Every day we hear ‘facts’ that we believe are true about being vegan. Most of these put people off starting a plant-based diet and giving up the foods they love that aren’t quite vegan-friendly. However, research shows that what we are told about veganism– or falsely lead to believe – are simply myths.
‘Vegans must be malnourished’
Dr. Michael Greger is a top nutritionist who believes that a plant-based diet can prevent, treat, and even reverse nearly all our bodies’ top fifteen killers (such as heart disease and diabetes). Vegans are also much less likely to be diagnosed with heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity than people who consume meat and dairy products.
‘Vegans get no protein’
The average recommended intake of protein is 42g a day. Non-vegetarians eat almost double the recommended daily amount, but so does everyone else. Vegetarians and vegans on average consume 70% more protein than they need every day (over 70g). Proteins consist of nine essential amino acids that can only be ingested from the foods we eat. Despite popular belief, these essential amino acids can be found in non-animal products. Not only that, these essential amino acids are only found in meat and dairy products because they were originally synthesised by plants and then eaten by the animals.
‘Veganism is expensive’
Granted, meat and dairy alternatives such as soy milk, yogurts, tofu and seitan can be slightly more expensive. But the main bulk of a vegan diet consists of staples such as grains, potatoes, bananas, and beans – these are some of the cheapest and healthiest things you can buy in a supermarket. Check out YouTuber Cheap Lazy Vegan who did a whole series on how to live vegan on just $3 a day!
‘Being vegan isn’t going to save the world’
Veganism can help to combat world hunger. An estimated 700 million tons of food that could be consumed by humans is fed to livestock each year. Not only that, 82% of starving children live in countries where the food they grow is fed to animals which are then eaten by Western countries. A vegan diet can conserve water; it takes up to 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef. This is around 200 times more water than it takes to produce a pound of plant foods. Veganism can also reduce the rate of climate change and pollution. Livestock from the meat and dairy industry account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. This makes up 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
‘Vegan food is bland and boring’
Vegan food isn’t just carrot sticks and salad; a healthy plant-based diet is made up of lots of fruit and vegetables with a base of starchy foods such as potatoes, beans, and wholegrains. From these ingredients, delicious dishes can be created in the form of curries, pasta sauces, hearty stews, and even pizza and lentil lasagne as delicious alternatives! So many of your favourite dishes can be tweaked to be made vegan without losing all the fabulous flavours. Check out the website thevegancorner for more inspiration and top tips.
‘Going vegan can make you weak’
Getting your protein from plants instead of animals does not mean the protein is any less effective or nutritious for your body and, as proven by many plant-based vegan athletes across the world, you don’t need to eat animal protein to be strong. One example is vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian who broke a world record for the most weight carried by a human-being. He hauled over 1200 pounds – roughly the weight of a Smart Car – ten meters across a stage in Toronto last year.
Whoever still thinks that with a cruelty-free diet you aren’t able to perform as well as any other athlete, in any sports, can now at last start to open his/her eyes and face reality. Four years after going vegan I’m athletically back to 100 percent again, and this will not be the last thing you are going to hear from me – Patrik Baboumian
‘You won’t ever be able to eat nice food again’
You can actually check out your local supermarket shelves for everyday treats and sweets that are ‘accidentally vegan’. Products such as Oreo’s, Starburst, Skittles, Bournville Chocolate and much more are vegan-friendly so by no means will you be going without. Not only that, a quick web search and many Pinterest recipes can show you how to make delicious vegan-friendly cakes and treats without any extra effort at all.
‘Only weird nutters are vegan’
Veganism isn’t the unknown and unheard subject of the past. Today there are many popular and well-known figures and celebrities that follow a plant-based lifestyle. Ellen Page, Pamela Anderson, Ariana Grande, Hemsworth and Casey Affleck are just a few celebrities who show their love for the plants and animals through their vegan lifestyle.
Things we hear every day about veganism are in fact myths. Maybe you’ll consider trying a plant-based diet for a week or two.
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