Don't Worry about Your Protein Needs

Proteins &

Calories, Protein, and Fat

It’s important to include some high-calorie, high-protein foods in order to feel satisfied. Legumes—beans, peanuts, peas, lentils, tofu, and other soy products— are the best sources of protein for vegans. Include a few servings of the following foods each day—maybe even each meal.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 in vegan diets has been a source of controversy and myths. Although it rarely happens quickly, if you don’t get a reliable source of vitamin B12 through fortified foods or supplements, the chances are high that you will eventually find your health suffering. Here are a few great supplementing options for B12.


Vegans, like non-vegans, should try to meet the same calcium recommendations as to the greater population. There are plenty of plant-based foods that are a source of calcium and are readily available in your nearby supermarket.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency isn’t just a vegan problem as many people develop vitamin D deficiency, partially as a result of avoiding the sun. Make sure that you have a reliable source of vitamin D and some sunlight too.


Iron is found in many plant foods, and vegans tend to have iron intakes comparable to meat-eaters. To ensure even better iron absorption, take your iron supplement with a good source of vitamin C.

Vitamin A

There are many sources of vitamin A for vegans—especially orange vegetables—but you shouldn’t leave getting enough to chance. See your options here and eat one or two sources every day.


An average vegan diet will meet or come close to the RDA for zinc, but some people might fall a bit short. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include catching frequent colds or developing cracks at the corners of your mouth. Supplement with 50–100% of the RDA if you suspect a deficiency. See your options here and eat one or two sources every day.

Meal Plans and More

Good Luck—and May You Thrive on a Vegan Diet!​