Veganism: Written by: Albert Gibosse – Blue Label Weekly Magazine [ ] Sponsored by: America’s Foo Basket Supermarkets Massachusetts Locations [ ]
Vegans do not eat meat, fish, or poultry and do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.


As some people become vegans for many reasons, including health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons, others choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world and believe they have a responsibility to try to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.

Vegan Nutrition

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Healthy and variety are key to a vegan diet that should include fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

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Protein sources

A vegan diet can easily meet the protein requirement as long as calorie intake is adequate, and protein planning emphasizes upon variety. With the exception of alcohol, sugar, and fats, most foods provide some protein. Vegan sources include: lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli, kale…

Sample Menus Meeting Protein Requirements

Protein (grams)

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1 cup Oatmeal 6

1 cup Soy Milk 7

1 medium Bagel 10


2 slices Whole Wheat Bread 7

1 cup Vegetarian Baked Beans 12


5 oz firm Tofu 12

1 cup cooked Broccoli 4

1 cup cooked Brown Rice 5

2 Tbsp Almonds 4


2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8

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6 Crackers 2

TOTAL 77 grams

Protein Recommendation for Male Vegan 63 grams

[based on 0.9 gram of protein per kilogram body weight for 70 kilogram (154 pound) male]


2 slices Whole Wheat Toast 7

2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8


6 oz Soy Yogurt 6

2 Tbsp Almonds 4

1 medium Baked Potato 3


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1 cup cooked Lentils 18

1 cup cooked Bulgur 6


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1 cup Soy Milk 7

TOTAL 59 grams

Protein Recommendation for Female Vegan 52 grams

[based on 0.9 gram of protein per kilogram body weight for 57.5 kilogram (126 pound) female]

Additional food should be added to these menus to provide adequate calories and to meet requirements for nutrients besides protein.


Vegan diets are free of cholesterol and are generally low in saturated fat. Thus eating a vegan diet makes it easy to conform to recommendations given to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. High-fat foods, which should be used sparingly, include oils, margarine, nuts, nut butters, seed butters, avocado, and coconut.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is not found in the vegan diet but can be made by humans following exposure to sunlight. At least ten to fifteen minutes of summer sun on hands and face two to three times a week is recommended for adults so that vitamin D production can occur. Food sources of vitamin D include vitamin D-fortified soy milk and rice milk. (For more information about vitamin D, see FAQs About Vitamin D)

Meeting Iron Requirements

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Dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables are especially good sources of iron, better on a per calorie basis than meat. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron.

Sources of Iron

Soybeans, lentils, blackstrap molasses, kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, Swiss chard, tempeh, black beans, prune juice, beet greens, tahini, peas, bulghur, bok choy, raisins, watermelon, millet, kale….

Comparison of Iron Sources

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Here are the iron contents of selected foods:



1 cup cooked soybeans 8.8

2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses 7.0

1 cup cooked lentils 6.6

1 cup cooked kidney beans 5.2

1 cup cooked chickpeas 4.7

1 cup cooked lima beans 4.5

1 cup cooked Swiss chard 4.0

1/8 medium watermelon 1.0


Meeting Omega-3 Fatty Acids Requirements

In order to maximize production of DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids), vegans should include good sources of alpha-linolenic acid in their diets such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, tofu, soybeans, and walnuts.



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Meeting Calcium Requirements

Calcium, needed for strong bones, is found in dark green vegetables, tofu made with calcium sulfate, calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice, and many other foods commonly eaten by vegans. Although lower animal protein intake may reduce calcium losses, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that vegans have lower calcium needs. Vegans should eat foods that are high in calcium and/or use a calcium supplement.


Foods meeting minimum calcium requirements

Soy or rice milk,

commercial, calcium-fortified, plain 8 oz 200-300 mg

Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 357 mg

Blackstrap molasses 2 TB 400 mg

Tofu, processed with calcium sulfate 4 oz 200-330 mg

Calcium-fortified orange juice 8 oz 300 mg

Tofu, processed with nigari 4 oz 80-230 mg

Kale, cooked 1 cup 179 mg

Tahini 2 TB 128 mg

Almonds ¼ cup 89 mg

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Other good sources of calcium include: okra, turnip greens, soybeans, tempeh, almond butter, broccoli, bok choy, commercial soy yogurt…

The recommended intake for calcium for adults 19 through 50 years is 1000 milligrams/day.

Note: oXalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens, binds with calcium can reduce calcium absorption, thus calcium can be obtained from other dark green vegetables.

Meeting Zinc Requirements

Vegan diets can provide zinc at levels close to or even higher than the RDA. Zinc is found in grains, legumes, and nuts.

Meeting Vitamin B12 Requirements

The requirement for vitamin B12 is very low. Non-animal sources include Red Star nutritional yeast T6635 also known as Vegetarian Support Formula (around 2 teaspoons supplies the adult RDA). It is especially important for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children to have reliable sources of vitamin B12 in their diets. Numerous foods are fortified with B12, but sometimes companies change what they do. So always read labels carefully or write the companies.

Tempeh, miso, and seaweed are often labeled as having large amounts of vitamin B12. However, these products are not reliable sources of the vitamin because the amount of vitamin B12 present depends on the type of processing the food undergoes. Other sources of vitamin B12 are fortified soy milk (check the label as this is rarely available in the U.S.), vitamin B12-fortified meat analogues, and vitamin B12 supplements. There are supplements which do not contain animal products. Vegetarians who are not vegan can also obtain vitamin B12 from dairy products and eggs.

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Egg and Dairy Substitutes

As a binder, substitute for each egg:

1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft tofu blended with the liquid ingredients of the recipe, or

1 small banana, mashed, or

1/4 cup applesauce, or

2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch, or Ener-G Egg Replacer or another commercial mix found in health food stores.

The following substitutions can be made for dairy products:

Soy milk, rice milk, potato milk, nut milk, or water (in some recipes) may be used.

Buttermilk can be replaced with soured soy or rice milk. For each Cup of buttermilk, use 1 cup soymilk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

Soy cheese available in health food stores. (Be aware that many soy cheeses contain casein, which is a dairy product.)

Crumbled tofu can be substituted for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese in lasagna and similar dishes.

Several brands of nondairy cream cheese are available in some supermarkets and kosher stores.


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Typical Vegan Foods

stir-fried vegetables, cereal, Oatmeal, toast, orange juice, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, frozen fruit desserts, lentil soup, vegetarian baked beans, guacamole, chili, salad bar items like chickpeas and three bean salad, dates, apples, macaroni, fruit smoothies, popcorn, spaghetti, Tofu lasagna, homemade pancakes without eggs, hummus, eggless cookies, soy ice cream, tempeh, corn chowder, soy yogurt, rice pudding, fava beans, banana muffins, spinach pies, oat nut burgers, falafel, corn fritters, French toast made with soy milk, soy hot dogs, vegetable burgers, pumpkin casserole, scrambled tofu, seitan.

Eating Out

Eggplant dishes without cheese, Pizza without cheese,

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Chinese moo shu vegetables, Indian curries and dal, bean tacos without the lard and cheese (available at Taco Bell and other Mexican restaurants), Middle Eastern hummus and tabouli, Ethiopian injera (flat bread) and lentil stew, Thai vegetable curries…





Delicious Vegan Food Recipes:

Vegan Creamy Lemon Spaghetti Alfredo

VEGAN POTATO SALAD Recipe [ VEGAN POTATO SALAD Recipe by America’s Food Basket Supermarkets and Blue Label Weekly Magazine ]



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