Vegans May Need Lysine Supplements

I started taking a lysine supplement to prevent cold sores and accidentally discovered that it's something really important for a vegan diet. 

While plants are a source of lysine and some even have a lot, on a strict vegan diet you may end up not getting enough, like I did. Especially if you're very physically active. 

There were no overt symptoms. Just general tiredness and fatigue. A lysine supplement really made a difference in my overall alertness and physical ability. I stopped sleeping so long and stopped waking up tired. 

If you're sure your vegan diet is healthy and well rounded and don't understand what's missing, lysine may be the answer. It's an essential amino acid found in many animal products. So taking a supplement isn't generally dangerous. You can take in a lot without any negative impact. So it's definitely worth a shot if you're experiencing unexplained fatigue.

Hidden Animals in Food

Dead animals are hidden is some of the most unlikely places. Foods you might assume are innocuous can contain meat or its various byproducts. Beware these seemingly innocent eats, they may have dead things in them.

Margarine and Buttery Spreads. Smart Balance can have fish oil in it. The light styles are supposed to be vegan, but the regular styles can contain dead fishes. If it can be in one brand, it can be in others. Be on the look out. Read ingredients.

Cheese. Vegetarians often assume cheese is safe to eat. It is their go to meat alternative. But cheese can be more than just coagulated milk. Borden singles contain gelatin. Gelatin is made from processed animal bones. Many cheeses can contain animal stomach enzymes. Including enzymes from calf, kid, pigs and cattle. Kraft mac and cheese is one such product as is their cheddar cheese. But there are numerous others. Reading the package won't help. Manufacturers are not obligated to reveal the source of their enzymes.

Vegetable soups. The name erroneously indicates its made from plant sources, but that's not necessarily true. The vast majority of so called vegetable soups have chicken stock as one of the first ingredients. It's safer to assume all soup has animal in it and work backward from there. Only a handful are vegetarian and even less are vegan.

Rice mixes. Again, this seems a harmless meal choice and again we are being misled. You can't shake a stick without hitting a rice mix that has chicken stock or chicken fat in it. If flavored rice is what you crave you'll have to search carefully for a version that is animal free. There are very few.

Baked beans. Yet another harmless looking food that usually contains pork or ham. Baked beans are almost never vegetarian unless indicated on the label. The good news is if the baked beans are vegetarian they are probably vegan as well.

Cereal. I know. What the heck? Kellog's frosted mini wheats cereal and similar variations have gelatin as an ingredient. So again, gelatin, entirely not vegetarian at all.

Yogurt. It also sounds like a great choice for vegetarians. Packed with protein and nutrients. Most yogurts are also packed with gelatin. Greek yogurt seems to be the exception. But tread carefully.

Candy. I once bought a candy years ago made by Wonka. It was some kinda chewy sweet tarts type thing. It actually contained egg albumen. And while some vegetarians might not be bothered by this, others will. And of course, it's definitely not vegan. How is it we can't even escape animal products in something as simple as candy?