Baby steps are a good place to start when making large changes to your diet. Nutritionists suggest starting small by gradually replacing meat in meals with protein-rich, plant-based foods so you can access any changes that take place—for instance, lagging energy levels or unbalanced mood swings.
Vegans are most prone to vitamin B12 deficiency due to the fact that this B occurs naturally only in animal foods and B12-fortified foods. If you’re feeling suddenly sluggish, weak, depressed or suffering from constipation, you may very well be suffering low B12 levels. Take a supplement to restore B12 levels and talk to a nutritionist about B12 fortified food options.
Read Processed Product Labels
In the early stages of my vegan diet, I was naturally drawn to soy-based foods for their convenience and high protein levels. However, much controversy swirls around soy when it comes to increasing the risk of cancer, hypertension, and heart disease. Food professionals point to the high sodium levels in processed tofu, miso, and tempeh products. So be sure to read labels carefully.
Boost Iron Intake
Iron in the form of heme (from animal sources) is scarce in vegan diets. However, non-heme (less easily absorbed, non-animal sourced) iron can be gleaned from foods like sunflower seeds, dried raisins, legumes, and leafy greens. According to nutritionists, you just need to consume more of it for adequate iron absorption.