Anyway, today I have a guest post from the lovely Heather Green! Enjoy!
Top 5 Misconceptions about Vegans
A vegan diet eschews all animal products, including meat and dairy. More people are choosing to embrace a vegan diet, either because of its believed health benefits or because of ethical considerations over the treatment of animals.
However, the diet may seem strange to many, and so misconceptions persist over vegan diets and those who practice them. Here are the top 5 misconceptions about vegans:
Vegans are Unhealthy
When you take away meat and dairy, most people don’t know where to get their protein or calcium. Many think that since they don’t eat these two major food groups, vegans are not getting enough of these nutrients and so are unhealthy.
The truth is that there are many sources of both protein and calcium suitable for vegan diets. Good protein sources include nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, soy, and some grains. Good sources of calcium include some citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and soy. Eating a balanced diet of these plant sources will provide vegans with all the nutrients they need.
Vegan Food Tastes Terrible
Most people think that vegans eat “twigs and branches.” A giant plate of broccoli doesn’t seem very appetizing to most. However, a vegan diet can include many delicious foods – even “junk foods.”
Many options are available for meat and dairy substitutes, allowing vegans to eat almost any food that is available in a traditional diet, including items such as ribs, burgers, pizza, cheesecake, and ice cream. Soy and nut products are often used as substitutes, and many have a similar flavor and texture, creating delicious treats.
Vegans are Sanctimonious Hippies
A lot of vegans choose their diet for ethical reasons as they are opposed to the treatment of animals that are raised for food. Some may be rather pushy about this opinion and try to convert others to their way of thinking.
Not all vegans choose their diets for ethical reasons. Some decide to eat a vegan diet for health concerns, and others just find the diet easier on their digestion. There are many reasons to become a vegan, and not all vegans believe the same things about their diet.
You Can’t Be Vegan If You’re an Athlete
The vegan diet is primarily a plant-based diet, which many think will not offer enough energy needed for high-intensity or endurance exercises. However, there are many energy-dense sources of vegan food, including nuts, soy, coconut, avocado, and oils. These foods are high in calories and fats, providing the energy that athletes need. Most foods that are naturally high in carbohydrates – such as bananas, pasta, bread, and more – are naturally vegan.
You Can’t Be Vegan If You’re Pregnant
Like athletes, pregnant women need to eat energy-rich foods with a lot of vitamins. Especially important for pregnant women are iron and B vitamins, both of which are commonly found in meat and dairy products.
Plant-based vegan foods contain iron and B vitamins also, and a pregnant woman can safely eat a vegan diet if she makes sure to eat a balanced diet. Sea vegetables, grains, legumes, and other foods all contain iron and B vitamins.
There are a lot of misconceptions about vegans and a vegan diet, but the diet can be a healthful choice if a wide variety of foods are chosen to provide all the nutrients needed. Not only can the diet be nutritious, but it can also be delicious.
Are you a vegan? Tell us about why you chose to become a vegan and what you think about these misconceptions!
Heather Green is a mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice about physical therapy aide degrees and online medical transcription courses.