How to hit targets on vegetarian diet?!

Hi, I am a healthy eating vegetarian. I eat a diet of vegetables, whole grains, beans and pulses etc. But in many cases I am nowhere near my targets. Iron might be 30-50%, same with B12, B6, B3.. While keeping with my calorie limit, I feel as if I would need to eat cups and cups of lentils to manage. Any tips? I constantly read that taking a multivitamin supplement is not necessary. But if someone eating healthily like me cannot come close to 100% targets then surely a multivitamin is often needed.


  • @Shh

    Fellow plant eater and dietitian here...

    Vegetarians must supplement the following: B12 and vitamin D; DHA/EPA (i.e. omega 3) and iodine may also be needed if dairy foods are lacking (source of iodine).

    My advice would be to vary your protein a bit more. Pulses are fantastic from a nutrient standpoint, but you need to eat a lot more of them to get the nutrients that you would from eggs, soy, or seitan.

    I'd also take a close look at your entries to make sure you are choosing the most generic option from the database (which tend to be have more nutrients listed).

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Hi. I often pass the iron recommendations by far. I mostly eat it in oatmeal, enriched pasta, beans, flax seeds and green veggies. As stated before, b12 is a must to supplement, the other b vitamins are not a big problem but if you take a B supplement with all of them it's even better. I also haven't have problems with any other nutrient, except vit D but I take short sun baths and take supplement on winter.
    Let us know if you need help with another specific nutrient.

  • edited April 2021


    • iron: spinach, tomatoes, dark chocolate, flax seeds flour
    • B12: nori
    • B6: red bell peppers, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes
    • B3: portabella, carrot pulp, red bell peppers, parsley root, tomatoes
    • D : portabella (brown, UV exposed)
    • iodine: nori
    • selenium: brazil nuts
    • DHA + EPA: flax seeds oil (body can convert up to 10 % of ALA into DHA + EPA)

    It's not that hard to achieve 100 % of all targets and all nutrients within 1000 kcal, while fully vegan, and much easier when vegetarian.

  • @Shh Vegan 100 %, high ω-3:

    @Susan_RD_101 no supplements needed ;o)

  • @endlessoblivion

    It's neat that this is possible, in theory. Is this your actual diet though?

    345g of spinach alone?

  • The only thing I'll add is that it's important to make adjustments for those nutrients that are needed at higher doses on a vegetarian/vegan diet (namely iron and zinc). I typically suggest setting targets ~50% higher than what baseline says. The only real way to know if intake matches needs for these nutrients is with bloodwork.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • I just started this app two day ago. I did raw lentils and hit a ton of goals. Then I saw publix lentils and entered that instead. Turns out the brand is simply missing a bunch of micro nutrient tracking. It wasn't incorrect, it was simply absent. Try going for generalized foods in the app, even if you know the brand.

  • hello coming back to these comments now. Thanks for the support!
    One important mistake (at least it seems like a mistake for me) I had been making unknowingly was having my macro targets set to ratios rather than grams. With ratios it made my total protein target very high, whereas with grams I could set it more realistically.

    It's a good tip also to only select generic foods from the list and nothing too specific so as to get the full range. As for eating a very restricted diet of large amounts of spinach leaves and tomato paste just to hit nutrient targets and be very under on calories, that is not for me! I have kids and we all need to eat a healthy diet TOGETHER.

    thanks again

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