The Vegan for Life Food Guide was developed by Ginny Messina, MPH, RD and Jack Norris, RD for the second edition of Vegan for Life. To ensure that you’re meeting nutrient needs, use the Vegan for Life Food Guide as a reminder to eat these foods every day:
- 3+ servings of legumes (beans, soyfoods, or peanuts)
- 1 + servings of nuts or seeds (include walnuts, ground flaxseed, or chia or hempseeds for essential fats)
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Supplements of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iodine (or iodized salt)
- 3 cups per day of calcium-rich foods: fortified plant milks, fortified juices, calcium-set tofu, oranges, cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, collards, turnip greens, bok choy)
- There is no minimum requirement for grains and starchy foods. When you include these foods in meals, choose whole grains most often.
Don’t stress over any of this too much, though. It’s the way you eat most of the time that matters. So if you miss a serving of legumes now and then, or fall a little short on your calcium-rich foods once in a while, it’s not a big deal. And keep in mind that these are minimums. Many women and most men will need more food than this to meet calorie needs.
For more information about using this guide, see the second edition of Vegan for Life.