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The Vegan Society, U.K.-- Guide for Vegan Prisoners, 2018

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Nutritional advice

Nutrients that deserve special attention

Well-planned vegan diets can provide all the nutrients that our bodies need. If you’re
catering for people who exclude animal products from their diets, there are several
nutritional considerations that need to be taken into account, including the roles of
fortified foods and supplementation.

It’s important to provide a daily diet that contains good sources of iron, such as lentils,
chickpeas, beans, tofu, cashew nuts, ground linseed, pumpkin seeds, kale, raisins and
fortified breakfast cereal. Iron-rich food should be combined with a source of vitamin
C to optimise absorption (see ‘Fruit and vegetables’ in table above for examples).

Getting the balance right

It is recommended that everyone in the UK uses a vitamin D supplement during
autumn and winter as a minimum. Vegans also need to ensure reliable intakes of
vitamin B12, iodine and selenium. Using a specially designed supplement like The
Vegan Society’s VEG 1 is a particularly good idea for vegans in prison. Although vitamin
B12, iodine and selenium can be obtained from carefully selected foods, it may not be
possible in a prison environment.

The following table provides guidance about how to balance the different food groups
based on the principles of the UK’s Eatwell Guide:




Fruit and vegetables
(fresh, tinned, frozen or
dried), including orange
varieties and leafy greens

At least 5 x 80g
portions per day
(30g for dried fruit)

In order to boost iron absorption,
ensure meals contain a vitamin C
source, such as pepper, broccoli,
cabbage, oranges, pineapple or orange
juice. Every day, offer a really rich
source of carotenoids, such as sweet
potato, carrots, spinach or apricots,
and a good source of vitamin K, such
as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli,
spinach or spring greens

Starchy foods - ideally
higher fibre choices, such
as oats, wholemeal bread
and sweet potato

Every meal

Some breakfast cereals are not suitable
for vegans because they are fortified
with vitamin D3 from sheep’s wool.
Wholemeal bread is a good source of

Protein-rich foods, such
as beans, chickpeas,
lentils, tofu, soya mince
and other soya products,
Vegan Quorn, peanut
butter, cashew nuts and
pumpkin seeds

Most meals

Nuts and seeds, especially
those rich in omega-3
fat, such as walnuts or
ground linseed

Daily e.g. six walnut
halves (20g) or a
tablespoon of ground

If you can buy linseed in bulk and mill
small batches as needed, this might
work out a lot cheaper than offering

Calcium-rich foods, such
as fortified foods and
calcium-set tofu

At least 2 portions daily
n.b. 1 portion - 200ml
fortified plant milk OR
200g fortified soya
yoghurt OR 70g
calcium-set tofu
(uncooked weight)

At least 3 litres of fortified plant milk
should be available weekly to every

Tend to contain good amounts of iron
and zinc too. Dry soya mince is an
economical source of protein.

Take a look at the table below for further information:


Vitamin B12

Eat fortified foods (such as yeast extra, fortified plant
alternatives to dairy, ready oats and dairy-free spread) at least
twice a day providing a total of at least 3mcg (micrograms), use
a daily supplement containing at least 10mcg, or use a weekly
supplement containing at least 2000mcg

Vitamin D

Supplement during autumn and winter (all year if you do not
regularly expose your skin to sunlight or you have darker skin).
Vitamin D3 from lichen and vitamin D2 are vegan-friendly.
Recommended dose is 10mcg per day.


Arguably, a supplement is the best option. Recommended
intake for adults is 140mcg per day.


Eat a couple of Brazil nuts daily or supplement. Recommended
daily intakes for adults are 60-75mcg.

Ingredients to avoid
Vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal. This includes:

Meat, including chicken, fish or any kind of shellfish
Milk from any animal, or products containing milk such as
cheese, yoghurt, cream and mayonnaise
Eggs, or products containing eggs
Honey, gelatine or beeswax

Here is a non-exhaustive list of common ingredients to avoid:



Royal jelly

Carmine or











E901, E120, E441, E913, E904, E545