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Dr. Oz unveils vegan diet tips, from vitamin B-12 to protein to weight loss

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Have you considered going on a plant-based diet? Wondering how to get enough protein as a vegan? On his Jan. 23 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed the vegan diet do's and don'ts that you need to stay slim and healthy.

What it means to go vegan: Eliminate all animal products from your diet, including dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry. Dr. Oz says that if you do it the right way, you can reduce your cholesterol, lower your risk of diabetes and heart attack and win at weight loss.

However, it's important to follow these guidelines when you're on a vegan diet to ensure that you stay healthy:

  • Vegans should take a 25 microgram vitamin-B12 supplement once a day. These are available in capsule form as well as lozenge, such as Jarrow Formulas B-12 Lozenges.
  • Are you going from a meat-heavy diet to vegan? Transition slowly, such as eating vegan until 6 pm and then eating fish and dairy after that. It's a model documented in the best-selling book "VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good" (click for details).
  • Be careful of pre-packaged vegan foods. Some actually have more calories than the animal version, which can backfire for weight loss success. Others have too much sodium.
  • Eat both raw and cooked foods.
  • Get enough protein. Good sources of plant-based protein include beans, soy milk, quinoa, tofu, peanut butter and oatmeal. Our tip: When it comes to soy milk for weight loss, beware. Some versions are high in sugar. Look for one that says unsweetened, such as Westsoy Soymilk Unsweetened Organic, Gluten Free (click for details).

Seeking inspiration? Try the Dr. Oz-approved Vegetable Chili recipe below.The lima beans in this vegan recipe provide protein and fiber to keep you full as well as vitamins C, A, K, B6 and folate. In addition, 1/2 cup of lima beans provides over 10% of the recommended daily iron.

Ingredients
Makes 13 Servings – Serving Size: 1 cup

  • 5 1/2 cups eggplant, peeled, small dice (about 1 1/2 lb eggplant)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz onion, small diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups zucchini, small diced
  • 46 oz vegetable juice
  • 3 tbsp chili seasoning mix or other sugar-free brand
  • 2 cups cooked green beans – 1 in cut, al dente
  • 8 oz cooked lima beans
  • Hot sauce (to taste)

Directions
In a hot pre-heated dry non-stick sauté pan, add 1 1/2 cups of diced eggplant and sauté until golden and tender. Remove and set aside. In large cook pot, sauté onions in canola oil until transparent.

Add garlic, sauté 2 minutes and add zucchini and sauté until just tender - al dente. Now add all remaining ingredients; 4 remaining cups of eggplant, vegetable juice, cooked green beans, cooked lima beans, chili mix and hot sauce.

Simmer 10 minutes and serve over brown rice.

Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories: 120
Sodium: 270mg
Sugars: 7g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Saturated Fat: .5g
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrate: 17g

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