Many of these ‘myths’ I talk about below are reasons why people stray away from the vegan diet. Lets break those myths!
You don’t get enough protein.
I hear this ALL THE TIME. And I’ll admit, before I went vegan I thought the exact same thing. The truth is, its easy for vegans to get enough protein. Eating a wide variety of whole plant-based foods is key.
A healthy diet has to contain meat.
Like I mentioned above, it isn’t necessary to eat animal products to obtain an adequate amount of protein. The same thing goes for other nutrients as well — a wide variety of plant foods is all you need! There really isn’t a need for us to go through animals to meet our daily requirements. In fact, WHO concludes that processed meats are carcinogenic and it is possible that red meats are carcinogenic. Another reason to go plant-based!
You can’t go out to eat.
Although you may be limited at some places, you just have to be prepared and know how to order. I rarely have problems finding vegan options at restaurants. If you’re worried that something might contain animal products, just let the waiter know and they’ll most likely have answers for you! Check out my post on tips for eating out as a vegan.
You’ll have vitamin & mineral deficiencies.
I feel like a broken record but here I go again: there is no need to worry if you’re eating a wide variety of whole plant-based foods (vegetables, fruits, rice, lentils beans, etc.). Check out my grocery shopping post if you would like to see all of the foods I keep in my kitchen! Below are nutrients that may have been on your radar when thinking about going vegan. I’m happy to tell you that there is no need to worry about any deficiencies.
Most people associate cow’s milk with calcium. Yes, it is high in calcium but so are many other foods– leafy green vegetables & non-dairy milks.
YES you can get enough iron from plant-based foods!! I drink green smoothies packed with spinach for breakfast a lot of times– this is a great way to incorporate spinach into your diet if you’re not a fan of the taste! Even if you do, the more leafy greens the better!
Zinc absorption is reduced by Phytates, found it plant-based foods, which is why vegans and vegetarians have an increased need for zinc. Legumes, lentils, black-eyed peas, nuts, and whole grains are good sources of zinc.
Okay, now lets talk vitamin B12. There is no B12 naturally present in any plant-based food. I say naturally because many vegan foods are fortified with this vitamin. I get a sufficient amount from almond milk and soy milk that I don’t have to supplement. So if anyone tells you that you have to eat meat to obtain adequate amounts of B12 REFER BACK TO THIS POST. Fortified vegan foods do the trick!
Vegans don’t have any energy.
I’ve heard a few people claim that they tried to be vegan for a few months but stopped because they were tired and lethargic all the time. My guess is that they didn’t incorporate a wide variety of foods and so they didn’t get the nutrition needed. If you are eating a diet full of whole plant-based foods this shouldn’t be an issue! You will actually notice an increase in energy!
Being vegan is always healthy.
Oreos are vegan.. so its healthy right? All jokes aside, this was kind of hard for me to get through my head when I first went vegan. I knew I wasn’t eating the healthiest, but I figured since I was eating a vegan diet it would be okay. I tried a lot of vegan alternatives which defeated the purpose of my attempt to eat more whole foods. Be careful with vegan alternatives! You won’t get the amazing health benefits that result from a plant-based diet if you are only eating processed vegan foods.
I hope this post cleared some things up for you! There are a lot of misconceptions about the vegan diet and I love to share my experiences and what I’ve learned over the past few years!
I’d love to hear your questions/comments!