Before we made the switch to vegan/plant based, we had a lot of questions of what this would entail. With doing research we came across many preconceptions opposing the plant based lifestyle. By seeking knowledge from experts in the world of nutrition, we were able to properly educate ourselves with facts, debunking many of common myths that others have about going vegan. For this post, I’m going to list 10 of the many myths that revolve around eating a plant based diet.
1) “Being on a plant based diet isn’t feasible for your health”
- This couldn’t be further than the truth! According to the Vegan Society, those on the plant based diet are more likely to meet the recommended daily intake of 10 portions of fruits and veggies. And the main concern that revolves around switching to veganism is finding sources of protein. Meat isn’t the only way to get your intake of protein. Other sources include lentils, tofu, black beans, quinoa, chia seeds, and broccoli.
2) “You’re hurting plants too.”
- Since plants have no central nervous system, they are incapable of feeling pain. By switching to veganism, you are able to prevent the least amount of deaths. Plus by consuming more vegetables, you have the potential to conserve the lives of plants in comparison to animals such as cows who consume about 16 pounds of plants to produce a pound of flesh.
3) “Eating vegan is so expensive.”
- Staples such as pasta, rice, and beans cost significantly less than meat. But of course, if you are buying your veggies organic or other vegan specialties like Daiya cheese or Beyond Meat, it is generally more expensive. It’s all about finding a balance and budget that you are comfortable with.
4) “Plant based foods aren’t accessible where I’m from. I don’t have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods”.
- Your ability to incorporate a plant based lifestyle isn’t limited to having these stores in your area. Most grocery stores including Walmart and Target have increased their selection of products that are vegan. When we’re back home in Florida, we do our shopping at Walmart and occasionally from Target. These stores have come a long way from offering virtually no options for vegans to introducing an organic store brand as well as many vegan and vegetarian “meat” options such as Gardein and Boca. Another store that is good to shop at for vegan products is Publix (if it’s available in your area). Also, take advantage of the farmer’s markets as they offer great deals as well.
5) “Where are you going to get your calcium from?”
- If you remember the Go Milk! Campaigns advocating for the consumption of milk for calcium, recent studies have shown that milk actually deteriorates your bones. Cow’s milk is strictly reserved for cows and consuming this puts so much pressure on our bodies for digestion. Cumming and Klineberg did a study and found that those who were 20 years old who consumed dairy products often had an increased risk of developing hip fracture as they approach old age. So what are some alternatives to mainstream milk? Our favorites are Almond milk and Good Karma Flax Milk but there are many others which include soy, coconut, and cashew milk.
6) “Veganism is a privilege reserved for white people.”
- When people think of those who are vegan, this is what usually comes to mind: a white upper middle-class individual who had a great upbringing and resources to have the liberty of having such preferences. This is completely wrong. Vegans come from different races and backgrounds. And everyone has the opportunity to educate themselves on the plant based diet and take the necessary steps to make the switch.
7) “Eating plants won’t make me full.”
- Adapting to a vegan diet does take some getting used to and you will feel that you’re unsatisfied or that your meals are light. The rule of thumb is that you have to eat twice as much as you would usually do when eating a non-vegan diet. And as your body gets used to the routine, you will know exactly how much and what you need to eat in order to be satisfied.
8) “Veganism seems so restrictive. I want to have the freedom to eat whatever I want.”
- Being a vegan means you don’t eat anything with animal derivatives which can bite too much for other people that are justified. But with being vegan, what we have found is that we don’t need to calorie count and it has allowed us to listen to our bodies’ needs and let go of the guilt of eating something that considered “unhealthy”.
9) “I could never let go of meat and dairy. The idea of being vegan seems so boring”.
- It may seem like it at first. But many of your junk food favorites do have vegan versions that taste the same. It’s all about perspective and figuring out what is right for your body. Veganism isn’t for everybody and that’s okay. But for those who are looking for a change and a new way of eating, then go for it!
10) “ The idea of veganism sounds fascinating but I’m scared of what it will do to my body.”
- Transitioning to a plant based diet takes time. For others, it’s immediate but for some, it can be a struggle. Especially if you’ve been eating a non-vegan diet for years, your body gets used to the meat and dairy. And once you deprive your body of those foods, it can seem like you’re going through withdrawal symptoms. You may feel nauseous or tired after doing a minimal activity or lose weight. What we emphasize is that you choose the right time to go on a vegan diet. If you have to, take it step by step. This could mean limiting your intake of meat and dairy for a couple of weeks with gradually consuming less or even starting out on a vegetarian diet. Always remember to listen to what your body needs, and if isn’t responding to the minimal meat or dairy don’t deprive your body any longer. Remember, it’s all a process.
We hope you enjoyed this post and if you have heard other myths about going on a plant based diet, feel free to comment below. And if you want to share your story about how you transitioned to a vegetarian or vegan diet, share that with us as well.
Lots of love,
Jasmine and Phrieda