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 put aside the consumption of meat, must deny and defend their diet, day by day, before those who maintain that this is a dangerous practice .
However, we are facing millions of people who are shown as one of the greatest proofs that you can stick to a plant-based diet, enjoy it and stay healthy .
In addition, valuable scientific research has accumulated over time and is carried out by professionals who support it.
Vegan experts debunk the myths surrounding this lifestyle
It is important to note that the people included in this review are not necessarily fully vegan.
Some are dedicated to recommending a vegan diet made up of whole foods to their patients following this same diet, without involving other aspects of the vegan lifestyle .
Additionally, they all take it upon themselves to provide important insights and research that make them advocates of plant-based diets .
Myth 1: Vegan eating is difficult and expensive
Federica Arévalo is a Venezuelan influencer who for more than a decade decided to adopt this lifestyle for health and ecological awareness .
Within her process, she explains that she took the step after spending time alone while studying in London. The consequences of a poor diet 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 expensive vegan meal replacements like tofu, milk and vegan cheeses.
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 cheap.
One option is to buy local brand products or in bulk, since it can be more varied and even cheaper than an omnivorous diet.
Another option is that you buy legumes and vegetables in large markets, one of those 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, bought 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 a vegan for 9 years. But before that, he tried a vegetarian diet for a while. Eating meat never seemed ideal to her, but at that point she knew nothing about nutrition.
When she got married in 2001, she reached her peak weight and was looking for a way to lose those extra pounds. Investigating he found this healthy lifestyle . She initially went vegan to lose weight.
To debunk the myth that vegans don't eat enough protein, she says the average person needs 0.36g of protein for every pound they weigh. So by having a diet filled with a variety of whole foods , you can get plenty of protein. Such is the case with broccoli and lentils, which provide a good amount of protein.
Protein can also be found in dark green vegetables and soy products like tofu. All plant foods contain protein. In general, poor nutrition in a vegan comes from an unbalanced diet, which is solved by making a good balance in food.
Aili Castro studied Functional and Orthomolecular Nutrition in Canada for a year. In 2015, she was accepted in Chile to do a Master's in Nutrition and Food with a mention in Human Nutrition.
The basis of his work is nutritional education for each of his patients and readers who are willing to lead a healthier life responsibly.
In his professional career, he has verified 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 that 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 one 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 a 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 with 1.70 meters of height. Even though he has always been a physically active person and did not eat red meat or fried food.
To start his improvement process, he started with a low-fat eating plan and zero meat, about six weeks later his LDL was at 90.
To disprove the myth, he explains that eating meat doesn't make you healthier than someone who doesn't. For example, meat has a nutritional value of every 100 grams provides 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-fat (6-12 grams of fat per 100 g of food)
- Fats (>12 grams of fat per 100 g of food)
It is true that it provides protein, but it also provides fat . To get the lowest fat intake per 100 grams of meat, lean meats should be consumed, which are usually expensive.
In comparison, the nutritional contribution of vegetable protein , for example lentil, is on average 1.7 grams of fat per 100 grams. In addition, it is much cheaper.
Not to mention 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? he 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 a vegan has transformed her life in different ways. Not only has her health improved , she has also learned to be more aware of this lifestyle.
Having given up 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, she is in charge of dispelling the myths that have been generated regarding nutrition and health through her channels on social networks, using her own experience as an example.
Myth 4: Vegan eating 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 doctor when it comes to plants and that has made him famous.
His 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 more than a decade. He is an American celebrity chef, entrepreneur, author, and educator specializing in vegan cooking.
For those who believe that 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 features avocado meals with lemon jam, radish and tomato preserves, roasted carrots with pistachio yogurt, Tunisian spiced pumpkin, as well as juices and smoothies, among many more.
In case you have any doubts, you can see one of the most famous books of this chef 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 of dietary and lifestyle change, with the idea of preventing and treating heart disease and various types of cancer.
He has developed a " Heart Disease Reversal Program ", 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 to plant-based food 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 of nutrients.
The main reason Dean Ornish supports eating fish is the omega 3 fatty acids . The reason? they are very healthy and act as a carrier of energy. 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 metabolism.
Myth 6: Vegan diet 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 managed to discover 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 ensures that the only way that a vegan diet does not make you fat is to consume low-fat vegan .
Federica Arévalo also has something to say about it. And it is that, although the vegan diet promotes a healthy weight, there are so-called junk food vegans (vegans of junk food) who usually eat only meat replacements such as French fries, vegan pizzas and other similar items.
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 product of an unbalanced diet and that can happen even if you have a vegan diet.
Myth 7: Vegans need food supplements to be healthy
Michael Greger is known as the founder of Nutrition Facts . He is a vegan doctor, which allows him to be on par when it comes to the latest scientific findings on good nutrition.
For this myth, he explains that a plant-based diet has it all in the way of supplements, except for vitamin B12 .
This should be consumed as a supplement, since it is only found naturally in foods of animal origin. But it's the one nutrient you won't find in a plant-based diet.
The rest of the nutrients can be found without problems in animal free foods.
These professionals not only bring you closer to a better diet within their work as influencers in the vegan world, but they also show results , everything they have put into practice.
That is why it is worth reviewing the work they have done , to have an idea of the path that we should consider in our diet, leaving myths aside.