Despite vegetarian and plant-based foods becoming ever more popular, several myths still persist about the two diets. It can become very hard to separate fact from fiction in the sea (more like oceans) of dietary “information” out there. That’s why we debunked some of the most widespread myths about plant-based food to help you make the right decisions for YOU.
This one is perhaps the most common myth surrounding plant-based diets. The truth is that as long as you eat enough calories, maintain a proper weight and eat a good, varied diet, you will consume enough protein. People rarely suffer from protein deficiencies because the average diet contains more than the required protein intake.
There are loads of protein-rich plant-based foods: lentils, beans, green peas, quinoa, soy, nuts and so on. But you may need to eat them more than you would animal products to get the same nutritional value. If you are still worried, a scoop of protein powder (plant-based) with your morning smoothie can quickly increase your protein intake.
Besides, take a look at rhinos and elephants. They too eat 100% plant-based and are incredibly strong (granted they do a lot of chewing).
So, you want to go vegan, but you don’t know what you can eat. In a nutshell, pretty much anything. There are endless vegan and vegetarian variations of meat-based dishes.
Popular meat substitutes include mushrooms, jackfruit, lentils, and soy. With the right amount of seasoning and preparation, they can stand in for cured meats like beef, pulled pork, bacon, mincemeat, and others.
You can’t go wrong when you add beans or lentils to your favourite curry or stew recipe. They contain beneficial B vitamins and are a great source of protein and fibre. Foods high in nutrients, such as beans and green vegetables, are also highly flexible. You can enjoy them on their own or add them to dishes like burgers, stews, and even lasagna!
Processed meat alternatives are available in addition to whole foods. Options can be as simple as breaded tofu bits or as elaborate as “meaty” vegan burger patties. In addition, plant-based alternatives to common foods like milk, cheese, and meat are more accessible than ever, thanks to the recent popularity of vegan options.
Many firmly believe that a whole-food, plant-based diet is costly. But, contrary to this popular belief, a plant-based diet can be very affordable. The secret is to stick to mostly whole foods. So you won’t want to focus on those vegan cheeses, salad dressings, and ice creams, which can be costly. Although these items have been getting more affordable in recent years as more vegan products flood the market daily.
So how can you grow your bank account by eating more plants? Firstly, you can get fruits, vegetables, and legumes in frozen or canned forms; try to get the ones with less salt. Fruits and vegetables are frozen at peak ripeness which allows for maximum nutrient retention. Not only will this save money, but you can also store them for a very long time.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables from farmer’s markets tend to be less expensive than their out-of-season grocery store counterparts. In addition, grains and legumes can be bought in bulk as dried goods and preserved for a very long period. Add some of your preferred seasonings, and any of these can become a tasty and exciting meal.
A growing pool of studies is showing that ditching meat is the best way to reduce your personal carbon footprint. By eliminating animal products from our diet, we can reduce our carbon footprint by 49%. In the U.S, where the consumption of meat is three times the global average, the potential for reducing emissions is as high as 73%. New numbers suggest that at least 87% of annual greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to animal agriculture. So the evidence is pretty clear, a plant-based diet IS better for the environment than meat.
Many people are worried about feeling hungry after eating a plant-based meal. It’s true that plant foods have low-calorie densities. But that can be a good thing: you can eat more volumes of food for the same calories. Additionally, the fibre content of foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and legumes will help you feel full for longer.
Many people report feeling more satisfied with a plant-based diet than the standard American diet, which is rich in sugar and low in fibre. If it’s well-balanced, a plant-based meal can be just as fulfilling as one with fish or meat. Need some inspiration to cook more plant-basedf meals? Read this blog we wrote to help you on your journey.
So why not enjoy the meals you know and love, but sometimes without the animal products? Eating more plant-based foods can help save the world. We can make a difference by what we choose in the supermarket and at restaurants, and that is an empowering and hopeful feeling.
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