Interview with Talk to a Doc

I recently did a 30-minute interview with Katya Trent of Wellness with Katya: Talk To A Doc.

We mainly discussed whether vegans need to take supplements.

Towards the end of the interview, I said that vegans can get all the nutrients they need without taking supplements. I should have clarified that this is based on three assumptions:

1. You’re getting vitamin B12 through fortified foods.

2. You’re getting enough sunlight to make adequate vitamin D or that you’re eating UV-treated mushrooms with large amounts of vitamin D.

3. You’re getting enough short chain omega-3 fatty acids from plant foods and that your body is converting enough to the long chain DHA. The jury is still out on whether vegans, especially older vegans, need a direct source of DHA (more info).

If you listen, I hope you enjoy it!

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3 Responses to “Interview with Talk to a Doc”

  1. Brandon Becker Says:

    This was a really helpful interview. I much prefer getting nutrients from food rather than supplements and now only take B12 and D. Plus, there are some nutrients like potassium where food is the only option. A guide I like to think about is that if you’re eating healthy enough to reach the RDA for potassium, you’re likely going to be good on everything else.

  2. Cobie deLespinasse Says:

    Good interview. I was glad she asked how long you recommended people take to transition to a vegan diet, because I’d wondered about that. You suggested that people transition to vegetarianism over the course of a year, then transition to veganism over another year. 3 questions:
    1. What kinds of problems do people run into if they try to transition too quickly?
    2. Is it best to transition to vegetarian first and then to vegan, or to transition gradually from meat-eater to vegan?
    3. If I run into a person who’s really concerned about animals, is not worried about giving up the animal products, and wants to go vegan ASAP, what would you recommend I say to them about transitioning?
    Thank you for discussing these questions!

  3. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Cobie,

    These are good questions.

    > 1. What kinds of problems do people run into if they try to transition too quickly?

    I’m not sure. My response was just from anecdotal evidence that many people seem to transition at this rate, but now that you’ve asked, I really have no evidence for how long it should take. The HRC recidivism survey linked a slower transition to being less likely to lapse, but that could be non-causal.

    > 2. Is it best to transition to vegetarian first and then to vegan, or to transition gradually from meat-eater to vegan?

    I have no evidence for either way being more likely to result in more permanence.

    > 3. If I run into a person who’s really concerned about animals, is not worried about giving up the animal products, and wants to go vegan ASAP, what would you recommend I say to them about transitioning?

    I think this is probably fine; I would just tell them to go for it.

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