Have you ever considered making the switch to a vegan diet and then stopped yourself because you have heard negative things about vegan living? If yes, then you aren’t alone. Veganism has a number of myths surrounding it but before we dive into them, it’s important to understand what exactly veganism is and what all entails the vegan living.
People following a vegan diet exclude animal-based products like dairy, eggs, fish, meat, and honey from daily consumption while including plant-based products in their diet. This improves overall health, reduces damage caused to the environment and reduces animal cruelty.
Despite these benefits, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding veganism; a popular one being that vegans are protein deficient because people believe that meat is the primary source of protein. This is far from the truth as foods like spinach, beans and chickpeas contain more protein that a single chicken breast does.
Another misconception is that vegans are calcium deficient because they do not consume milk. Whole milk is high in calcium, it has a poor absorption rate and doesn’t provide the required amount of calcium to the body. On the other hand, leafy greens like cabbage, kale and collard help increase the amount of calcium in the bones, teeth and muscles.
People also believe that vegan food isn’t healthy and those on a vegan diet need to consume supplements. The reality is that vegan food is rich in fibre and improves gut health, regulates blood sugar levels and replenishes energy levels, along with reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers in the body.
When it comes to supplements, vegans primarily need to consume vitamin B12, D and iron supplements as they are mainly found in animal products, in the natural form. However, this doesn’t mean that veganism is bad as people consuming a meat-rich diet would have lesser amounts of fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin K in their body, and would have to consume supplements as well.
Another widely believed myth is that vegan food isn’t filling because people have a perception that vegans only consume salads. If you switch to vegan living, it is important to load up on fibre and protein-rich foods like nuts, legumes and quinoa. You should also eat regularly, in generous amounts, as vegan food gets digested faster as compared to animal-based food.
People believe that a vegan diet is expensive, while research shows that non-vegetarians who go vegan spend £21 lesser per month, while vegetarians spend £11 more per month. This difference is because meat and dairy products are more expensive, making vegan food cheaper for non-vegetarians, while vegetarians spend more money on fresh and organic fruit and vegetables. However, when you factor in the money you will be saving on health care in the future, the amount doesn’t seem like that much.
A lot of people also shy away from vegan living as they believe that it is too tough or too boring to follow. The reality is that veganism is on the rise across the world, with the global vegan food market estimated to value USD 24.3 billion by 2026, making it easier for consumers to buy vegan food and shop for vegan products.
For those of you that think vegan food is boring, there are a plethora of unique and delicious recipes you can find online while using ingredients like vegan protein powder, to make desserts, smoothie bowls, protein bars and a lot of other interesting snacks and meals.
So the next time you consider switching to a vegan diet, don’t let these myths hold you back. Go ahead and do whatever feels right for your body as it is you that will benefit from the food and nutrients you consume.