Frequently asked questions
Do I need to take a Vitamin B-12 supplement?
Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria in the small intestines of animals and therefore, very small amounts are found in plant-based foods. The recommendation is to take a 250mcg Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) daily.
Is it healthy for children to be on a plant-based diet?
A well-balanced plant-based diet is safe for people of all ages. Those who live a plant-based lifestyle have a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. It is important for children to establish healthy eating habits early on and to give your child an opportunity to try a wide range of foods. Don’t be discouraged if they try something and dislike it. Studies show that children may need to try a food up to ten times before enjoying it.
To learn more about raising plant-based children, we recommend reading Dreena Burton’s cookbook Plant-Powered Families. This book has an extensive section on how to raise plant-based children, as well as lunchbox-friendly recipes.
I want to try a plant-based diet. How do I start?
Visit our Getting Started page to learn about the basics. We also recommend attending a grocery store tour where you will learn how to read a nutrition label, which foods to choose and which to avoid. To attend a guided grocery store tour, visit our Events page or call 1-800-856-4916. Another great resources is the Quick Start Guide from The Plantrician Project which you can view online.
Where will I get calcium from if I adopt a plant-based diet?
Great sources of plant-based calcium include the following: leafy greens such as spinach, collard greens, kale and broccoli, sweet potatoes, all kinds of beans, as well as non-dairy milks fortified with calcium. For more information, please click here to visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website.
Where will I get protein from if I adopt a plant-based diet?
Protein is an important nutrient, but many Americans are consuming too much protein. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for the average adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Plant-based sources of protein include the following: soy-based products like tofu and tempeh, all kinds of beans and legumes, peanut butter and whole grains.
Why do you recommend an oil-free, plant-based diet?
Oils are not considered a whole food, but rather the extracted, fatty part of what was previously a whole food. Oils of any kind (avocado, coconut, olive, peanut, vegetable, etc.) are extremely high in saturated fat, measuring in at about 14 grams of fat in a single tablespoon. Furthermore, oil has been shown to injure our endothelial cells (the cells lining our blood vessels), cause inflammation and promote heart disease.