Search results for: omega 3 primer

19 01, 2012

Omega-3 Fats in Vegan Diets: A Quick Primer

By |2020-09-03T11:21:38-04:00January 19th, 2012|Tags: , , |57 Comments

[updated 9/3/20]

There continues to be much confusion among vegans about the differences between the two types of omega-3 fats. If you take supplements of DHA (or DHA and EPA), do you still need to eat flaxseeds? And if you are eating flaxseeds, do you need those DHA supplements?

The short answer is that you definitely need to include foods like flaxseeds that provide essential omega-3 fats and you may need the DHA supplements.

Flaxseeds and a handful of other plant foods provide an omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA which is an essential nutrient. […]

9 09, 2019

Recommended Supplements: A Vegan Nutrition Primer

By |2019-09-10T11:21:55-04:00September 9th, 2019|Comments Off on Recommended Supplements: A Vegan Nutrition Primer

Vegans are sometimes tempted to deny the need for supplements. The fear is that any suggestion that our diet could fall short of providing adequate nutrition makes it appear “unnatural” or inferior. But the concept of naturalness is meaningless when it comes to dietary choices. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t approximate the diet (or more likely, diets) that our prehistoric ancestors ate. And let’s face it, there is nothing the least bit natural about raising animals on factory farms.

A vegan diet requires supplementary vitamin B12 at the very least. And […]

23 09, 2015

Soyfoods, Olive Oil, Beans, and Omega-3s: A Vegan Plan for Reducing Depression

By |2015-09-23T09:33:52-04:00September 23rd, 2015|Tags: , , , , , , |24 Comments

tofu veggiesSome ex-vegans say that they became depressed on a plant-based diet. If they did, it was probably due to poor food choices and maybe a lack of recommended supplements. It’s doubtful that a healthy vegan diet promotes depression. In fact, eating more plant foods may have a few advantages for people who suffer from this chronic illness.

Is it possible, though, that vegans are more likely to suffer from depression for a completely different reason?

One small study suggests that vegans and vegetarians respond with more empathy (as measured by brain scans) […]

1 03, 2015

Introducing Nutrition Primers from The Vegan RD

By |2015-03-01T12:54:16-05:00March 1st, 2015|13 Comments

vegan nutrition primersMany of the questions that come to me via email, this blog and through social media are ones that I’ve answered somewhere at one time or another—in my books, in blog posts or in other articles online.

Sometimes the information that people need is spread out across several resources, though, and I thought it might be helpful to consolidate it all into one place with a series of nutrition primers. My goal is to share information in response to the most frequent questions I receive, and to do so as […]

22 04, 2021

Finding the Best Vegan Diet (And Why It’s Not Low-Fat)

By |2021-04-22T13:46:51-04:00April 22nd, 2021|10 Comments

It’s been quiet on this website for a long time while I’ve had my attention on several all-consuming projects. One was the new edition of Vegan for Life. By the time that book was published last May, I was already immersed in an even bigger endeavor which was a 10-year update to The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets, scheduled for publication in October 2021. Co-authored with Dr. Reed Mangels and Dr. Mark Messina, this is a textbook and a comprehensive overview of all aspects of vegan and vegetarian nutrition.


One subject that […]

21 03, 2018

Shifting From Vegan to Paleo is a Step in the Wrong Direction

By |2018-03-21T17:24:45-04:00March 21st, 2018|15 Comments

Is there such a thing as the one and only healthy way to eat? Best-selling authors like Dr. Mark Hyman would like you to think so.

Recently, he’s become a proponent of an eating style that he calls “pegan,” which as you might guess is a portmanteau of Paleo and vegan. In designing this diet, Dr. Hyman says that he “synthesized the best aspects of each and integrated them with the anti-inflammatory and detoxification principles of functional medicine to create a balanced, inclusive dietary plan that changed my life and my patients’ […]

16 01, 2017

7 Tips for Sticking With Your New Vegan Diet

By |2017-11-01T17:17:56-04:00January 16th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |13 Comments

Maybe you’ve decided to jump right into a vegan diet or maybe you’re dipping a toe in the water and opting for a gentle transition. Either way, there are lots of things that newbie vegans can do to make their diet feel more practical and sustainable for the long run.

1. Embrace your cooking style.

In their annual click bait story on the “best” diets, US News and World Report suggested that eating vegan means spending lots of time in the kitchen. This is a poorly-informed and limited view of veganism.  […]

18 08, 2016

Taking Responsibility for the Health of Vegan Children

By |2016-08-18T09:57:38-04:00August 18th, 2016|Tags: , , , |13 Comments

peanut butter on toast for kidsNo doubt you’ve heard about the legislator in Italy who is proposing to make it illegal to raise kids as vegans. Italian lawmaker Elvira Savino wants to see jail sentences of up to seven years for parents who feed their children only plant foods.

The proposed bill describes veganism as “a diet devoid of elements essential for healthy and balanced growth,” It’s ludicrous. Given what we know about nutrient needs, there is no reason to think that children of well-informed vegan parents are at risk for […]

19 03, 2016

Vegan Diets are Dangerous? Here is What the Research Really Says

By |2016-03-19T11:49:20-04:00March 19th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , |14 Comments

Messina Plant PlateDoctors at the Cleveland Clinic suggest that vegans should know something about diet planning in order to make sure they are meeting nutrient needs.

Their conclusions were published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The paper doesn’t say anything that is particularly alarming, and, with a few exceptions, there isn’t much in it that I would take issue with.

But the Cleveland Clinic press-released the findings, giving the media a chance to scaremonger about vegan diets—and you know how much they like to do that.

As is often the […]

9 07, 2015

Preventing Ex-Vegans: Why Nutrition and Nutritionism Matter

By |2018-09-10T16:49:29-04:00July 9th, 2015|Tags: , , |24 Comments

Natural vitamins in fruitEating healthy whole foods is important—and so is paying attention to individual nutrients. Lately, though, that’s become an unpopular thing to say. It’s what food activists like Michael Pollan refer to as “nutritionism.” That is, he and others say we should stop worrying so much about nutrients and just eat food (or “real” food as they refer to it). As physician David Katz says “If you eat whole foods, the nutrients sort themselves out.”

But this is not exactly a science-based observation; it’s an opinion or […]

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