You are what you eat
In order to eat a proper vegan diet and ensure you are getting all the proper nutrients you need, please find a list below of serving sizes and essential nutrients along with examples of what to eat.
Always consult with your nutritionist or doctor before making any dietary changes.
Vegan Plate & Serving Sizes
Graphic from “Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition” (2014) and from“Becoming Vegan: Express Edition” (2013), both by Registered Dietitians Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, Book Publishing Co.
Vegetables – 5 or more servings per day
Raw leafy vegetables – 1 cup (250ml)
Raw or cooked vegetables – ½ cup (125ml)
Vegetable juice – ½ cup (125ml)
Fruits – 4 or more servings per day
Fruit – 1 medium or ½ cup
Dried fruit – ¼ cup (60ml)
Fruit juice – ½ cup (125ml)
Grains – 3 or more servings per day
Cooked cereal, rice, pasta, quinoa or other grain – ½ cup (125 ml)
Bread – 1oz (30g)
Ready-to-eat cereal – 30g
Corn – ½ cup (125ml)
Nuts and seeds – 1 or more servings per day
Nuts and seeds – ¼ cup (60ml)
Nut or seed butter – 2 tbsp (30ml)
Legumes – 3 or more servings per day
Cooked beans, peas, lentils, tofu & tempeh – ½ cup (125ml)
Peanuts & peanut butter – ¼ cup (60ml) peanut
2 tbsp (30ml) peanut butter
Soy milk – 1/3 cup (30ml)
Meat substitute – 1 oz (30g)
Recommended daily intake – 1000mg
1 cup (250ml) cooked bok choy, collard greens, napa cabbage, kale (double portion if cooked)
½ cup (125ml) calcium fortified tomato, vegetable, or fruit juice
½ cup (125ml) dried figs or 2 oranges
1 cup (250ml) black or white beans
½ cup (125ml) fortified soy milk or soy yogurt
½ cup (125ml) calcium-set tofu, cooked soybeans or soy nuts
1oz (30g) calcium fortified cereal
1 calcium fortified tortilla
¼ cup (60ml) almonds
2 tbsp (30ml) almond butter or tahini
Why is Calcium important?
Calcium is crucial for keeping your bones and teeth strong. Especially helping to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Examples of calcium-rich foods
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Napa cabbage
- Fortified vegetable juice
- Fruit juice
- Dried figs and oranges
- Fortified cereal and tortilla
- Almond butter
- Black/white beans
- Plant-based milks
- Soy yogurt
- Calcium set tofu
- Cooked soybeans
- Soy nuts
Expose your face and forarms to warm sunlight (between 10a.m. and 3p.m. without sunscreen) daily for 15 minutes
or Take a vitamin D supplement from October ro April (800IU–1000IU) (20mcg-25mcg)
Why is Vitamin D important?
Vitamin D keeps our bones healthy by helping to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. It also appears to keep our muscles healthy too.
Take a daily supplement of at least 25mcg
Or take a supplement twice a week of at least 1000mcg
Fortified foods: aim to reach 100% DV
Vegan meat substitute
Why is Vitamin B12 important?
Vitamin B12 is crucial for the proper functioning of the nerves, the immune system, and also most importantly the energy release from food and the production of red blood cells.
Include a source of Omega-3 fatty acids in your day
2 Tbsp (30ml) chia seeds
2 Tbsp (30ml) ground flax seeds
¼ cup (60ml) hemp seeds
1/3 cup (85ml) walnuts
1 ½ tsp (7ml) flax seed oil
1 ½ Tbsp (22ml) hemp seed oil
2 ½ Tbsp (37ml) canola oil
Why is Omega-3 important?
Omega-3 fatty acids are important healthy fats that are necessary for maintaining heart, brain, skin, and joint health. Our bodies don’t naturally create them, so we have to get them from food.
Eat 1/3 tsp (2ml) iodized salt every day
or Multi-vitamin containing iodine
or Sea vegetables – iodine will vary greatly
Why is Iodine important?
Iodine is important for a variety of body functions, from metabolic control to nervous system development.
Helpful tools to follow
Vegan Grocery List
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