Estimates of iron absorption rates are based on short-term and single-meal studies (meals high in inhibitors) that are usually carried out in people with adequate iron stores. In such people, iron absorption will have been down-regulated and is unlikely to accurately reflect absorption over the long term. Single-meal studies do not allow for intestinal adaptation involving increased absorption and decreased losses.39 For a more accurate estimate of iron absorption in vegetarian diets, studies need to be done on vegetarians (with the usual low ferritin levels) who eat more typical vegetarian diets.

Some researchers state that concerns over non-haem iron bioavailability and the effect of enhancers and inhibitors are less important than previously thought,19,28,39,40 and that iron absorption is underestimated.41 In fact, researchers report that iron status is more important than bioavailability in determining the amount of non-haem iron absorbed8,13,42 and that, in women, menstrual blood loss (rather than dietary composition) is the major determinant of iron stores.42

Are vegetarians at risk of iron deficiency?

Vegetarian and vegan diets generally contain just as much or more iron than mixed diets containing meat.43-45 The 2003 UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey46 showed that a vegetarian diet was not associated with lower-than-average total iron intake47,48 and that there was little association between indicators of iron status and dietary iron intake.42 Compared with meat-eaters, vegetarians may often have lower serum ferritin levels (although still within the normal range), even when their iron intakes are adequate,44,49-51 but the physiological impact of reduced ferritin levels in vegetarians is unknown at this time. Vegetarians may reduce their risk of low iron levels by eating foods rich in enhancers, such as vitamin C and organic acids.47

In Western countries like Australia, where we enjoy a varied food supply, vegetarians are no more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anaemia than non-vegetarians. 13 Low iron stores, without iron deficiency anaemia, have not been shown to adversely affect function.13 Iron deficiency clearly impairs function only when haemoglobin concentrations are measurably decreased, but this has not been shown across all studies.13,15 In the large European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Oxford study of 43 000 women, vegetarians and non-vegetarians had similar iron intakes and haemoglobin concentrations.44 Many studies in Western societies suggest there is little difference, if any, in iron status (measured by haemoglobin levels, haematocrit, total iron-binding capacity, transferrin saturation and serum iron levels) between vegetarians and non-vegetarians,15,52 but a number of studies suggest that vegetarians are at greater risk of having low iron stores (as reflected by serum ferritin).15

Higher iron requirement for vegetarians — is it justified?

The current Australian RDI for iron is based on research by the United States/Canadian Institute of Medicine (IOM), which recommends for the first time that the iron requirement for vegetarians be 1.8 times that of the regular RDI.6 Interestingly, the UK Food Standards Agency has not set a higher iron requirement for vegetarians.53 Although the research is far from conclusive, the IOM’s dietary reference intake committee appears to have used a single 1991 study19 to justify the 80% greater iron requirement for vegetarians.3 This is of questionable validity, as the study was not looking at a typical Western vegetarian diet, but rather at a diet that was specifically designed to reduce the absorption of non-haem iron and was only marginally “vegetarian”, as it contained limited amounts of fruits and vegetables. One study group was given meals that were designed to maximally enhance non-haem iron absorption (meals included meat and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables). Another group was given meals designed to maximally inhibit non-haem iron absorption (meals excluded meat and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables but included foods and beverages high in inhibitors). The IOM committee based its recommended iron requirement for vegetarians on the latter group. This same study concluded that iron bioavailability issues (enhancers and inhibitors) are less important than has been traditionally thought over the long term.19

Current (2006) RDIs for iron6 are shown in Box 4. The current RDI for non-vegetarian women aged 19–50 years (18 mg/day) is slightly higher than the previous (1991) RDI (16 mg/day).54 The current estimated average requirement (EAR) for iron for these women (ie, the daily nutrient level estimated to meet the requirements of half the healthy women in this group) of 8 mg/day, as compared with the RDI, reflects the very high variability in iron requirements among women because of significant differences in menstrual loss.6 For premenopausal women, blood loss through menstruation is the most significant factor affecting iron status, while dietary composition appears largely unrelated to iron status.55 A number of studies have reported an association between the length of menstrual periods and serum ferritin concentrations.56

The higher RDIs for pregnant women (Box 4) ensure an adequate supply of iron to the fetus and developing infant. During pregnancy, iron absorption increases from 7% at 12 weeks to 36% at 24 weeks and 59% at 36 weeks.16 The UK Food Standards Agency has not set higher iron requirements for pregnant women, assuming that existing body iron stores (if adequate at conception) will provide what is required, given that menstruation has ceased and intestinal absorption has increased.53

As iron absorption is substantially greater when the body has a need, as in the case of pregnancy, it seems reasonable to assume that the bioavailability of iron from vitamin C-enhanced vegetarian meals will be considerably greater when the long-term vegetarian has an increased need for iron (as shown by a low ferritin level). Thus it is pertinent to ask whether it is really necessary to recommend a higher iron requirement for vegetarians when adaptive processes respond to lower iron stores. Future research with long-term vegetarians eating more typical vegetarian meals over a period of time (rather than examining responses relating to a single meal) would be valuable in addressing this issue.

There is a higher prevalence of iron deficiency in obese people, possibly due to inadequate iron intake or a higher blood volume. Chronic inflammation in obese people is associated with higher levels of hepcidin, which down-regulates intestinal iron absorption. Serum ferritin is not considered a good indicator of iron status in obese people, as serum ferritin levels are elevated by inflammation.5,57

A sample meal plan appropriate for 19–50-year-old lacto-ovo-vegetarian women, who have the highest iron requirements of any group other than pregnant vegetarian women, is shown in Box 5. The sample meal plan also meets the requirements for other key nutrients (except vitamin D and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids). For more details on meeting nutrient reference values on a vegetarian diet, as well as other sample meal plans, see the article by Reid and colleagues.58

Conclusion

Well planned vegetarian diets provide adequate amounts of non-haem iron if a wide variety of plant foods are regularly consumed. Research studies indicate that vegetarians are no more likely to have iron deficiency anaemia than non-vegetarians. Vegetarian diets are typically rich in vitamin C and other factors that facilitate non-haem iron absorption. The limited iron absorption studies conducted to date have not yet clarified how much iron Western vegetarians require daily. Research studies, which have been used to set official RDIs, have not taken into account long-term adaptive mechanisms, such as increased absorption and reduced excretion when iron stores are low, or during times of increased physiological need.

1 Three levels of iron deficiency*

There are three levels of iron deficiency commonly used to evaluate iron status:

Depleted iron stores

Depleted iron stores are indicated by a serum ferritin level
of < 12–15 µg/L,† but no apparent limitation in iron supply. An increased total iron binding capacity (TIBC) indicates depletion
of iron stores, but is a less precise measure than ferritin level.

Early functional iron deficiency

In early functional iron deficiency, iron supply to the bone marrow and other tissues is suboptimal, but there is no decrease in haemoglobin level and therefore no anaemia.

Iron deficiency anaemia

In iron deficiency anaemia, there is a measurable deficit in erythrocytes, the most accessible functional compartment.

* Adapted from United States Institute of Medicine Panel on Micronutrients.3 † < 12 µg/L in US; < 15 µg/L in Australia.

2 Iron content of commonly available plant and animal foods*

Foods

Iron per 100 g


Plant foods

Iron-fortified breakfast cereals

4.0–16.0 mg

Pumpkin seeds/pepitas

10.0 mg

Iron-fortified bread

7.1 mg

Sundried tomatoes

5.6 mg

Sesame seeds/tahini paste

5.2 mg

Cashew nuts

5. 0 mg

Mixed-grain bread roll

4.7 mg

English spinach, raw

3.5 mg

Dried apricots

3.1 mg

Tofu, firm

2.9 mg

Fortified malted chocolate beverage,
with whole milk

2.7 mg

Dried dates

2.6 mg

Lentils/soybeans/kidney beans

1.8–2.2 mg

Amaranth, cooked

2.1 mg

Tofu, silken/soft

1.8 mg

Quinoa, cooked

1.5 mg

Figs, dried

1.4 mg

Baked beans

1.0 mg

Animal foods

Liver, chicken/beef/veal

6. 0–11.0 mg

Kangaroo, fillet, grilled

4.1 mg

Beef, round steak, grilled

3.3 mg

Lamb chop, grilled

2.9 mg

Beef, sirloin steak, grilled

2.2 mg

Beef, fillet, lean, grilled

2.2 mg

Egg, whole, boiled

1.6 mg

Salmon, Atlantic, grilled

1.3 mg

Pork fillets, trimmed

1.0 mg

Turkey breast, baked

0.6 mg

Chicken breast, baked

0.5 mg

Bream/flathead, grilled

0.4 mg

Cheese, cheddar

0.2 mg

Milk, whole

0. 04 mg


* From Food Standards Australia New Zealand. NUTTAB 2010 online searchable database.11

3 Plant sources of iron per common serve*

Source

Iron
per serve


Amaranth grain, cooked, 1 cup

5.2 mg

Iron-fortified bread, 2 slices

4.2 mg

Lentils, dried peas or beans, cooked, 1 cup

3.8 mg

Iron-fortified breakfast cereals, average serve

1.2–3.0 mg

Tofu, firm, 1/2 cup (100 g)

2.9 mg

Quinoa, cooked, 1 cup

2.8 mg

Cashews, 25 nuts (50 g)

2.6 mg

Tempeh (fermented soybean), cooked, 100 g†

2.2 mg

Fortified yeast spread, 5 g

1. 8 mg

Baked beans, 1/2 cup (140 g)

1.8 mg

Soybeans, 1/2 cup (90 g)

1.8 mg

Dried apricots, 10 halves (50 g)

1.6 mg

Rolled oats, cooked, 1 cup

1.3 mg

Fortified malted chocolate beverage, 1 tsp (5 g)

1.3 mg

Almonds, dry roasted, 20–25 nuts (30 g)

1.1 mg

Brown rice, 1 cup

1.0 mg

Wheatgerm, 1 tbsp (10 g)

1.0 mg

Broccoli, cooked, 1/2 cup (100 g)

1.0 mg


tbsp = tablespoon. tsp = teaspoon. * From Food Standards Australia New Zealand. AUSNUT 2007 online searchable database.12 † Source: product information.

4 Estimated average requirement (EAR)* and recommended dietary intake (RDI)† of iron per day, by sex and age group6

Male

Female


Pregnant women


Lactating women


Age (years)

EAR

RDI

180%
of RDI

EAR

RDI

180%
of RDI

EAR

RDI

180%
of RDI

EAR

RDI

180%
of RDI


1–3

4 mg

9 mg

16. 2 mg

4 mg

9 mg

16.2 mg

4–8

4 mg

10 mg

18 mg

4 mg

10 mg

18 mg

9–13

6 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg

6 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg

14–18

8 mg

11 mg

19. 8 mg

8 mg

15 mg

27 mg

23 mg

27 mg

48.6 mg

7 mg

10 mg

18 mg

19–30

6 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg

8 mg

18 mg

32.4 mg

22 mg

27 mg

48.6 mg

6.5 mg

9 mg

16 mg

31–50

6 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg

8 mg

18 mg

32.4 mg

22 mg

27 mg

48. 6 mg

6.5 mg

9 mg

16 mg

51–70

6 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg

5 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg

> 70

6 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg

5 mg

8 mg

14.4 mg


* The EAR is a daily nutrient level estimated to meet the requirements of half the healthy individuals of a particular sex and life stage. † The RDI is the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals (97%–98%) of a particular sex and life stage.

5 A sample meal plan designed to meet the iron requirements of a 19–50-year-old vegetarian woman, showing non-haem iron content of the foods*

Meal

Iron content


Breakfast

Bowl of cereal with fruit, and poached egg on toast

2 fortified wholegrain wheat biscuits

3.0 mg

4 strawberries

0.3 mg

10 g chia seeds

0.7 mg

1/2 cup low-fat fortified soy milk

0.7 mg

1 slice multigrain toast and 1 teaspoon olive oil spread

0.8 mg

1 poached egg

1.0 mg

Snack

Nuts and dried fruit

30 g cashews

1. 5 mg

6 dried apricot halves

0.7 mg

Lunch

Chickpea falafel wrap

1 wholemeal pita flatbread

2.0 mg

1 chickpea falafel

2.9 mg

30 g hummus

0.8 mg

1/2 cup tabouli

1.6 mg

Salad

0.3 mg

Snack

Banana and wheatgerm smoothie

3/4 cup low-fat fortified soy milk

1.0 mg

1 teaspoon wheatgerm

0.3 mg

1 banana

0.4 mg

Dinner

Stir-fry greens with tofu and rice

100 g tofu

7. 9 mg

2 spears asparagus, 1/3 cup bok choy and
25 g snow peas

1.3 mg

12 g cashews

0.6 mg

1 cup cooked brown rice

1.0 mg

Snack

Fortified malted chocolate beverage

1 cup low-fat fortified soy milk

1.3 mg

10 g fortified malted chocolate powder

2.5 mg

Total iron

32.6 mg


* Source: FoodWorks 2009 (incorporating Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s AUSNUT [Australian Food and Nutrient Database] 1999), Xyris Software, Brisbane, Qld. ◆

90,000 How a vegan diet affects intelligence and brain development

  • Zaria Gorvett
  • BBC Future

Photo Credit, Getty Images

for the brain nutrients. Does this affect vegans’ ability to think?

The idea that avoiding meat is bad for our brains is intuitive. Yes, for many years anthropologists continue to argue about exactly how our distant ancestors ate, but many scientists believe that the development of such a unique organ like our brain took a lot of bones to suck.

Some even believe that it was meat that made us human.

One of the reasons their argument is based is that the mind costs us dearly: the brain consumes about 20% of all daily calories, although its weight is only 2% of our body weight.

Where is the easiest place to find that incredible variety of fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that this fastidious body needs? Of course, in the meat of the animals that have already collected this entire set for us!

And although it is difficult to imagine that our ancestors abandoned meat in favor of turnips, today the picture is completely different.

According to the latest statistics, there are now about 375 million vegetarians on the planet. In the West, veganism has shed the stigma of the hippie and has become one of the fastest growing trends of the new millennium (for example, in the United States, the number of vegans increased by 600% between 2014 and 2017).

Meanwhile, in India, eating meat-free has been quite common since the 6th century BC.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Some even try to teach pets to vegetarianism.Opponents accuse them of animal cruelty

On the one hand, recent concerns about nutritional gaps in plant-based diets have spawned intimidating headlines, such as warning that a vegan diet can inhibit brain development and cause irreparable damage to the human nervous system.

In 2016, experts from the German Nutrition Society categorically stated that a vegan diet is not recommended for children, pregnant or lactating women and adolescents. They referred to a 2018 survey of research on this topic.

In Belgium, you can go to jail for forcing children to eat vegan.

But, on the other hand, if abstaining from meat consumption really affected the human brain, we probably would have already noticed it?

So is veganism really hurting our intelligence, or are we just afraid of something we don’t know much about?

Ideally, to test the effects of a vegan diet on the brain, take a randomly selected group of people and ask half of them to stop eating animal products.And see what happens. But not a single such study has yet been conducted.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

100% vegan food – sounds proud. But is everything so good with this food?

The only study that seems to be even partially perfect was in Kenya, where 555 schoolchildren were fed this pattern: one-third was given meat soup, the second third was milk and another third was soup with vegetable oil or no soup at all.And so for seven school years.

Test subjects were tested before and after the experiment to compare the intelligence of the three groups. It is worth noting that due to economic difficulties in the country, most of the children were de facto vegetarians before the experiment began.

To the scientists’ surprise, tests showed that children who were given meat soup every day significantly outperformed their peers in intelligence by the end of the study. In addition, their arithmetic ability was the best among the three groups, but comparable to children who were given vegetable oil soup.

Of course, more research is needed to make sure that this is how it all works. In addition, it is not known if this will be the case for children from developed countries.

Nonetheless, this raises intriguing questions about whether veganism can hold back children’s development.

There are actually several nutrients that are important to the brain that plants and mushrooms simply do not have.

Creatine, carnosine, taurine, omega-3, heme iron, and vitamins B12 and D3 are usually found only in foods that are made from animal products (although they can be synthesized in the laboratory or extracted from such non-animal products, like algae, bacteria or lichen, and made into food additives).

Some others can be found in vegan foods, but in miniscule amounts: for example, to get the minimum amount of vitamin B6 (1.3 mg) you need every day from one of the richest plant sources, potatoes, you need to eat about 750 grams of it …

For potato lovers, this may not be bad, but still not very practical.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo Caption,

On a vegan diet, you need to eat 750 grams of potatoes per day to reach the minimum recommended dose of vitamin B6 – unless you get it from other sources

And although our body is capable of to create some of these essential substances from other ingredients in our food, its ability is not enough to fully satisfy all needs.

It was found that vegetarians and vegans have a reduced level of all the nutrients listed above. And in some cases, such a deficit is not the exception, but the norm.

It is currently a mystery to us how this scarcity affects the lives of vegans. But some recent research offers us some clues.

“I believe there are a number of direct consequences of the current popularity of plant-based diets,” says Taylor Wallis, nutritionist and CEO of nutritional advisory firm Think Healthy Group.

“It’s not that plant foods are inherently harmful, they are not. But I don’t think we are explaining enough to people that some nutrients are mainly found in animal products.”

One of the most well-known problems for vegans is getting enough vitamin B12, which is only found in animal products such as eggs and meat.

Other species extract it from bacteria that live in their digestive system or in excrement – they either digest them directly or eat their own feces, which, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the point of view), is impossible for humans.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

At first glance, it seems that vegans have a variety of foods. But the brain does not get everything it needs from it

To understand how important vitamin B12 is for the brain, look what happens when we do not receive it. For children, a B12 deficiency can have serious consequences.

“There have been some tragic cases where a child’s brain did not develop properly because the parents were poorly informed vegans,” says Benton.

In one case, the child could not sit, could not smile. In another case, the children simply fell into a coma.

In older age, the amount of B12 in a person’s blood is directly related to their IQ, intelligence quotient.

In old age, one study found that the brains of people with low B12 levels are six times more likely to decrease than those who do not.

Low B12 levels are still common among vegans.One British study found that half of the vegans surveyed were deficient.

This problem is endemic in some parts of India, possibly due to the prevalence of vegetarianism there.

Iron is another rare ingredient in typical vegan diets. Among other things, it plays an important role in mental development and is necessary for maintaining brain health throughout life.

For example, one 2007 study found that iron supplementation in women led to a significant (five to sevenfold) increase in their intellectual capacity.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo Caption,

It is very important for vegans to take supplements that compensate for the lack of nutrients in their bodies from animal products, experts say

It is surprisingly easy to slip into an iron deficiency in the body. It is estimated that up to 2 billion people have it, making it the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide.

Vegans are especially susceptible to it, as heme iron, the most easily absorbed by the body, can only be found in animal proteins.

One German study found that 40% of the vegans surveyed by scientists consumed less than the recommended daily intake of such iron.

Vegans are also often deficient in vitamin D3, omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, selenium, iodine and folate.

Although our bodies produce vitamin D3 when exposed to direct sunlight, it does not compensate vegans for the amount they lack.

During the winter months, omnivores in Britain have almost 40% more vitamin D3 in their blood than vegans.

Of course, some of these substances can be obtained in the form of dietary supplements. Others, however, are so little known that vegans have hardly even heard of them, let alone understand exactly what their bodies lack.

For example, taurine. This mysterious amino acid is one of the most abundant in our brains, where it is believed to underlie several important processes – for example, the regulation of the number of neurons.

It is often added to energy drinks due to the belief (probably false) that it gives the brain an immediate cognitive boost.

Although some dairy products contain small amounts of taurine, the main source of taurine is meat and seafood.

“Some species have the ability to produce enough taurine in the body,” says Yang Yen Wu, a biomedical scientist at the Florida Atlantic University (USA). “But humans are almost unable to do this.”

For this reason, vegans tend to have less taurine in their bodies. So far, no one has studied how this affects their cognitive abilities.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

The vegan diet is in a sense an experiment on yourself

But, based on what we know about the role of taurine in the brain, Wu recommends vegans to take taurine tablets – after all in vegetables, this substance is simply not there.

In fact, our lack of knowledge of what our brains need to be healthy can turn into a big problem for vegans. After all, it is difficult to add to your diet what scientists have not yet discovered.

“There is so much unknown in this,” says Nathan Kofnas, a biologist at Oxford University. and risk yourself. ”

Take choline: in the brain, it produces acetylcholine, which is needed for a variety of tasks, including the transmission of information between nerve cells. It is the most important substance for our ability to think (even insects have it in their tiny brains), and the body itself cannot produce enough of it.

But it’s a very poorly researched nutrient, Wallis says. “It wasn’t until the late 1990s that we began to consider it an important (food-derived) element.”

Some vegan foods contain some choline, but the main sources are eggs, beef and seafood.

In fact, even on a normal diet, 90% of Americans don’t get enough of it. According to an unpublished study by Wallis, vegetarians consume the least of all demographic groups, and this should cause concern, the scientist is convinced.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo Caption,

Vegans can get their protein from alternative sources such as soy, but soy is free of choline or creatine

In other cases, we know even less. For example, creatine is a white, loose substance that is often found in fitness cocktails. Its natural function in the body is to supply our cells with energy, which is why it is respected by the regulars of fitness clubs.

But it is also important for the brain. Research shows that increasing its intake has a number of benefits – for example, reducing mental fatigue and improving recognition memory.Not so long ago, creatine began to be used as a “pill for the mind”.

Neither vegetables nor mushrooms contain creatine – so this is a problem for vegans and vegetarians: they are known to lack creatine in their bodies.

Scientists wondered if creatine deficiency would slow development in humans. In one study, they tested how the intellectual abilities of vegetarians and those who eat everything changed five days after starting supplements.

“We found that vegetarians were particularly good at this,” says David Benton of Swansea University, who led the study.

But omnivores, little has changed. And this may indicate that they had enough creatine in their brains before.

However, Caroline Rae, who led another study, says there is not enough evidence to indicate the need for creatine supplementation. This can lead to unforeseen consequences – for example, to a decrease in the brain’s ability to produce this substance itself.

“I have long suggested that creatine supplementation might be helpful in preparing for exams, but it would be interesting to find out what happens to people after they stop taking creatine – if their intellectual capacity is inhibited.”

Finally, the brain is largely self-sufficient in creatine, so it’s unclear if vegans really need extra creatine.

Creatine from food may only be used by the brain in extreme cases, such as stress.

Still, Kofnas is concerned about the potential creatine deficiency in vegans.

“It can make a big difference in your life,” he says, referring to the intellectual shifts in vegans taking creatine supplements.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Creatine, carnosine, taurine, omega-3, heme iron and vitamins B12 and D3 are usually only found in animal products

What’s the verdict?

“I think more research is needed on the health and nutrition of vegans,” says Heather Russell, a nutritionist at the Vegan Society, a British charity. who are very suitable for a vegan diet. “

Brain and cardiovascular health are inextricably linked, and vegans tend to have healthier hearts.

“I tell people all the time that if you want to become a vegan or a vegetarian, it’s okay,” Wallis says. “Of course, I have nothing against it. But there are about 40 essential nutrients. So vegans should study this topic well. to understand what their brains need. ”

And some of the nutrients that vegans lack (choline, creatine, taurine and carnosine) need to be taken in fairly large amounts – here you can’t do with one pill.

Benton agrees. “I’m sure if you are knowledgeable, careful and committed to a healthy diet, if your personality is consistent with this passion, then it is quite possible to be a vegan without harm to your health,” he says. with nutritional deficiencies “.

Kofnas has a harder view of this. While vegans can take supplements, it’s unrealistic to expect all of them to do so, he said.

On this basis, he finds the current trend towards plant-based foods alarming, although he sympathizes with the arguments for such a diet.

Without a doubt, veganism can lead to deficiencies in iron and vitamin B12, and without a doubt, this deficiency affects your intellectual capacity, “he emphasizes.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Mahatma Gandhi, hereditary vegetarian, he tasted meat only once in his life – and he did not like it

Afterword

It is said that the national hero of India, Mahatma Gandhi, a hereditary vegetarian, as a teenager, under the influence of friends decided to try meat.It seemed tough and tasteless to him, and he never touched it again.

However, his experiments with food did not end there. He gave up salt too, then went back to consuming it, then tried veganism.

After suffering from dysentery, he turned into a walking skeleton, after which he decided that after all, for health it is necessary to consume dairy products …

To read the original of this article in English, please visit BBC Future .

How meat is grown in Germany for vegetarians | Culture and Lifestyle in Germany and Europe | DW

In Berlin alone, over 30 restaurants have opened in the past four years, specializing exclusively in vegetarian or vegan foods.

One of these restaurants is Lucky-Leek. He is a prime example of the growing interest in “alternative” foods. The restaurant’s menu includes, among other things, mango surprise salad, chanterelle mushroom soup, beetroot pancakes, carrot risotto with tofu and fried mushrooms, ravioli with minced cheese and spinach, coconut meringue cake … Meat dishes are completely absent.And nevertheless, there is no end of visitors, the owners of the restaurant assure.

Vegetable meat

But vegetable dishes can also replace meat for those who do not want to give up meat. It sounds paradoxical, but it is. Meat, it turns out, can literally be made from these plant foods. In recent years, dozens of scientists and gastronomes have been working on the creation of all kinds of substitutes.

The first meat surrogates appeared on the shelves of specialized German supermarkets several decades ago.These were soy meat of an indeterminate color, an unappetizing type of tofu cutlets and spelled pancakes with a difficult to define taste. They did not cause great delight even among adherents of a vegetarian diet. It is a different matter today. Not only “content” became different, but also appearance. Biologists, culinary specialists, designers, physicists, ecotrophologists (specialists in the organization of healthy nutrition) are working on this.

The results are obvious: “surrogate” (that is, of plant origin) sausage, steak or schnitzel quite adequately replace meat originals.But biochemist Patrick Braun, founder of Impossible Meat, dreams of more – a global nutritional revolution. Reconstruction of proteins and biologically significant elements important for the human body from plants is more than a doable task, Brown is convinced.

Vegetable sausage

He has practically “brought to mind” the technology of making a hamburger with a “vegetable beef” cutlet. To do this, the constituent parts of such a cutlet are collected together: amino acids, fats, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and aromatic substances.Scientists have found most of the ingredients in wheat and spinach. To obtain a pseudo-meat “base”, vegetable protein in the form of a powder is mixed with water and spices, and heated. The resulting viscous mass is passed through a sieve and, to impart a meaty flavor, is seasoned with heme, a complex compound that, as the biochemist puts it, “in essence, makes meat meat”. Heme or leghemoglobin is found in the tubers of leguminous plants. True, in vivo production of leghemoglobin in large quantities is impossible, and Brown uses genetically modified yeast cells.

The harsh reality of a surrogate

The more authentic the taste of a substitute product, the more likely it is to interest a wide range of consumers and gradually convince them of the “adequacy” of plant nutrition. There are tangible successes in the development of new methods for making surrogate products: chicken, cheese, eggs, and even a pseudo-steak are already being produced, which was “grown” in one of the Dutch laboratories. The results suggest that the range of possibilities for switching to a plant-based diet that will replace meat is enormous.

German researchers focused on lupine, whose seeds are rich in high quality protein and oil. The milk surrogate obtained from lupine, in terms of the main parameters, corresponds to cow’s milk, experts say.

There is another point of view. Klaus Damm, who works at the Training and Research Center for Poultry and Small Livestock in Kitzingen, does not think that surrogate products can completely replace meat products. The scientist cites the facts: tofu contains only 85 percent of the digestible protein, while egg white, for example, is 100 percent absorbed by the body, and more and more elements such as bioactive peptides are found in cow’s milk, which are very useful for humans.

Healthy eating experts at the Hamburg Consumer Advocacy Center are also skeptical, where meat and dairy surrogates are openly rejecting, stressing “too much fat, salt, artificial flavorings and food additives.”

See also:

  • What we will eat in a few years

    Mushrooms from a 3D printer

    A frame with seeds, spores and yeast is 3D printed. Within five days, mushrooms and greens grow, the “dish” has a taste and smell.Such food solves many problems, but so far the development called Edible Growth exists only in the form of a project.

  • What we will eat in a few years

    Plastic products

    The Bioplastic Fantastic project was conceived by the Berlin-based designer Johanna Schmeer. She is convinced that humanity must discover alternative sources of nutrition. Perhaps the future belongs to products that will be created using bio- and nanotechnology.

  • What we will eat in a few years

    Small portions and large volumes

    Dutch artist Marie Vogelzang is sure: if you visually increase the volume of food with the help of artificial materials, a person, deceived by the appearance of food, will be able to fill up with small portions.

  • What will we eat in a few years

    Kitchen of the future

    Unappetizing? But productive. So, according to the Italian Maurizio Montalti, the kitchen of the future will look like.She, like other projects of food designers, is presented at the exhibition “Food Revolution 5.0”, which is now taking place in Berlin.

  • What will we eat in a few years

    Algae through a straw

    The invention of the London duo Burtonnitta will change the way we eat. In a tube mask, human breathing will promote the growth of special algae that can be eaten without removing this structure.

  • What will we eat in a few years

    Chocolate tree

    And these are chocolate biscuits.Folded in the form of a tree – to bring a person closer to nature. In any case, this is how the German Klaus Pichler explains his idea.

  • What will we eat in a few years

    Fake hare

    Unlike the people of Asia, most Europeans do not perceive insects as an edible source of protein. Carolin Schulze found a way out: she crushed the larvae of a flour beetle and 3D printed a rabbit-shaped dish from this mass.

  • What we will eat in a few years

    Virtual reality for single chickens

    American developer Austin Stewart has figured out how to entertain single chickens in order to increase their egg production.With these virtual reality glasses, birds will think that they are in a chicken coop.

  • What we will eat in a few years

    Cow with a motor

    And the Taiwanese designer Paul Gong proposes to solve energy problems at the same time: to “implant” a small turbine into the cow. Electricity will be generated from the blood circulation of the animal.

    Author: Ksenia Safronova

__________________________________

Do you want to read us regularly? Subscribe to our VK-communities “DW in Russian” and “DW Study and work” and the Telegram channel “What do the Germans have there?”

90,000 Vegetarians in the Hospital – Food

Vegetarians in the hospital

As it is known in hospitals, medical nutrition is represented by specially developed diets in accordance with the specifics of the disease or the severity of the disease.For example, there is a special diet for patients with diabetes mellitus, or a gentle diet for patients with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. However, there is no specially formulated diet for vegetarians located within the walls of the clinics.

Each of the therapeutic nutrition diets is designed to provide the patient with such a ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to satisfy the patient’s daily requirement for vitamins and microelements, which in turn contributes to his speedy recovery.It is believed that a vegetarian diet cannot provide the entire list of necessary trace elements and vitamins to a patient who has entered the clinic, especially those contained in meat dishes – essential amino acids: tryptophan, lysine, isoleucine, arginine, histidine, which cannot be obtained from other products. And at the same time, there is no categorical protest among doctors against a vegetarian diet. Sometimes, those suffering from, for example, hypertension, kidney disease, liver disease, gout, are recommended after discharge to a vegetarian diet for 3-4 weeks, this improves metabolic processes.After all, a vegetarian diet is good because it contains a lot of vegetables, fruits, berries – exactly what Russians usually lack. However, you should gradually move on to a healthy, nutritious and varied diet.

Note: VEGETARIANS IN OUR HOSPITAL

Today, in hospitals, you can find elements of a vegetarian menu, for example, vegetarian soups: vegetable soups boiled in water, which are useful to everyone, without exception. In our clinic, such soups are given 4 days out of 7: potato soup on Thursdays, borscht on Fridays, pickle soup on Saturdays, pea and buckwheat soups on Sundays.

Still, it can be difficult for vegetarians, and even more so for vegans, to be in the hospital, so the first step in hospital admission is to discuss your dietary options with your doctor and dietitian.

Planned hospitalization . In this case, patients, as a rule, know both the time and timing of hospitalization, so they have the opportunity to prepare and take with them a small amount of home-made snacks and light meals (check the expiration dates). You can also stock up on pre-canned vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, bread, vegetable milk, your favorite chocolate (if the doctor permits).

Emergency hospitalization (by ambulance). Hospital visits are sometimes unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean a hospital stay will be a disaster. Family members and friends may bring food from the grocery store or cafe, of course after discussing the permitted foods with the doctor. Close people can also prepare the patient in advance familiar green smoothies or bring favorite fruits and vegetables.

Appeal to personnel. The patient can warn the barmaids of the department about the refusal of meat, fish and dairy dishes or, for example, about intolerance to certain foods or protein (if he hides the fact of his vegetarianism).As a rule, there is an opportunity to negotiate and take more than the prescribed portion of mashed potatoes or porridge, pasta or stewed vegetables. Vegans are much less likely to be sure that the food will be suitable, but there is a way out here: for breakfast, such patients can always get, for example, porridge on the water, jam, tea, black bread, rosehip drink. For lunch, you can eat pasta with tomato sauce and salad. It never hurts to ask for an extra stew or another baked apple.

Tube feeding. If the patient is unable to feed on their own and is receiving tube feeding, special attention should be paid to the contents of the fluids being injected. The vegetarian patient will be pleased to know that most fluids are plant-based. However, a number of liquids contain casein (a protein from cow’s milk), and some soy-based liquids contain vitamin D, which is obtained from sheep’s wool. If this is important to the patient, be sure to discuss alternative nutritional options with your doctor.

Remember, in the hospital, your nutrition must be balanced, and treatment is usually short-lived, and you will eventually be able to return to your usual diet.

Tradition and ambition | Share recipe

The new blog “Republic” “Share the recipe” I consider from two positions: a nutritionist (health aspect) and a fan of intensive home economics (originality and technical difficulties). I don’t argue about tastes. The overall impression is very pleasant.

It’s good that the people still have a love for fiddling around the stove and an interest in the taste preferences of their ancestors. But the stories of the housewives are suggestive. So often mentioned “common people” – who is this? Uneducated? Low-income? Little known in wide circles? And what is “normal food”? Should people eat the same, regardless of age, gender, health level, place of residence? Or just traditional food?

But if our ancient ancestors had not privatized foreign recipes, we would not know vinaigrette, mashed potatoes, cutlets, tomatoes, coffee, tea, chocolate, spices …

Russian cuisine is international.And inclined to invent. Proof – “Potato with fleece” by Marina Galanicheva , exotic balls from Natalia Potapova are really high in calories, tasty, healthy and beautiful. But I have to refute the statement about the benefits of sweets before the main meal. On an empty stomach, honey – sugar causes the release of insulin into the bloodstream, which raises the appetite. Joulupuk houses shocked with beauty, imagination and accuracy of execution. Thanks to Elena Fomina. Lilia Stepanova’s apple ketchup is very good.Although it makes sense to stew vegetables with apples for an hour and a half, in my opinion, if the pan is ten liters.

There are different traditions

In the posts of the “Share the recipe” blog, simple-to-make and nourishing, family recipes, Pomor rybniki, wickets with potatoes, potato pancakes, yarn (yarn) pies were very successful. I vote for the fishmongers. They can be eaten every day, especially with fresh vegetables. Having solved the issue with the bones, give to both the small and the old. As for the rest of the pastries, it is for those who dream of a magnificent figure or for those who have given up on their health.Dear ladies! Don’t put too much faith in old recipes.

In the old days, grandfathers ate a lot that we are not able to eat. Have you tried radish with kvass, the common dish of a peasant family? What are the consequences? And what about pea products every day?

What health one had to have to digest such heavy food!

The state of the digestive system of the majority of today’s townspeople is not ready for such loads. Including yarn (frying in a large amount of oil).Good fat molecules turn into bad ones and are absorbed into the dough. Nadezhda Kalmykova has wonderful wickets! Judging by the photo, the only negative is that they are slightly burnt. The starch of flour at high temperatures forms the carcinogen acrylamide. Compared to this company, the dyes-flavors, of which the people are afraid, sheer nonsense. About Svetlana Nachinova’s family tradition to add lard to Olivier salad is something unheard of! I do not know what to say.

WHO is authorized to declare

And more about food already outside the scope of the culinary blog.Concerning Anton Mironov’s views on vegetarianism .

Not only vegetarianism, but also a raw food diet (excluding heat treatment of foods) is now included in the group of disorders of habits and impulses. I personally welcome this decision, because I have been expecting it for 20 years.

Since young people do not care about scientific recommendations, as well as many other things, it is very powerful, in Petrozavodsk (I will not say for the whole of Karelia) there are many fans of restrictive food systems.A typical case from practice. Imagine: a young anemic creature with a bunch of problems sits in front of you and proves his right to refuse animal food in favor of plant food. You tell him about essential amino acids, high content and easy assimilation of a number of minerals from animal products – and it’s about Indians. You tell him about the significant difference in enzyme systems among people of different ethnic groups – and you tell him about the menu of show business stars.

Life teaches us: fanaticism, whatever it manifests itself, is dangerous to health.In a mature and “golden” age, a person is free to experiment on himself, if it does not interfere with the environment. But women who need to give birth and feed children, babies and adolescents should receive with food everything that “nature has commanded.” This is her position.

90,000 Planned diet, what it is and how it works

Planned Diet: Let’s find out the secrets of this fast weight loss diet. Could it be true that one can lose weight in a very short time and with lasting results?

Plank Diet or Plank Diet, as known in the United States, is the high-potency protein, low-calorie diet.It is based on the principle that can lose weight by 9 kg in just 2 weeks. Subsequently, weight maintenance is ensured for about 3 years due to the supposed ability of the Planck diet to alter the metabolism of .

The founder of this diet is not yet known. For many years he was mistakenly associated with the German physicist Marx Planck.

In an era in which strives to be lean and fit seems fundamental, it’s no surprise to see how this promising diet immediately caught on.

Today, however, opinions are very controversial, and there are many doctors and nutritionists who warn of the risk of prolonged adherence to such an unbalanced diet and lack of nutrients necessary for the well-being of the body.

The Planned Diet: How Does It Change Metabolism?

This diet can be called in all respects Fast Diet . It is not prescribed by doctors and nutritionists, but everything relies on human common sense to follow the prescriptions.Acting for a very limited period of time, this is a very aggressive diet that can cause problems and ailments, albeit temporary.

Losing weight is due to the intensive consumption of fat stores . In fact, no energy sources (carbohydrates, sugars and fats of non-animal origin) are used for 2 weeks, so our body is forced to use lipid accumulation . However, this behavior leads to a slowdown of the metabolism of , not to its acceleration.

Therefore, when the diet is interrupted and “harmful” substances enter the body again, the risk of instant weight gain is very high.

Planning Diet: Are We Sure You Won’t Gain Weight Right Away?

Weekly Plank Diet Menu

This diet requires a disproportionate intake of animal proteins (fish, meat and vegetables). Conversely , sugar, carbohydrates, fiber, cheese and vegetable fats are prohibited .

Obviously, alcohol is also banned, as in all diets, and we suggest you drink even more than 2 liters of water a day.

For 14 days, you must strictly follow the recommendations of the menu, which, for example, provides for breakfast every morning with coffee without sugar and a little bread. However, over time, a modified version of the Planck diet emerged to try to make the diet less heavy, which in fact remains restrictive.

Planned diet: coffee is the main element of breakfast

Vegetarian Diet

Many vegetarians have wondered if there is a diet based on meat, fish, eggs and cheese.In fact, is impossible to create a vegetarian diet plan, unless you completely abandon it.

In fact, the alternative would be replacing animal proteins with tofu , seitan , soy , legumes, vegetables and fruits. Finally, for refueling you should use vegetable fats . In this case, however, there will be no trace of Planck’s original method.

Contraindications of the Planned Diet

Since this is a high protein diet, it is absolutely forbidden for people with cholesterol problems .The same applies to diabetics , heart patients, anemic, people with high blood pressure and kidney problems, children and adolescents, pregnant women.

Such a strict regimen cannot but cause changes, therefore dehydration, hypoglycemia, weakness, convulsions, sleep disorders , lack of certain nutrients, mineral salts and vitamins are often observed.

Along with all these contraindications, it is good to emphasize the danger of the do-it-yourself method , which is so widespread, especially in the Internet age.Always consult with your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist before venturing into this type of food .

If you work, play sports, if you have a very busy life, a drastic reduction in energy also can jeopardize concentration and physical strength .

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to consider more balanced and less restrictive diets? To take the time and not bow to the command immediately and completely? We see it this way…

For

diets and weight loss, check out our ideas:

  • Low Carb Diet
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Weight Loss Diet
  • Diet Scarsdale 9065236 9000 Diet Scarsdale Diet 9065236 9000
  • Tisanoreyka
  • Dr. Lemma’s Diet
  • Super Metabolism Diet
  • Zone Diet
  • Paleo
  • Dyukana Diet
  • 000
    .