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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Vegan meal plan

Vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. A vegan diet is plant-based, which means you don’t eat any products that come from animals, such as dairy, meat or honey.

Grains, seeds, beans, pulses, nuts, vegetables and fruits make up the bulk of vegan cooking.

If you’d like to follow a healthy vegan diet, our meal plan is designed to help ensure you are including foods that meet your nutritional needs. 

While a well-planned vegan diet can provide all the nutrition you need, it’s harder to find certain vitamins and minerals in vegan foods. 

So, you could consider taking a vegan-suitable vitamin and mineral supplement which contains B12, iodine, vitamin D and selenium. You could speak to your health care team about this, to make sure you are taking the right amount. 

This meal plan is calorie and carb counted for your convenience. It also contains at least five portions of fruit and veg per day. 

We’ve included the value for fibre too to help you make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements. We know lots of people in the UK aren’t eating enough fibre, so it’s important to try and include good sources in your diet every day.

Some of the recipes within this plan serve anywhere from 1-6 people. You can either reduce the quantities to serve as many people as needed or look at the chef’s tips to see if the recipe can be made in bulk and frozen for a later date. This will also help reduce waste. 

Before you begin this meal plan

Before starting any healthy eating programme, please read how to choose your meal plan to make sure you follow the plan that's right for you. 

Please speak to your diabetes health care team before making significant changes to your diet. 

This is especially important if you treat your diabetes with insulin or other diabetes medications that increase the risk of hypos. Reducing your carbohydrate intake and changes to your body weight may mean your medication needs adjusting.

Important points about this meal plan

  1. This meal plan has taken nutritional information from our recipes and the sixth edition of Carbs and Cals, unless otherwise stated.
  2. Unsweetened soya milk has been used for this meal plan, but please use whichever dairy alternative you prefer. Any dairy alternative you choose should be unsweetened, and fortified with calcium and vitamin B12. 
  3. You should also check if your dairy alternatives are fortified with iodine.
  4. These meal plans meet your recommended amount of fibre across the week. It's important to note that children under 16 years of age need less fibre than adults.
  5. These meal plans outline daily food intake, but it’s still important to remember to drink regular fluids. This includes plain water, plain soya milk, and tea or coffee without added sugar.
  6. We have used soy and linseed bread in this meal plan, which is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is found in oily fish, but there are plant-based sources available. Try to include linseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, or, hemp seeds in your daily diet. You could also cook using rapeseed or flaxseed oil.

Disclaimer: every effort has been taken to make these meal plans as accurate as possible, but there will be some variation in nutritional values. Speak to a dietitian or your diabetes healthcare team if you have questions about your individual dietary needs. 

Your vegan meal plan

You can also download our vegan meal plan as a pdf (PDF, 107KB), which contains a full breakdown of the nutritional information per day.

Monday

Breakfast: Apricot porridge with toasted chia or linseeds* and a banana 
Lunch: Chilli bean soup with avocado salsa and a kiwi fruit
Dinner: Andean-style quinoa with vegan Quorn pieces and broccoli
Pudding: Coconut rice pudding with blackberries

Snacks: unsweetened soya yogurt and cantaloupe melon, one apple with peanut butter, a 30g portion of walnuts
Milk: 250ml unsweetened soya milk

Tuesday

Breakfast: Bran flakes* fortified with vitamins and iron, with 200ml unsweetened almond milk, blueberries and chopped walnuts  
Lunch: Five tofu goujons with mixed salad made of rocket, cherry tomatoes and sliced red pepper
Dinner: Butternut squash and borlotti bean stew with cabbage
Pudding: Barbequed fruit with plain unsweetened soya yogurt

Snacks: Two oatcakes with peanut butter and marmite, one serving of spicy roasted chickpeas, plain Brazil nuts and raspberries
Milk: 250ml unsweetened soya milk

Wednesday

Breakfast: Two slices of soya and linseed bread with half an avocado and tomato

Soya and linseed bread is sometimes fortified with calcium, so can help you meet your requirements - check the food label. 

Lunch: Kale and green lentil soup and a wholemeal pitta bread
Dinner: Quinoa stuffed butternut squash with tinned kidney beans
Pudding: Apple strudel

Snacks: Raisins and a kiwi fruit, plain unsweetened soya yogurt with canned pineapple in juice, portion of walnuts and spicy roasted chickpeas
Milk: 250ml unsweetened soya milk

Thursday

Breakfast: Apricot porridge with toasted chia or linseeds and an 85g banana
Lunch: Tomato, olive, asparagus and bean salad with a small wholemeal roll
Dinner: Sweet potato, chickpea and carrot tagine with couscous and boiled spinach
Pudding: Mini summer pudding

Snacks: 30g portions of Brazil nuts and dried apricots, two oatcakes with peanut butter and marmite, plain unsweetened soya yogurt and one orange 
Milk: 250ml unsweetened soya milk

Friday

Breakfast: Bran flakes fortified with vitamins and iron, with 200ml unsweetened almond milk, blueberries and chopped walnuts
Lunch: Jacket potato with savoy coleslaw and summer vegetables with citrus dressing
Dinner: Vegetable ragu and pasta
Pudding: Coconut rice pudding with blackberries

Snacks: Two oatcakes with peanut butter and marmite, cantaloupe melon and a kiwi fruit, portion of spicy roasted chickpeas
Milk: 250ml unsweetened soya milk

Saturday

Breakfast: Tofu stuffed mushrooms** and an orange 
Lunch: Mulligatawny soup and a kiwi fruit
Dinner: Vegan stack burger
Pudding: Stuffed baked apples with plain unsweetened soya yogurt and raisins

Snacks: Muesli energy bar, two plums and a portion of walnuts, two oatcakes with peanut butter and marmite,  
Milk: 250ml unsweetened soya milk

Sunday 

Breakfast: Banana and berry smoothie: blend a medium banana with 80g blueberries with 100ml unsweetened soya milk with 125g plain unsweetened soya yogurt and a tablespoon of linseeds
Lunch: Spicy bean quesadilla with mixed salad leaves and sliced pepper
Dinner: Barley and wild mushroom risotto and boiled spinach
Pudding: Mini summer pudding

Snacks: One apple and a portion of almonds, one orange and a portion of spicy roasted chickpeas, two oatcakes with smooth peanut butter and marmite 
Milk: 250ml unsweetened soya milk

*Make sure fortified cereals are vegan friendly as some use vitamin D from animal sources.                                                                    
**Look for calcium-set tofu by checking the ingredients list. This can help you meet your daily calcium requirements.     

Adapting this meal plan to suit you 

Our vegan meal plan should be adjusted according to your needs, as everyone requires a slightly different amount of nutrients each day. 

For example, we don't all need to eat the same amount of calories. Men, who are generally heavier and have more muscle compared to women, need more calories.

Young children also need fewer calories than adults. But boys older than 11 and girls aged 15 and above are likely to need more calories. Children’s nutritional requirements change as they get older. 

So, adjust portion sizes accordingly to meet your family's needs and appetites.

Getting enough vitamins and minerals in a vegan diet

Vitamins B12 and K

If you decide to follow a vegan diet you should make sure you’re still eating enough vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential for helping to keep your red blood cells and nervous system healthy. 

Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in foods from animal sources. This makes it more difficult to find sources of the vitamin for vegans, and you might need to take a supplement. You could take a supplement that also contains iodine and selenium, but it’s best to discuss this with your health care team. To make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12 the British Dietetic Association recommend you either eat fortified foods at least twice a day or take a supplement. The supplement should be 10mcg daily or at least 2000mcg weekly.

We’ve included breakfast cereals, unsweetened soya drinks and Marmite in this meal plan, as they’re all fortified with vitamin B12. But check the food label to be sure.

You could also try sprinkling nutritional yeast flakes onto savoury dishes to increase the vitamin B12 content of your meals.  

We’ve also included recipes like our kale and green lentil soup to help you meet your daily intake of vitamin K. Having daily greens like kale, broccoli or spinach can help you meet your requirements for vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, to help wounds to heal. 

Calcium

It’s also important to choose dairy alternatives that are fortified with calcium. Our bodies need calcium for healthy bones and teeth, and dairy alternatives do not naturally contain calcium. Other vegan sources of calcium include kale, watercress, okra, tahini, dried figs, haricot beans and almonds.

Iron 

Iron is important in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. As meat is rich in iron, you’ll need to make sure you’re still getting the amount you need on a daily basis. 

We’ve included foods such as fortified Bran flakes, seeds, green vegetables, dried fruit and spicy roasted chickpeas in this meal plan as they’re great sources of iron. 

Iodine

Our body uses iodine to make thyroid hormones (which control how quickly your beta cells work). Plant-based sources are not a reliable option and many plant-based milks currently are not fortified, so you may need to consider a supplement. 

Speak to your health care team about whether this is appropriate for you. If you do decide to take iodine supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful. 

Read more about how to get all the vitamins and minerals you need whilst following a vegan diet.


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