Not quite. If you’re cutting something out of your diet, it certainly needs to be replaced with something else that has the same (or very similar) nutritional value and nutrient sources.
There are a handful of nutrients, that are either impossible or really tricky to get on a vegan diet, so it requires meticulous planning or supplementation to make sure you’re getting all that your body needs.
For example, B12 (cobalamin) is a nutrient that’s involved in the metabolism of every cell in the human body, is responsible for neurological function and red blood formation above all other functions. B12 is the only vitamin, that is only present in animal products (meat, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy) and removing those completely will compromise B12 intake.
Therefore vegans in the know take a B12 supplement, to make sure bodily functions run smoothly. It may take up to 2-8 years for body’s stores to run out and deficiency to become apparent, so the absence of symptoms straight away doesn’t mean that the body is getting enough.
Omega-3 is another perfect example to illustrate this. Omega-3 an ‘essential fat’ (meaning that the body cannot make it), which is the most potent anti-inflammatory agent, that is also responsible for a variety of functions, such as cognitive support, join health and cell division (think anti- ageing).
Most potent omega- 3 is abundantly found in fatty fish, like SMASH (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring). Would seem pretty simple to swap that out for plant sources, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp, walnuts and algae- if only it was that simple.