Nutrition for a Vegan

I’ve been eating a mostly vegan diet for 3 1/2 years. I read in a book “Becoming Vegan”, written by two dietitians, who suggest being tested every few years for any deficiencies. Do you suggest that also? The book to which you refer was written by Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, RD, MS. These are two Canadian dietitians who I think are fantastic. If you go back and look at other answers I have written you will see their names all over the place.

Yes, I think if you can afford or are able to have tests done it is important. With all the recent health care changes, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were exemptions for it. I would suggest using a tax estimator to figure it out. We want you to be healthy and not have any deficiency diseases. This is an easy way for you to keep check on yourself. Also, it would demonstrate to any healthcare practitioner you come in contact with that vegans are not emaciated waifs following a food fad.

Every six months or so I see an negative vegan article or report that reminds me that we, vegans, need to show the allopathic medical world that non-animal eaters are healthy, and base their food choices on science. Your body’s biochemistry is set up to be a vegan. When you support that biochemistry, you stay healthy. Amazing!

I do not think you are a dog, but stick with me. When I attended a seminar on raising vegetarian dogs, the vet suggested that we take our companions in for a complete annual exam. This would allow vets to see that dogs on a vegetarian diet are healthy and live long productive lives. Most vets only see the sick animals. This colors their view of what animals need to eat to stay healthy, and perpetuates their beliefs of feeding companion animals unhealthy, ecologically disastrous food. My first vet was incredulous that a 90 pound dog could be a vegetarian.

The RDs and MDs I have met who harbor misgivings about veg diets do so because the only veg patients they see are the ones with problems.

When my health insurance covered annual exams, our family made appointments. Our MD knew that our cholesterol was low, our weight didn’t change, our blood sugar was balanced, our brains worked and our son grew in a healthy manner. Being a great example does more to change people’s view than a ton of research.

Marty Davey

Author: Marty Davey

Marty Davey is a Registered Dietitian and has a Masters degree in Food and Nutrition from Marywood University. She became a vegetarian in 1980 when she discovered that the French didn't want our meat products due to factory farming methods and began studying nutrition while cleansing her diet to a totally plant-based lifestyle. She has a private practice specializing in assisting clients transitioning from the conventional Western foods to a plant-based regime.

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