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5 Common Myths About Plant-Based Diet Debunked

Plant based diet

Do you know that when you google plant-based diet you get 2,030,000,000 results in 0.50 seconds? A plant-based diet is very hype right now and for good reasons. There are endless benefits of plant-based eating, especially if you do it right.

However, you may hear a few stories about plant-based eating and wonder if they are even true. So, if you are considering making the swap or simply embracing this style of eating to improve your health, I want to help you.

Here are the 5 most common plant-based eating myths that can create misconceptions. Let’s debunk them.

But before we start, get your copy of my e-book The Wholehearted Diet. Discover the power of plant-based eating, stress less, and have more energy.

plant-based diet

What is a Healthy Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet, as the name suggests, is a diet that consists of whole plant foods. You eat vegetables, plants, nuts, seeds, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and so forth. If you are vegan like me, you avoid eating meat, dairy, or meat and dairy-related products.

Now, there may be many reasons why you have decided to change your diet. You may be interested in animal welfare and ecological sustainability for one, or you may look for an option to improve your health and energy levels.

I am not sure if I can pinpoint just one reason why I turned to it, but I never enjoyed the taste of

meat. And I really did not like the fat. So, I looked for an alternative. However, when I started (over twenty years ago) it wasn’t that easy.

You didn’t have all the fancy meat-free products such as vegan sausages, burgers, fish, cheese, or chocolate. You simply didn’t eat those types of products because there were no alternatives.

Nowadays, it is even trendy to be plant-based and almost every restaurant has at least one option for herbivores. You can walk into a supermarket and buy any meat-like product you desire.

However, I am a little bit old-fashioned in many ways and I look at it a bit suspiciously. I am thankful for the choices and that when I have a burger craving, I can satisfy it. But I want to mention that eating store-bought-processed meat-free products is not exactly following a plant-based diet.

For me, a healthy plant-based diet is all about delivering all the food groups via natural plant sources. I hope you agree with me on this.

5 Common Myths About Plant-Based Eating

Let’s move to the fun part when I can get you to come on board. There are always some misconceptions about a diet, especially when you look more into it. And while it is important to do the pros and cons of anything, there are certain myths we need to uncover to get you to make the right decision.

Here are five of them:

#1 Myth: Plant-Based Diet Won’t Deliver Enough Protein

This was a big one for me, too. I heard this all the time. Actually, it wasn’t until I dived deeper into nutrition that I learned that protein is not a be-all and have-all when it comes to what you eat.

Proteins, which are made up of ‘building blocks’ called amino acids, are used to build and repair muscles and bones. There are nine amino acids that are essential for optimal health. Your body also requires protein to make hormones and enzymes.

However, just following a plant-based diet does not mean you won’t deliver any proteins to your body. It only means the source of proteins will change.

I have also heard that if you don’t deliver protein, you don't have energy. It is important to notice that the two main food groups that your body uses to make energy are carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Proteins make up about 12% of your energy production.

What’s more, many scientists advise that we don’t necessarily need to consume that much protein. How much protein you need depends on factors such as gender, age, or even your lifestyle. And there are many reputable sites where you can check what is your unique ratio.

I am not saying to forget about proteins, but I want you to have a bigger perspective on them. Proteins are just one of the main food groups your body requires.

You will hear me say it a lot, but it is all about balance. When you plan your meals right you include a variety of protein sources. Hence you will deliver enough.

Some of the best plant-based protein sources are legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, quinoa, lentils, and nuts. So, make sure you use different combinations to hit all the nine amino acids in your meals.

#2 Myth Plant-Based Diet is Nutritionally Deficient

I feel like getting on my soapbox right now, but I will keep it casual. If you don’t eat a balanced diet, whatever the diet may be, you will be nutrient deficient. It doesn’t matter if it is a plant-based diet, a Western diet, or any other diet. Period.

If your diet contains mostly meats or meat products, or your favourite pasta, pizzas, or fries, you are not delivering enough nutrients to your body anyway.

What I love about a plant-based diet is that I eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts, so I include all the food groups. I mix and match them for their nutritional values. I also pair them so they complement each other, and my body can absorb all the nutrients.

I find it easier to stay healthy while on a plant-based diet because I know I will always include vegetables and other plants. They are not just a side dish, they are the star of the meal.

What’s more, it becomes so natural that I don’t have to think, or even worry that I will be nutrient deficient. Coming back to my first sentence, any diet that is not balanced will be nutritionally deficient.

Plants are true superpowers. They are packed with all the goodies. So, no matter the diet you follow always make sure you eat a colourful variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. You want your diet to tick the minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids boxes to stay healthy.

#3 Myth: Plant-Based Diet Is Expensive

With the cost of food going up almost every day, it seems like everything is expensive. But let me assure you that following a plant-based diet is not more costly than following any other diet.

A plant-based diet can be easily affordable. I find that certain products I use regularly in my diet are cheaper. The backbone of your plant-based pantry staples are legumes and grains.

Dry beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, or legumes like green split peas are very budget-friendly. And they are a great source of plant-based protein.

I also buy fresh vegetables and fruit that are in season. They are super cheap, tasty, and ready to use. The local produce may vary depending on your geographical location, but there will always be something to pick.

To make it even more cost-effective, you can grow your own vegetables. I have a little garden, and although I don’t always have a lot of success, I am often able to grow something. If you don’t have the space, or you are not a green thumb, grow at least herbs.

They are super easy and resilient and you can grow them in pots. This way you not only save on buying herbs but add more flavour to your meals.

And, of course, meal planning and buying in bulk are other ways to make plant-based eating cost-effective.

#4 Plant-Based Diet Is Boring

As I mentioned earlier, I started following a plant-based diet over twenty years ago. There were no meat-free products except tofu and soybeans to choose from. So, when I told others I was going plant-based, I heard it over and over: So, are you going to be eating lettuce and tomatoes?

And truth to be told I did for a while.

But then I realized that to make something less boring I need to get creative! And so can you!

I love experimenting with different flavours, colours, textures, spices, cooking techniques, and so on.

There are endless culinary possibilities! You can prepare one vegetable in a thousand different ways.

You can mix and match ingredients to get different depths.

As they say, the sky is the limit. You decide how boring or inspiring your diet is.

#5 Myth: Plant-Based Diet Is Only for Vegans or Vegetarians

Now, this one may be a big one for you. I hear it all the time: Anna, I don’t want to give up meat! I don’t think I can live without cheese! Well, I have good news! You don’t have to.

First of all, I want you to improve your eating habits. It needs to be a priority if you are serious about your health (and I know you are). It means you need to make some mindset shifts around what you eat.

The best way to start is by adding more vegetables and plant-based sources to your diet. You don’t have to go cold turkey (pun intended) and give everything up in one day! If you decide to follow plant-based eating, you reduce consumption of certain products over a period of time.

I believe a plant-based diet gives you a better opportunity to eat healthier. It encourages you to balance your meals, so you deliver all the nutrients.

Plant-based eating is not exclusive to vegans or vegetarians. You can do it even if you decide not to go all the way and be vegan. You can adopt certain philosophies and approaches to plant-based eating and see how you feel.

Plant-Based Eating Myths Debunked

Following a plant-based diet is so much easier than it has ever been. Yes, the availability of meat-free products helps, but a plant-based diet is so much more than that.

I strongly stand behind this way of eating because I can see how it serves me, my health, my energy levels, and the planet. It has so many great benefits that now is the best time to start.

And you can begin by simply adding more plant-based sources to your diet. But trust me, once you start, you will never want to stop.

Ready to get started with a plant-based diet? Get your copy of my e-book The Wholehearted Diet. Discover the power of plant-based eating, stress less, and have more energy.

plant-based diet

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