Vegetarian dishes are gaining popularity even among regular meat eaters. As more and more people reduce their meat consumption, a key question remains: are vegan diets healthy? The answer is yes.
Generally, the vegetarian subject can be a little annoying. Vegetarians know it well as it is difficult to escape comments and questions from those around them about their diet – from “what do you eat for a living” to “You look pale today” or “how do you get nutrients from only plants?”
There are many questions and myths about vegetarian diets, and many of the so-called vegetarian diet facts that go around are wrong. Here are 7 of the most common vegetarian diet myths.
1. The Vegetarian Diet Makes You Lose Weight
A well-done vegetarian diet can absolutely help you lose weight. But weight loss is no guarantee as many individuals often mistake junk food as vegetarian options.
For example, some cookies and potato chips do not contain animal products so the technically qualify as vegan options. However, the nutritional make-up of these clearly do not support goals of achieving healthy weight. You still need to improve your choices by properly planning your diet.
Plan a menu around seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as plant-based sources of protein, such as beans and nuts. They can help with weight loss by making it easier for your body to fill up. One needs a balanced diet.
More options for finding vegetarian protein sources include nutritional yeast, chickpea which are used in falafel, or chia seed.
2. Being Veggie Is Expensive
The basis of the vegetable diets are cereals, starches, legumes, fruits and vegetables. However, these foods are much cheaper than meat, fish and seafood.
What can be expensive in a vegetarian diet are exotic fruits and processed products. In addition to fruits and veggies, mock meat is coming down in price as more adopted it. Surprisingly, its taste, texture and quality have been greatly improved when compared to options in the past.
Mock meat options can easily be found in the frozen food section of your local grocery store.
End of the day the cost will depend on what you eat. Typical vegetarians eat a lot of very inexpensive foods (rice, red beans, lentils, potatoes…) and local and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
You may find it useful to budget your cost buy using a site such as MisFitsMarket.com as it offer big discounts on vegetable options.
3. No Meat Means, Lack Energy And Lots of Deficiencies
In general, one of the first things you do when going veggie is figuring out what to eat and how to compose your meals. Most vegetarians are better informed about nutrition than omnivores, because the fear of deficiencies has prompted them to seek information. Some start without paying attention at all, but it really is a minority.
On average, a vegetarian diet provides less saturated fatty acids and cholesterol and more fiber than an omnivorous diet, thanks to the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. This lends to vegetarians having lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and are less prone to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers than omnivores.
It’s important to do research on creating a balanced vegan diet or consult a nutritionist.
4. Soy Is Harmful
Uh, no. Soy is not harmful – it’s actually one of the few complete plant-based proteins. This means it carries all the necessary amino acids and you do not have to complement it with any other protein.
Regarding health risks, in the last ten years, studies have been carried out worldwide on the link between soy consumption and breast cancer. All were in the same direction and showed a reduction in the risk of cancer, recurrence and mortality for women who have already had breast cancer.
5. Vegetarian diets are low in proteins
Another well-known myth about vegetarians; Vegetarians find it difficult to get enough protein.
As meat has become synonymous with protein, many consumers find it difficult to identify other foods that are sources of protein. But adequate protein requirements are easily met through a well-planned diet.
Plant-based protein generally contains more fiber and less saturated fat, factors that are the building blocks of a heart-healthy diet. There are many versatile vegetable protein sources that fit into a healthy diet: legumes (beans, lentils, peas and peanuts), soy products, whole grains, nuts or seeds. Thus allowing you to create a healthy vegetarian dish.
For familiar vegan options that are high in protein, try bean burritos, tofu, and vegetable stir-fries or lentil chili.
6. Vegetarian Diet Can be Boring
Not true. Vegetarians don’t just eat salad and seeds. You don’t have to live on tofu and steamed vegetables alone if you go vegetarian. There are many foods that can replace meat, such as lentils, beans, tempeh, and other plant proteins. A vegetarian dish can be anything but boring. While being healthy.
Our society is not very open to different food cultures. Unlike the UK, for example, which is a much more multicultural country. There, people are less confused when they invite a vegetarian person, they have an idea of dishes to prepare for them.
Western culinary culture on the other hand is built around animal products. A classic meat plate is meat or fish with little side dishes around it. On the contrary, a vegetable cuisine has several centers. It is a balance, a palette of a multitude of foods, with different textures, colors and flavors.
More and more great chefs are interested in vegetable cuisine. And for good reason: there are a thousand-and-one ways to combine and accommodate legumes, cereals, vegetables, oil seeds, fruits, and seeds.
7. It’s Hard To Build Muscle On A Vegetarian Diet
Many great athletes are vegetarian hence that the idea of not being able to build or sustain muscle on a vegan diet is false. In fact, vegetarian options provide as much protein as meat and even more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. With a little planning, you can absolutely build muscle on a vegetarian diet.