Dear Dr. Ruth,
Is it possible to be a healthy Vegan/Vegetarian without eating beans/legumes/soy? If yes, should I avoid grains if I don’t eat beans and only eat nuts/oily seeds/vegetables/fruit? I’m an underweight male hgt 5’7″ wgt 52 kg who would like to gain weight.
I currently eat :nuts (almonds,cashews,walnuts) seeds (sesame, sunflower,pumpkin,flax) whole sourdough spelt bread, Vegetables, and Fruit spirulina + seaweed. I’ve started eating a coddled egg twice weekly instead of a B12 supplement.
I also don’t eat beans, legumes, or soy and I consider myself a very healthy vegan. Usually people eat those foods in the mistaken belief that you need them for protein. Actually, you get plenty of protein in fruits and vegetables. And I don’t eat any grains, either. Your best nutrition is in raw fruits and vegetables. The only food from the nuts/seeds category that I eat is flax seed for the omega 3s. So I don’t really think you need other nuts and seeds except for possibly getting more calories.
As far as being underweight, the real question is “what is your body fat percentage?” The scales don’t give a clue as you could be all muscle and no fat or vice versa! A look in the mirror and your athletic strength should be your best clues as to your best weight. The weight you want to gain is muscle, not fat, and that comes from resistance training. So lift more weight to get more muscle.
And lastly, I do recommend some source of B-12 other than eggs which don’t have that much B-12 but too much saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein which causes another set of problems. I get Red Star Nutritional Yeast with B-12 which I sprinkle on my morning meal.