Updated October 15, 2023
There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to have a plant-based diet. Some of these concerns are outdated, and others are completely false. Even though experts have debunked these myths, people looking into plant-based diets may not know what to believe.
We’ve compiled the top six plant-based diet myths so you can learn the real facts about plant-based diets.
The biggest vegan diet myth is that you won’t get enough protein, and that’s simply not true. There are plenty of sources of plant protein that are easy to add to your diet.
Is it better to get protein from red meat, as many do? Absolutely not—there have been studies showing that eating too much red meat could cause cancer. And there’s no need to take that route.
Great examples of plant-based protein include beans, soy products, nuts/seeds, and whole grains.
This is absolutely not true! Plant-based meals offer a wide range of flavors and visual appeal. Using recipes that take advantage of herbs, spices, and fresh produce, you can create delicious meals with ease.
Some recipes don’t even require that much work, which is perfect for busy lifestyles.
You may have heard the plant-based diet myth that it is nutritionally unbalanced, which is untrue. When you take time to find proper sources of nutrients, it’s easy to craft nutritionally balanced vegan meals. Nutrients like calcium, B12, and iron are all available from non-animal sources.
A very important vegan diet fact is that many plant foods give multiple nutrients within a single serving. For example, beans provide fiber, protein, iron, calcium, potassium, and more. Nutritional yeast has vitamin B12, fiber, protein (9 amino acids), vitamins B2 and B3, and more.
All these extra nutrients can help with weight loss and blood pressure and lower heart disease death rates.
This really depends on how you shop. For example, items bought in season are much less expensive than those bought out of season.
Also, plant-based diets may get expensive if they are focused on premade meals and pre-prepped ingredients—but purchasing individual ingredients can actually save you money. For example, you could bulk buy plant-based staples like whole grains, beans, herbs, and nuts without worrying about them spoiling.
Careful meal planning and making meals yourself ensures you buy exactly what you need without wasting food or money. Additionally, with all the health benefits of a plant-based diet, you may be saving substantial money in the future on healthcare costs.
People think that plant-based diets are inconvenient for a variety of reasons, but the two most common we hear about are bloating/gas and dining at restaurants.
We won’t lie to you. You may experience some gastrointestinal issues as you change your diet. This is because your body is used to processing pre-made food full of toxins. When you start eating healthy, you can experience bloating and gas. However, this should only last a couple of weeks as your body adapts to the change, and soon you’ll feel better than before.
For dining out, there are a lot of plant-based options at restaurants that go beyond a regular salad. You can always look up a menu ahead of time to make your decision before going out with friends.
Animal agriculture has a much more significant impact than most people realize—14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions come from beef and milk production. Beef production causes 41% of the five million hectares of deforestation that occurs every year.
Meanwhile, plants are part of nature’s natural lifecycle. Not only are they healthy for you, but they improve the environment around them. Plant agriculture also uses less water, chemicals, and land than animal agriculture and offers animals more protection.
Don’t let other people’s misconceptions stop you from living a healthy, fulfilling life. Try eating a plant-based diet and prove all these vegan diet myths wrong.
Dr. McDougall is a source of genuine information about plant-based diets and even offers a course on food and nutrition: The Truth about Food. It provides nutrition information that’s easy to understand and implement in your diet.