Numerous myths circulating about plant-based diet discourage people who are considering switching to one. False ideas propagating on the subject trick at least some into believing that the diet lacks some essential nutrients and may compromise our health.
In this article, we debunk some common myths about plant-based diet with the support of solid scientific evidence. Here is a list of common myths about plant-based diets.
Plant-Based Diets Are Quite Expensive
Because many believe plant-based diet is the same as vegan diet, they often think it is expensive like a vegan diet. However, this isn’t true. The focus of plant-based diet is on minimally processed foods, meaning that those expensive vegan ice creams, and salad dressings may not necessarily be the foods that you ought to focus on.
You can purchase fruits, veggies and legumes frozen or canned, which means you have to pay less and these options last longer. You can also purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables from local markets at lower costs than from grocery stores. You may also purchase grains and legumes in bulk as they can be stored longer.
Plant-Based Diets Do Not Give Enough Protein
This is the most circulated myth about plant-based diet. For most people, the daily dose of protein required is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. There are a number of plant-based foods that are rich sources of protein.
- Whole grains
Consuming these foods is enough to give every individual, including the ones that require higher daily protein ( children, highly active adults, seniors) their daily protein.
Protein from a variety of plant sources including beans, rice, corn, etc provides all essential amino acids.
Plant-Based Diet Does Not Leave You Many Choices
Choosing a plant-based diet does not mean you have to adapt to eating limited food varieties. In fact, plant-based diet has millions of tasty and healthy options to choose from. You can eat tofu, legumes and mushroom in the place of meat. Making cheese alternatives at home is quite an easy task. You can use blended nuts and spices to make simple cheese substitutes.
Muscle Mass Will Reduce On Eating Plant-Based Diet
The myth is rooted in the wrong belief about plant-based diet being protein-deficient. People who care about fitness definitely would give enough attention to muscle growth and physical performance. Research has clearly stated that muscle mass is directly dependent on protein, regardless of its source. Plant-based proteins are equally effective in building muscle mass like protein from animal foods.
There are many bodybuilders and athletes that follow plant-based diets and promote the same.
You Will Be Constantly Hungry While On A Plant-Based Diet
Most people express the concern of being hungry if they switch to a plant-based diet. Plants have low calorie content when compared to many animal foods. But whole grains, vegetables and fruits are rich sources of fiber that will leave you fuller and not feel hungry constantly.
Research has suggested that only 5% of Americans get enough fiber. The macronutrient is associated with various health benefits including better control over blood sugar levels and improved gut health.
Plant-Based Diet Is Not Good For Children
Many have doubts on how effective is plant-based diet for growing children. However, increasing evidence suggests that a well-planned nutritious plant-based diet is capable of meeting the nutrient requirement of people of all age groups.
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine suggests that the benefits that adults get from adopting a plant-based diet apply to children and youngsters as well.
A Plant-Based Diet Is Deficient In Essential Vitamins And Minerals
The knowledge that there are people who believe plant-based diets lack some vitamins and minerals takes many by surprise. Plants are in fact, the most nutrient-rich foods we can eat. Berries are rich in Vitamin K and manganese, legumes and leafy green veggies come packed with iron, zinc and calcium and fruits like pineapples and oranges are high in vitamin C.
To ensure that you get enough calcium, add legumes and dark leafy vegetables to your diet, as they are known to be rich sources of calcium. When our body does not get enough calcium, it starts taking calcium from our bones, explaining why Calcium deficiency affects our bone health adversely.
That said, people on a plant-based diet have to take vitamin B12 supplements as they mostly come from animal foods.
Plant-Based Foods Are Not Suitable For Pets
Research has suggested that plant-based foods can promise good health of your dogs. In fact, there are some risks associated with animal-based pet foods. According to Wild Earth, many dog food brands use meat of dead, diseased or disabled animals. Some dog foods also contain pentobarbital, a drug that is used in euthanizing livestock. Choosing nutritionally sound plant-based pet foods can be beneficial for pet health.
By choosing a plant-based diet, you are in fact contributing to a relevant cause, animal welfare.