What is vegan nutrition?
In order to define and make sense of vegan nutrition, it is necessary to know what vegetarian nutrition is. Vegan nutrition can be considered as a type of vegetarian diet, or it can be considered alone in terms of general opinion.
Vegetarian nutrition is a known diet that has been preferred and practiced since ancient times. Among the reasons why individuals prefer a vegetarian diet, there are religious and economic reasons or preferences such as not liking the taste/texture of foods of animal origin.
Vegetarianism is defined as “etyemez” as a word of French origin by the Turkish Language Association. In this type of diet, individuals completely exclude meat, meat products, poultry, and seafood from their diets. Ethical considerations, animal rights, concerns about environmental problems and positive effects on health are among the reasons why this diet is more accepted and preferred by the twentieth century.
Individuals on a vegetarian diet obtain their daily nutritional needs from foods such as cereals, dairy products, legumes, vegetables, fruits and oilseeds. There are vegetarian varieties according to the type of animal product consumed. While some eat only red meat, some do not eat meat and eggs, eat milk and dairy products, or eat eggs and do not eat milk and dairy products.
|Semi-vegetarian (Flexitarian)||Sometimes red meat, poultry or fish etc. consumes seafood.|
|Pesco-vegetarian||He excludes red meat and poultry from his diet, fish, etc. consumes seafood.|
|Lacto-ovo-vegetarian (LOV)||He excludes all types of meat from his diet, consumes milk and dairy products and eggs.|
|Ovo-vegetarian (OV)||He excludes all types of meat, milk and dairy products from his diet, and consumes eggs.|
|Lacto-vegetarian (LV):||He excludes all types of meat and eggs from his diet, and consumes milk and dairy products.|
|Polo-vegetarian;||Besides plant foods, they only consume poultry.|
Vegan diet is separated from vegetarian diet with sharper lines. Vegans do not consume any foods of animal origin, including honey. Vegans do not consume any animal products such as red meat, white meat, fish, eggs, honey, milk, cheese, butter, margarine, gelatin, yogurt, ayran and kefir. Some vegans also do not use any products of animal origin in any aspect of their lives such as leather wallets, leather belts, leather bags, fur, suede, silk and wool. Many vegans argue that animals are not for humans, and therefore in a way they have developed a way of life against animal exploitation.
Since the variety of nutrients decreases in vegan nutrition, some vitamin deficiencies as well as protein, omega-3 and mineral deficiencies can be seen in the diet, however, it is completely possible to ensure a well balanced diet through careful consideration.
B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency: Cobalamin cannot be produced by the body, so it must be taken from the outside. Since cobalamin is mostly found in animal foods, vitamin B12 deficiency can be seen in a vegan diet.
Calcium Deficiency: Calcium deficiency may occur in a vegan diet because it is mainly supplied from milk and dairy products. Alternatives for vegans are leafy greens, fruits like orange and fig, legumes, beans, fortified drinks etc. Calcium has important functions in the bone and skeletal system. It is stored in teeth and bones. Calcium deficiency can be seen in a vegan diet if above mentioned food types are not consumed.
Iodine Deficiency: Iodine, which has an important place in the synthesis of thyroid hormones and in the proper functioning of the thyroid glands, may be deficient in individuals on a vegan diet, since it is mainly found in milk and dairy products along with seafood. Seaweed and sea kelp is a good source of iodine for vegans.
Iron Deficiency: Iron can be found in foods of both animal origin and plant origin, but since it is found at a higher rate in foods of animal origin, its deficiency can be seen in individuals who have adopted a vegan diet.
Protein And Omega-3 Source Plant Based Foods
|Lentil||There are 9 grams of protein in 100 grams.|
|Tofu||There are 8 grams of protein in 100 grams.|
|Kidney bean||There are 8 grams of protein in 10 grams.|
|Soy milk||100 grams of soy milk contains 8 grams of protein.|
|Pea||A meal of 200 grams of peas contains 8 grams of protein.|
|Artichoke||A 100 gram serving contains 3.3 grams of protein.|
|Broccoli||There are 4 grams of protein in 100 grams.|
|Almond||2 tablespoons of almonds contain 7 grams of protein.|
|Chickpeas||A 100 gram serving contains 6-8 grams of protein.|
|OMEGA OIL CONTENT|
|Chia Seed||2,496 grams of omegas in 14 grams|
|Flaxseed||1.597 grams of omegas in 1 tablespoon|
|Walnut||9,080 grams of omega per 100 grams|
|Spinach||92 grams of omega per 100 grams|
|Cauliflower||In 100 grams, 167 grams of omega|
|Brussels Sprouts||173 grams of omega per 100 grams|
|Blueberries||112 grams of omega per 100 grams|
It is quite possible to adopt a vegan lifestyle and be a healthy individual at the same time. What needs to be done is to know from which plant-based foods the macro & micro nutrients can be obtained to provide a balanced diet when following a vegan lifestyle and to prepare special menus accordingly.