My vegan nutrition project has focused on supplements, but there have been several requests for resources on how to eat better. I'm not well equipped to answer this- I'm not vegan, and my stomach only got even passably good at digestion a year ago. So I'd like to crowdsource this question: what resources have you found useful in eating well while eliminating or reducing animal products

My existing list focuses on overviews and onboarding guides, but I think things like recipe books would also be useful. 

Have people found these helpful? Are there other things that are better, or fill in a gap? How did you learn to cook well?

Diet and supplements overlap but there is already a supplements post and I don't want to split the information, so please lean food-based here. 


 

 



 

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krs

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I'm only a vegetarian but I try to eat vegan when possible. I personally think that fortified foods are too often overlooked by people going on plant based diets. A lot of products targeted at vegans are fortified really well with nutrients that vegans tends to lack. For instance, at least at the grocery store I go to, the plant based milks contain as much calcium, b12, and vitamin D as the cow's milk. Breakfast cereals are also great and usually have an assortment of nutrients including iron (this comes with the usual caveat of avoiding the really sugary cereals). Personally, I like Cheerios and Total. 

Other than that, I think it is sufficient to eat a varied diet with a wide array of grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc. and some relevant supplements.

Edit: This guide on FDA fortification policy is not specifically targeted at those on plant-based diets, but it has useful information on how the FDA decides to implement fortification guidelines in the first place, e.g. by recommending that soy beverages be fortified with similar amounts of calcium as cow's milk:  https://www.fda.gov/media/94563/download

Also, there are some podcast episodes and articles I like: 

Check out How Not to Die and subsequent books in that series.

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I see a few comments here on fortified foods. I think the vitamin D and iron is usually in less bioavailable forms (D2 and non-heme iron) in fortified plant-based foods than in animal products, and I don’t know if % daily value on labels account for that. I take a multivitamin with apparently 100% of the daily value for both, and it wasn't enough based on my bloodwork and lightheadedness/blackouts (few of the other vegans I know got lightheaded; I had been giving blood every 2 months, but even after I stopped, the multivitamin alone didn't seem to be enough), so I take separate supplements for each on top of the multivitamin. I was also eating nuts, legumes, and kale or spinach for iron most days.

Looking at my soy milk (Silk), per cup, the label says it has only 2 micrograms of vitamin D (D2) and 10% of the daily value. Some of my other vegan dairy products have no vitamin D. There's no vitamin D in Beyond Burgers, but there is a decent amount of (non-heme) iron per patty (5.5 mg, 31% DV). Similarly for my Yves veggie chicken. I'd be surprised if most vegans not taking supplements with vitamin D even reach 100% DV according to the labels (whether they account for bioavailbility or not) through diet alone.

I live in Canada, though, so vitamin D is harder to get from the sun during the winter.

My partner is vegan, and it seems like there is nothing special one needs to do to stay healthy, just eat everything (vegan) in moderation, like veggies, legumes, fruits, nuts etc. Most processed products like oat milk, soy milk, impossible meat, beyond meat, daiya cheese are enriched with whatever supplements are needed already unless one is specifically susceptible to some deficiencies.

Sounds like you're suggesting eating those processed, fortified foods? Lots of people avoid those or just don't like them, so knowing they're valuable is important information.

I suggest (well, my partner does) including those you like as a part of a diverse vegan diet. Oat milk is nominally processed and enriched, but it is not a central example of "processed foods" by any means. There are many vegan options that are enriched with vitamins and minerals to cover nearly everything that humans get from eggs, milk products and meats, most people can find something they like with a bit of trying. Of course, there are always those who are allergic, sensitive, unable to process well, or supertasters that need something special. I am not talking about these cases.