- Provide a wide variety of plant foods, including plenty of strongly
coloured vegetables and fruits, including green leafy vegetables, peppers, and
broccoli. Aim for a total of at least 500 grams of fruit and vegetables per
day. It is recommended that vegetables should be steamed, if practicable,
rather than boiled and that the liquor from the steaming be kept for making
soups and sauces.
- Provide at least 3 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day or 2000 micrograms once a
week from fortified foods or supplements. Sources: Fortified Yeast Extract,
Fortified Soya Milk, Fortified Breakfast Cereals and Fortified Margarine.
- Limit the use of refined grains and hydrogenated fat. Over-processed food
should only be used sparingly as it has lost much of its nutrient content or
been transformed into unnatural and harmful forms. Hydrogenating vegetable oils
is one of the worst forms of processing as it produces unnatural trans-fats
which have a worse effect than ordinary unsaturated fat in raising cholesterol
and increasing heart disease risk. Hydrogenated fat is found in most foods,
hard margarines, and biscuits and in some vegan sausages and burgers. It is
recommended that products stating no hydrogenated fat should be used where
possible. Refined grains should not be a major component of the vegan diet, but
whole grains are associated with many health benefits.
- Provide 1-2 ounces (30-60g) of mixed nuts/seeds a day (e.g. walnuts,
hazelnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds).
- Include a good source of omega-3s each day (either by using rapeseed oil
for cooking and dressings or an ounce of walnuts each day).
- Provide calcium and magnesium rich foods such as spring greens, kale,
broccoli, fortified plant milks or breads.
- If sun exposure is limited, Vitamin D2 should be provided. Some of the
daily requirements may be obtained from fortified soya milk and fortified
margarines (unhydrogenated if possible).
- Include legumes (beans, peas, soya) to boost protein intake, particularly
if calorie intake is low.
- It is important to limit the use of Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) to 3 or 4 times per week.
- Limit the use of salt or use a low sodium alternative. To counterbalance
the high salt content of processed foods include foods containing potassium
such as leaf and root vegetables, fresh fruit, cereals, nuts, etc.
- Include a brazil nut a day to ensure a good selenium intake.
- An iodine source is important - found in small amounts in
green leafy vegetables, in larger amounts in
seaweeds and kelp. If it is unrealistic to
provide sufficient quantities in the diet then a vegan supplement should be
provided through Healthcare in the form of two kelp tablets a week, each with a
labelled iodine content of 150 to 250 micrograms.
- Raw vegetables should be included at least 3-4 times/week (i.e. In salad
including such items as broccoli, celery, carrot, beetroot, green or red