In the previous blog we wrote about what vegan actually is and what motivates certain people to switch to this lifestyle. Many people are increasingly open to pursuing a (more) vegan lifestyle, but are held back by a number of, sometimes persistent, myths.
#1. Not enough protein
The human body needs proteins to function, they are needed by the most important part of our muscles, organs, brain and more. Our immune system also needs proteins to do its job properly.
The proteins in our food are actually no more than amino acids, the building blocks of protein. In total there are nine proteins that are important to us, but we cannot produce these ourselves. And so we have to get them by eating the right food. This is not necessary via animal proteins, this can also be done by eating vegetable proteins. In a vegan diet that contains a lot of legumes or nuts, for example, you amply get the required amount of protein. Variation in what you eat is key. (1)
#2. Eating too much soy will grow breasts
Soy contains a substance isoflavonesthat can be compared to the properties of estrogen, the female hormone. But it is not the same and therefore has no effect on the hormone balance of men. In addition, the amount is so low that you should consume so much soy in one day to have any effect. A man who drank almost 3 liters of soy milk daily for years, started to show something.
For menopausal women, isoflavones can help a bit against hot flashes. Definitive research has not (yet) been conducted into this, but there are strong indications to this effect.
#3. You eat too one-sided and you have to take supplements
In direct relationship with # 1 (too few proteins), there is a misunderstanding that as a vegan you have a low nutrients and energy intake. Every diet has to be balanced: fiber, vitamins, minerals etc. must be present in the correct proportions. And this can also be achieved with a vegan diet.
If you are not sure whether you are getting enough, contact your doctor or dietitian. We are all different and what counts as “sufficient” for one person is too low for another.
#4. A vegan lifestyle is expensive
Just like with any other diet, as a vegan you can make it as expensive as you want. If you use rich butter with roast beef for lunch every day, pull out a bottle of Henri Mandois champagneevery day at € 43.75 per bottle and serve caviar on your sandwich for a starter of your dinner, then you will spend lots of money on food.
But if you pay attention to what you buy, pay attention to offers, you can save money. In fact, legumes and seasonal vegetables are often cheaper than meat or fish. Be open to new combinations and dare to be creative in the kitchen, because you don’t always have to put a meat substitute on your plate for dinner every night.
#5. As a vegan, you cannot go out for dinner
Until a few years ago, the options on the menus in restaurants were less extensive with vegan options. Nowadays all kitchens know how to prepare tasty, good and nutritious vegan meals and every self-respecting chef can make the most delicious vegan dishes. This does not only applies to vegan options, other food allergies and intolerances are also given more options and attention in the catering industry.
The fact that the range in the catering industry is getting better, does not alter the fact that it is best to always inquire in advance what the possibilities are. Check the menu online before booking, or if in doubt, call ahead. Often kitchens appreciate it that you make your reservation ahead with the notion you want to eat vegan (or that you have a certain food intolerance). They can already take this into account during the preparations.
#6. You only eat lettuce and are always hungry
People on a plant-based diet are often jokingly referred to as “rabbits” because of the misconception that they only eat lettuce and carrots – people who are dieting are also often told this.
But that is totally not true. Deliciously spiced dishes with legumes, vegetables, nuts, quinoa are particularly filling and are also rich in fiber and protein.
We have loads of examples of tasty, vegan dishes. We are all collecting them for publishing at this time.
This blog is one in the series on plant-based food: its developments, health aspects, myths and much more.
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