Although proven to be a healthier and environmentally friendlier option, plant-based diets are often surrounded by controversial misconceptions.
Here are five common myths surrounding plant-based diets and the truth behind them:
Myth 1: Plant-based diets don’t provide enough nutrients for the body
The most common misconception about the plant-based diet is that it lacks the nutrients that are obtained from meat such as protein, calcium, zinc and iron. This is untrue. Plants are rich in nutrients and by combining leafy greens, beans, legumes and berries, you can easily obtain all the nutrients necessary for your body.
Myth 2: Plant-based diets are expensive
When mentioned plant-based diets, most of us instinctively relate it vegan food or vegan meals. Although related, they aren’t the same. Plant-based diets, as clearly stated in the name, consist of naturally derived or minimally processed food such as vegetables, beans, legumes, fruits and grains. These can be purchased cheaply at local markets, and are significantly cheaper when compared to animal or vegan meat.
Myth 3: You are likely to lose your muscles when on a plant-based diet
Your body has no idea if the protein you are consuming is animal-based or plant-based. It simply breaks whatever you are eating into compounds needed for its bodily function. Therefore, as long as you are consuming protein from various sources in the sufficient amount required for your body, you won’t be losing any muscle mass. Most people reduce carbohydrates when they switch to a plant-based diet, and that’s when they notice the weight drop. This is because the body is forced to tap into the fat or muscle storage due to the lack of carbohydrates. In short, as long as you are consuming enough carbs, you won’t lose muscles.
Myth 4: You are likely to get hungry easily when on a plant-based diet
Meat, such as beef, lamb and pork, can take up to 5 hours to digest, thus, making you feel full longer while vegetables and fruits only take about 40 minutes. This is the reason why plant-based diets may make you feel hungry easily. However, beans, grains or other carbohydrate-rich plants sustain longer in your digestive system, so by adding more of that to your plate, you may feel full for a longer period.
Myth 5: Plant-based diets are boring
It is true if you eat the same vegan meals every day, and the same can be said for any other diets. As long as you are mixing up your meals with a variety of vegan or plant-based recipes, you are unlikely to be bored with what you are eating. Get creative!
Despite the common myths and misconceptions, plant-based diets can offer you the macronutrients your body requires. A healthy adult should consume at least 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight, and that number can go up to 2g per kg for athletes. If these numbers are met, one doesn’t need to worry about insufficiency.
If you’re looking for plant-based products to add to your diet or to start out with, you can always try our range of Vegan Protein products that are rich in quality protein.