It can be hard enough to follow a vegan diet when seemingly acceptable supermarket items (like Jell-O!) contain traces of animal products. One rule that many of us certainly understand? Burgers, bacon and sea bass are definitely off limits.
In the absence of meat, fish and poultry, vitamin deficiencies - especially a deficiency of vitamin B12 - can become a real problem for many vegan dieters. But despite popular belief, "There are plenty of vegan-friendly options to help you achieve your vitamin B12 RDA (recommended daily allowance),"Manhattan-based Registered Dietitian and Zeel Expert Lauren Antonucci assures us. "Even if you are not eating animal products, you should have no problem getting enough vitamin B12 in you as long as you are eating fortified foods and a varied, balanced diet."
Here, Lauren shares with us some of her recommendations for maintain a diet that is bountiful in B12.
Carb conscious. When choosing breakfast cereals and sandwich breads, take a look at the nutrition label to find products fortified with vitamin B12. Nature's Path Optimum Power Cereal, Kashi Heart to Heart and General Mill's Wheaties are some popular brands that provide a good source of the vitamin.
Got milk? Just one serving of soymilk can provide you with about 50 percent of your daily B12 needs. Add that soymilk to one of the aforementioned cereals, and you've got yourself a vitamin B12 dream-team.
Nutritional yeast. One of my favorite ways to ensure adequate B12 intake is to use nutritional yeast. The name might sound funny, but it comes in the form of flakes or a yellowish powder with a cornmeal like texture. Not only is nutritional yeast a complete protein, but it is jam-packed with B12 (about two rounded teaspoons contain the B12 RDA). The taste is a bit nutty, almost cheesy. I love it sprinkled on a piece of toast or atop popcorn, or I melt it into a "creamy" pasta sauce, sans actual cream. You should be able to find nutritional yeast at your local natural foods store or online.