Starting to be a vegan

Neda

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Hello every one,

It is about one week that my husband and I became vegan. We love getting vegan and we hope to continue this lifestyle.
There is just one problem. I am just so concerned about all vitamins and nutrients that I get, so I eat much more that before.
I just want to ask you when we should start getting supplements like vitamin D, B12, Omega3 and ….?
The other fact is I do not like take supplements. So if we turn to be semi-vegan, like eating two times per week sardine or salmon, can we get all nutrient and vitamins specially vitamin B12?

I would be grateful I you help me in this regard.
 

Forest Nymph

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1) You can get Omega 3s from flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts, hemp milk, hemp oil, and chia seeds. There is no need to take a supplement unless you are being extra-cautious because you are pregnant, elderly or have a medical condition. In that case, algal oil is a completely vegan alternative to fish oil supplements.

2) Vitamin D comes naturally from the sun. Even if you drank cow's milk you were getting vitamin D from a supplement - vitamin D is added to pasteurized milk, and a lot of people don't realize it's not natural. Other ways to get vitamin D without having to take a vitamin pill are eating fortified cereals (like Multigrain Cheerios) or drinking Silk soy milk which is fortified with vitamin D just like cow's milk. People need 20 minutes per day of exposure to daylight WITHOUT sunscreen to process vitamin D...when I lived in Los Angeles I put sunscreen on my face and chest but not on my forearms so I would get vitamin D that way (and on my feet or legs if they were exposed). Lots of people take D supplements in winter even if they aren't vegan. If you eat a lot of white mushrooms you're probably getting some vitamin D. You can also buy "vitamin D lamps" just Google it. They're the kinds of lamps depressed people use when suffering lack of sun.

3) You should know that vitamin B12 is fed to farm animals. Cattle farming is one of the biggest wastes of mined B12 in the world, it's a lie perpetuated among meat eaters that cows are somehow magically able to make B12 better than we are with the state of our agriculture and soil. When you eat meat you are eating the flesh of an animal who was supplemented with B12 already most of the time - so you're still ingesting a supplement. Bad farming practices have lead to this "issue" with B12 that isn't unique to vegans. Many people living in poverty, children and elderly people are B12 deficient even when they're omnis because of junky diets....you can buy Red Star Nutritional Yeast ...it contains B12 and you wouldn't have to take a pill. I like eating it with pasta and marinara sauce, on avocado toast, and in vegan cheez sauces I make at home from scratch. Some people sprinkle it on popcorn or cooked veggies. Vegan milks are often fortified with B12 - Silk is.

4) If you eat fish once or twice a week you are not vegan or even "semi-vegan" because you're not even a vegetarian. Yes, eating fish once or twice per week might be an adequate source of B12 but you would neither be a vegetarian nor a vegan. If you have some sort of paranoia about swallowing vitamin pills, I have tried my best to supply you with alternatives to that. But to imagine you can live in the 21st century without any supplements at all - no matter what your diet is - is a joke. It's an imaginary construct. With farm animals being fed vitamins, antibiotics and hormones, and milk being pasteurized and supplemented, and common cereals being fortified, you're not escaping supplements anywhere you go. It's not like they're drugs I don't understand the aversion, but w/e.
 

Lux

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If you're eating a varied diet, full of vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy fats it's really quite difficult to not get the nutrients we need... the standard type western diet (with fast food and processed foods) really contains a lot less nutrients than many people think and I would argue that it's more difficult to really treat your body well on that kind of diet, rather than a vegan one. Instead it's full of E-numbers, additives, added sugar and fat for flavour enhancement... I often have non vegan or non vegetarian friends telling me how being vegan automatically isn't healthy, like it's some sort of reason not to be one at all and more importantly, like not being vegan automatically is. It's not...

One easy way of making sure you're feeding your body all the vitamins and nutrients it needs is to make sure to look at how colourful your food is. Vegetables with different colours have different vitamins and antioxidants in them.

As for B12 I'm personally quite happy to take it as a supplement and alternatives have already been covered in this thread. Same with Vitamin D, which is a must in my part of the world as we have months of none to little daylight at all, in the winter.
 

Veganite

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I think being vegan is the best way to live life in a healthy way.

I think you're right :)

In the beginning, and even still now, I browse as many vegan lifestyle and health sources as time will allow. Educating myself about this lifestyle, not only inspires me, but helps me decide what's best in my own diet. It also helps you for when your non-vegan friends and family ask questions. I often tell people I'm plant-based, as apposed to vegan, just to avoid arguments. I choose my battles carefully, as they say. For some reason saying you're vegan often gets non-vegan's back's up, but saying you're plant-based in many cases makes the subject moot.

That being said, there is a lot of information out there on the subject. Some people have very strong opinions about what is good and what isn't. I try to stick to sources that back up their claims with science, and links to the actual studies. Hopefully those studies were not funded by biased sources, which is something else people need to be aware of. Lets face it, a scientific study that's funded by the agriculture industry in some way could have a biased outcome in their favor. Choose your sources carefully is what I'm trying to say.

Doctor Michael Greger has been featured in several vegan/plant-based documentaries in recent years. His entire site is non-profit and there to help educate people all for free. He almost always backs up his claims with some sort of scientific studies. I've found his site quite useful for many of the type of questions you ask.

https://nutritionfacts.org/
 

mikek

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If you're eating a varied diet, full of vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy fats it's really quite difficult to not get the nutrients we need... the standard type western diet (with fast food and processed foods) really contains a lot less nutrients than many people think and I would argue that it's more difficult to really treat your body well on that kind of diet, rather than a vegan one. Instead it's full of E-numbers, additives, added sugar and fat for flavour enhancement... I often have non vegan or non vegetarian friends telling me how being vegan automatically isn't healthy, like it's some sort of reason not to be one at all and more importantly, like not being vegan automatically is. It's not...

One easy way of making sure you're feeding your body all the vitamins and nutrients it needs is to make sure to look at how colourful your food is. Vegetables with different colours have different vitamins and antioxidants in them.

As for B12 I'm personally quite happy to take it as a supplement and alternatives have already been covered in this thread. Same with Vitamin D, which is a must in my part of the world as we have months of none to little daylight at all, in the winter.

+1
and if you want the insurance, just take a multi-vitimin+iron once a day. job done :)