It has come to my attention that many vegans/vegetarians are either partially, or completely unaware of the complex recommendations and nutritional requirements needed to consume a healthy, plant-based diet. I'm not talk about calcium, iron, and b12 sources. I'm speaking about recommended percentages for both macro and micro nutrient intake as well as how to consume adequate amounts without falling short anywhere. If you are unaware, you are not alone, even non-vegans are usually unaware of their own requirements more often than not.
Why be concerned? As you may have read below, there are severe and sometimes deadly consequences concerning consumption of a poorly planned diet. It is really more than just leaving out the animal products, but many of the same problems concerning vegan diets are mirrored in meat-based diets as well.
While there are an abundance of reliable and not so reliable sources, the most important thing is to NEVER rely on one source for YOUR nutrition information. Also, NEVER assume that something you hear from a friend is FACTUAL information, especially regarding health issues. While your friends most likely have your best interest in mind, you would be amazed at the amount of critical mistakes people make in their diets due to faulty information provided by loved ones. The media also pumps out it's own share of faulty information.
Why am I bring this up in the first place? As you know, I am currently in school to become a registered dietitian. What you may not know, is that clinical nutrition focuses much more on nutrition intervention rather then prevention. Sadly, the most important information concerning vegetarian and vegan nutrition is not taught in school. This is probably one the biggest reasons why there are so few vegan dietitians.
One the other hand, there are many so-called vegan nutritionists. BEWARE THE NUTRITIONIST! The term nutritionist is not regulated, so ANYONE can do nutrition counseling as a nutritionist. The most common accredited terms you should look for are RD (registered dietitian- 4 year degree) AND DTR (dietetic technician, registered- 2 year degree). While there are some other accredited credentials that are often used by many RD's and DTR's, you have to be suspicious of many "nutrition credentials" out there. Many are from unaccredited, online courses that require only a few weeks of schooling and are not affiliated with any reliable organizations.
I'm not saying that there are not good nutritionists that know what they're talking about, but for every reliable one, there are many more that are unreliable. Take matters into your own hands and get informed, it's your health on the line, not anyone else's.