Deciding to eat a vegan diet , which is a diet based on the consumption of plants, can lead to the prevention, treatment and reversal of a large number of chronic diseases that exist today.
There are so many myths about veganism that people who decide to leave aside meat consumption must deny and defend their diet, day by day, against those who maintain that this is a dangerous practice .
However, we are faced with millions of people who are showing this as one of the greatest proofs that you can maintain a plant-based diet, enjoy it, and stay healthy .
Furthermore, over time, valuable scientific research has been accumulated, which is carried out by professionals who support it.
Vegan nutrition experts debunk the myths around this lifestyle
It is important to note that the people included in this review are not necessarily completely vegan.
Some are dedicated to recommending to their patients a vegan diet composed of whole foods following this same eating scheme, without involving other aspects of the vegan lifestyle .
Additionally, they are all responsible for providing important knowledge and research that makes them promoters of plant-based diets .
Myth 1: Vegan diet is difficult and expensive
Federica Arévalo is a Venezuelan influencer who, for more than a decade, decided for health and ecological awareness to adopt this lifestyle.
Within her process she explains that she took the step after spending time alone while studying in London. The consequences of poor nutrition during that time as a student made her look for a change.
In her experience, she explains that adjusting can be difficult at first, if you don't know what to cook or resort to vegan meal replacements like tofu, milk and vegan cheeses that are often expensive.
That's what study and research is for. If you decide to adopt this lifestyle, you will have to learn to cook and experiment with ingredients that you know exist, but that you surely have not used before and are really economical.
One option is to buy products from local brands or in bulk, as it can be more varied and even economical than an omnivorous diet.
Another option is to buy legumes and vegetables in large markets that only operate once a week. The prices are usually much lower than in a common supermarket.
For example, a kilo of beef costs $12.30 on average, while 1 kilo of lentils, purchased in bulk , costs $3.5. The story tells itself.
Myth 2: Vegans don't eat enough protein
Emily Webber is a vegan nutritionist and cooking instructor who has been vegan for 9 years. But before that, he tried a vegetarian diet for a while. She never thought eating meat was ideal, but at that point she didn't know anything about nutrition.
When she got married in 2001, she reached her highest weight and was looking for a way to lose those extra pounds. While researching he came across this healthy lifestyle . She initially became vegan to lose weight.
To debunk the myth that vegans don't eat enough protein, she says that the average person needs 0.36 grams of protein for every kilo they weigh. So by having a diet full of varied whole foods , you will be able to get plenty of protein. Such is the case of broccoli and lentils, which provide a good amount of protein.
Protein can also be found in dark green vegetables and soy products such as tofu. All plant foods contain protein. Generally, poor nutrition in a vegan comes from an unbalanced diet, which is solved by having a good balance in food.
Aili Castro , studied Functional and Orthomolecular Nutrition in Canada for one year. In 2015, she was accepted in Chile to do a Master's Degree in Nutrition and Food with a mention in Human Nutrition.
The basis of its work is nutritional education for each of its patients and readers who are willing to lead a healthier life in a responsible way.
In his professional career, he has confirmed that the lack of protein in a vegan diet occurs when people do not know their protein requirements . The recommendation is to consume two to three servings a day of foods rich in protein or calculate 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight.
From the plant world it is possible to obtain these amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Therefore, the amount of protein that the body needs can be met.
You just have to be more meticulous and orderly with the food portions, taking into account the nutritional contribution of each to achieve a balance.
Myth 3: Meat is necessary to be healthy
Kim A. Williams , former president of the American College of Cardiology, has been practicing vegan since 2003. She wrote an article that was published in the New York Times " Advice from a Vegan Cardiologist ."
There he explains how his LDL cholesterol was so high at 49 years of age and 1.70 tall. Even though he has always been a physically active person and did not consume red meat or fried food.
To begin his improvement process, he started with a low-fat, zero-meat eating plan . About six weeks later, his LDL was at 90.
To disprove the myth, explain that consuming meat does not make you healthier than someone who does not consume it. For example, meat has a nutritional value of every 100 grams providing 16%-22% of proteins of high biological value. It is also rich in iron, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and niacin.
However, in terms of fat content, meats and derivatives are classified as:
- Lean (<6 grams of fat per 100 g of food)
- Semi-fats (6-12 grams of fat per 100 g of food)
- Fat (>12 grams of fat per 100 g of food)
It is true that it provides protein, but it also provides fat . To achieve the lowest fat consumption per 100 grams of meat, you should consume lean meats, which are usually expensive.
In comparison, the nutritional contribution of vegetable protein , for example lentils, is on average 1.7 grams of fat per 100 grams. Plus, it's much cheaper.
Without leaving aside the fact that there are lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and kidney problems when a person maintains a plant-based diet.
Rebeca Medina , has been vegan for more than 4 years. The reason? had hyperinsulinism , a health condition in which the body has abnormally high levels of insulin, which is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas.
On a personal note, she says that becoming vegan transformed her life in different ways. Not only did his health improve , he has also learned to be more aware of this lifestyle.
Having stopped the consumption of animal protein and adopted the consumption of vegetable protein has made her feel better physically and that has not made her less healthy.
Currently, he is in charge of dispelling the myths that have been generated regarding nutrition and health through his social media channels, using his own experience as an example.
Myth 4: Vegan food is boring and tasteless
Caldwell Esselstyn could be considered one of the main proponents of this movement, but he is also known as an expert plant doctor and that has made him famous.
Their program advocates a plant-based diet that incorporates whole foods and is very low in fat. She has a book of delicious recipes , which makes vegan food not boring.
On the other hand we have chef Matthew Kenney , he has been at the forefront of the plant-based movement for over a decade. He is an American celebrity chef, entrepreneur, author, and educator specializing in vegan cooking.
For those who think a vegan diet is boring, you need look no further than one of the restaurants owned by Matthew Kenney to change your mind.
The menu offers meals such as avocado with lemon jam, radish and preserved tomato, roasted carrots with pistachio yogurt, pumpkin with Tunisian spices, as well as juices and smoothies, among many other things.
In case you have any doubts, you can see one of this chef's most famous books called Plant Food , where you will learn the true culinary art of vegan cooking.
Myth 5: The vegan diet is healthier
Dean Ornish is known as an advocate for dietary and lifestyle change, with the idea of preventing and treating heart disease and various types of cancer.
He has developed a " Program to Reverse Heart Disease ", which is based on a large number of studies endorsed by other specialists.
Within his studies, he does not find a diet that is limited only to a plant-based diet to be healthier .
Unlike other specialists, he supports the consumption of fish, but in small portions. This is because the consumption of animal protein of this type is necessary to achieve a balance in nutrients.
The main reason Dean Ornish supports eating fish is the omega 3 fatty acids . The reason? They are very healthy and act as an energy carrier. Specifically EPA and DHA, which are only found in fish oils , some microalgae , and breast milk.
They are part of the cell membrane and are a base substance for hormones and the functioning of the metabolism.
Myth 6: Vegan food does not make you fat
Neal Barnard is known as an expert on diabetes and Alzheimer's disease . Thanks to his educational experience , he was able to form the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine , because he wanted to promote preventive medicine.
In his research, he discovered that saturated fats and cholesterol are not only responsible for clogging the arteries of the heart, but also our brain. And these fats are in many vegan foods .
Dr. Barnard assures that the only way for a vegan diet not to make you fat is to consume low-fat vegan foods .
Federica Arévalo also has something to say about it. And, although the vegan diet promotes a healthy weight, there are so-called junk food vegans who usually eat only meat replacements such as French fries, vegan pizzas and the like.
These foods are highly processed and high in sodium, palm oil, and sugar.
Therefore, being vegan will not make you slim if you do not control the consumption of vegetable fats or unhealthy foods.
Being overweight is the result of an unbalanced diet and that can happen even if you have a vegan diet.
Myth 7: Vegans need dietary supplements to be healthy
Michael Greger is known as the founder of nutritional information . He is a vegan doctor, which allows him to keep up with the latest scientific discoveries about good nutrition.
For this myth, he explains that a plant-based diet has everything in terms of supplements, except vitamin B12 .
This should be consumed as a supplement, since it is only found naturally in foods of animal origin. But it's the only nutrient you won't find in a plant-based diet.
The rest of the nutrients can be found without problems in free animal foods.
These professionals not only bring you closer to a better diet within their work as influencers in the vegan world, but they show with results everything they have put into practice.
That is why it is worth reviewing the work they have done , to get an idea of the path we should consider in our diet, leaving myths aside.