Plant-based diets are an extremely healthy way of eating. That said, there are several myths surrounding plant-based diets. Many people get confused between vegan and vegetarian diets, even though 10% of Americans follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Vegetarians don’t eat any meat, fish or poultry, while vegans also don’t eat any dairy, eggs or other animal products.
Myth #1: Vegetarian and vegan diets is always healthy
If you eat French fries, Oreos, and potato chips, you’re eating a diet that conforms to vegetarian or vegan diets. Nobody would say that that diet is healthy. Yet, it is possible to be a French fries and potato chips vegetarian or vegan, technically living by the dietary principles while, in terms of spirit, violating them.
To abide by vegetarianism or veganism, you should focus on eating whole foods rather than processed, packaged foods. Avant Permanent Cosmetics notes that this is good for your skin because it’s free of the toxic ingredients in many other diets.
Myth #2: Vegetarian or Vegan Diets Lack Protein
Although fish, meat, poultry, and animal products are rich in protein, you can get protein-rich food from soy, chia seeds, quinoa, and hemp, for example. If you’re a vegan, you need about 20% more protein from plant proteins than omnivores get from animal proteins. This is because the body processes plant proteins less efficiently than animal proteins. Furthermore, you need to eat a wide range of proteins to get all the essential amino acids that come from proteins. Plant-based diets can also suffer in terms of vitamin B-12, calcium, and iron, so you should eat foods fortified with these vitamins and minerals.
Myth #3: It’s Expensive to be a Vegetarian or Vegan
This is wrong because eating a diet rich in rice, beans, and grains, is much cheaper than eating one rich in fish, meat, and poultry. You can reduce your spending further if you buy in bulk and get frozen or canned options.
Myth #4: A Plant-Based Diet Isn’t Tasty
People often think that plant-based diets are very bland. This is not true. If you cook your food well and use the correct seasoning, you can eat a very tasty plant-based diet. I recommend experimenting with different recipes, cuisines, and ingredients to develop your ability to cook well. Remember, many communities worldwide eat plant-based diets, and these cuisines are delicious.
Myth #5: Honey is/isn’t OK
Many vegetarians eat honey, especially honey made from local sources. If you are a strict vegan, you want to avoid it if you believe that eating honey is a form of exploiting bees. It’s a matter of preferences and ideology. If you want an alternative to sugar and aren’t comfortable with honey, you can try agave nectar, date syrup, or maple syrup.