Most people hesitate to become a vegetarian because of myths and preconceived notions that it is too good to be true or difficult to accept as part of a healthy lifestyle. So, let’s debunk some popular myths about veganism that may be keeping you from following a nutritious plant-based diet.
Myth 1: Vegan diets are expensive
Contrary to common misconceptions, going vegan can be inexpensive and help you save money in the long run. According to a study in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, people who eat a plant-based diet consume an average of 650 pounds less per year than those who eat meat. Prepackaged or processed vegan food options like vegan burgers or ice cream can come at a higher price. However, these are not requirements and opt for whole foods such as rice, oats, beans, quinoa and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Myth 2: Going vegan can cause a protein deficiency
This is probably the most disturbing myth that most vegans come across. Protein, an essential building block that helps build muscle and keep you strong and young, isn’t just for animal sources. Plenty of protein is available when you eat a daily serving of plant-based foods, such as:
- Spelled and teff
- Legumes, lentils and beans
- Grains – quinoa, adlai, wild rice
- Chia seeds
- Most nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pili nuts)
- Asian foods – tofu, soy, tempeh, edamame
- Protein-rich vegetables (broccoli, artichokes, spinach, asparagus, Brussels sprouts)
Myth 3: Veganism leads to eating disorders
Often, being a vegetarian is stigmatized in the mainstream media by associating it with mental health conditions and eating disorders such as anorexia. This is a fabricated and baseless lie. While some people are primarily drawn to a plant-based diet in hopes of reaching fitness goals faster, veganism is, first and foremost, the philosophy and practice of eliminating the use of food, clothing, and other products derived from animals or that may cause animal cruelty. .
Myth 4: Vegans are calcium deficient
Another nutrition based vegan myth! Like protein, calcium is not exclusively found in milk and dairy products. Instead, there are many vegetarian-friendly calcium sources, such as soy-based foods, tahini, sesame seeds, flax seeds, amaranth, teff, wakame, kelp, figs, and oranges.
Myth 5: Veganism is too difficult to sustain
Forming new habits can be challenging at first, and that goes for anything, not just going vegan. However, suppose you seriously give veganism or any plant-based diet a chance and stick with it for a week or two. In that case, you will soon realize that it is quite possible, enjoyable and sustainable. Still, having a strategy to help you stay on track is crucial.
For example, one of the benefits of a clean home is that it makes it easier for you to transition to healthy eating habits. So, eliminate non-vegetarian and unhealthy food items in your kitchen and stock up on whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Build your grocery list with vegan-approved products. Love ice cream so much? Make sure you’re always prepared with a vegetarian-friendly option within reach when the craving hits you.
We hope this list has helped debunk some of the most common misconceptions about being vegan. Don’t let vegan myths stop you from taking the super-rewarding step of trying veganism! By taking your first steps on a vegan journey you will start the process of helping yourself, animals and the environment!