5 Vegan Myths That Need to Die (Humanely)

In recent years, veganism has shown that it is not a fad: the number of people identify as vegan continues to rise, sales and demand for plant-based foods are steadily growing, and recommendations for meat-free living from health giants like Permanent Kaiser and the American Institute for Cancer Research Make sure the lifestyle is here to stay.

Veganism, in dietary terms, is defined as a diet free of animal products such as meat, fish and poultry, as well as dairy, eggs, gelatin and (for some practitioners) honey. Whether you’re considering going vegan, have already made the switch, or just want a front-row seat to this vegan myth-debunking session, we’re here to set the record straight with something honest for Betsy, a rescue cow. Vegan data now living on a sanctuary farm.

1. Vegans don’t get enough protein

Made: Vegans can meet their protein needs from plant sources.

“People are often surprised that plant-based foods actually contain a good amount of protein and can easily add up to meeting their daily needs,” says Krista Maguire, RD, senior nutrition manager at BODi.

Experts differ something about the recommended intake, but the Institute of Medicine suggests that adults obtain 10 to 35 percent of total daily calories from protein for normal, healthy functioning.

Of course, the amount of protein you need also depends on your gender, age, and activity level. Calculate yours using the recommended daily nutrient calculatorAnd consider these fantastic vegan protein sources:

2. Vegans are iron deficient

Over the shoulder shot of a person cooking vegan food with lentils |  Vegan Facts

Made: Healthy, nutritionally complete vegan diets can meet daily iron recommendations.

There are two types of iron: heme (meat sources) and non-heme (vegetable sources). “Plant eaters tend to consume more iron than omnivores,” explains Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD, author of A Guide to a Plant-Based Diet. “However, it is nonheme iron and absorption of nonheme iron varies substantially.”

Differences in the bioavailability of heme and nonheme iron may explain why Various studies found sufficient but significantly lower iron levels in non-meat eaters.

To adjust this difference, the National Institutes of Health It recommends that vegetarians consume 1.8 times more iron than people who eat meat. You can hit your Recommended daily allowance (18 mg) through these excellent sources of non-heme iron:

Iron deficiencies are rare in the U.S., but Andrews says they are “more typical in premenopausal women and anyone who donates blood regularly.”

Warns against supplementing iron intake without knowing its blood levels. “Having too much iron in the body is also a situation to avoid,” adds Andrews.

3. All vegan food is healthy

Close-up images of isolated Oreo cookies |  Vegan Facts

Made: Just because a food doesn’t contain animal products doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Sure, Lay’s Oreos and potato chips are vegan, but to maintain a well-balanced diet, Maguire recommends giving up processed foods. “The closer the ingredient is to its original form, the better,” she says.

A truly plant-based approach to eating offers a variety of health benefits; In general, vegetarian diets are associated with Lower BMI and better overall heart health.

He American Dietetic Association It further states that well-planned vegan and vegetarian diets “may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

Still, study after study Encourages vegans to monitor their nutrient intake.

“Plant-based foods vary in their amino acid profile,” Maguire notes, “so eating food combinations like rice and beans or peanut butter on toast ensures that your total daily intake consists of complementary amino acids.”

4. Eating vegan will save the planet

Image of plant foods superimposed on world map |  Vegan Facts

Made: It’s much more complicated than that…

world agriculture It is an incredibly complex system deeply tied to geography, economics and cultural values. The optimism of this myth is encouraging, but there is no single answer to solving climate change.

TO comprehensive review However, an assessment of the environmental impacts of agriculture found that even the “lowest-impact animal products generally outperform those of plant substitutes.”

Overall, the review found that animal-related products occupy about 83 percent of the world’s agricultural land despite providing only 18 percent of its total calories. Therefore, even reducing your meat consumption, especially beef, can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Andrews agrees that “a 100 percent plant-based diet generally results in a lighter overall environmental footprint.” In addition, he says, “it can promote animal well-being, promote more humane working conditions for agricultural workers and reduce the chances of developing the most common non-communicable diseases.”

So while veganism may not solve all the world’s problems, it could make it a nicer place for the creatures that live here. Including you!

5. Vegans are morally superior

The happy woman points to him "Let's go vegan" Shirt |  Vegan Facts

Made: What people choose to eat is very personal (and certainly arbitrary).

“Humans can thrive equally well on a variety of eating patterns, including 100 percent plant-based,” says Andrews. No diet is for everyone and no diet is necessarily superior to another.

“The interaction between food and the human body,” he continues, “is deeply complex. “So it’s really hard to say that one way of eating will be nutritionally adequate for everyone.”

Basically, people just have to adapt their diet to their bodies, their environment, and their ethical needs. Are strict vegans disciplined? Yeah! Are they “better” than you? No. They are just people trying to live their lives like everyone else.

Maguire hopes that “at some point we will stop giving ourselves labels based on the type of food we choose to eat.”

Hopefully, learning these vegan facts can help us all have more compassion, even those who like tofu too much.

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