Now that Veganuary 2018 has begun, with over 150,000 participants trying out the vegan lifestyle for January and possibly sticking at it permanently, a lot of questions, rumors and myths can arise about veganism. From animal welfare and health improvement to environmental impact and nutrition, everyone has their own reasons for becoming vegan, but the constant assumptions made by your friends, family, and complete strangers can become tiresome; leaving you feeling unsupported and frustrated. With this in mind, we have teamed up with Discount Supplements, one of the UK’s leading retailers in health and fitness supplements to bring you this infographic, which features several facts about veganism and to debunk some of the most common myths about the vegan diet.
Vegan Myths Debunked:
There are a lot of rumors and myths surrounding the vegan diet, so we’re taking some time to differentiate between the two:
“Vegans don’t eat anything”!
It is a common belief that being vegan means you are unable to eat anything whatsoever when this couldn’t be further from the truth. The typical kitchen cupboard is already well-stocked with staple vegan foods, such as:
- Dried pasta
- Almost all bread
- Several breakfast bowls of cereal
- Chopped tomatoes
- Herbs & spices
- Fruit juice
- Tea & coffee
- Biscuits and crackers
- Fruits and vegetables
And that’s just the beginning!
In recent years, there has also been a significant increase in vegan foods available on the high street. Supermarkets now stock a wide range of dairy-free cheese’s, margarine and plant milk (oat, rice, coconut, and almond). The introduction of vegan alternatives from supermarkets such as Tesco has made it significantly easier for vegans to enjoy exactly the same food as everyone else.
Cooking from scratch has never been easier, with a wide variety of vegan cookbooks now available to buy; offering recipes ranging from simple everyday meals to dishes for special occasions. Several restaurants have also adapted to cater for vegans, such as Zizzi, Pret, Pizza Express, Yo! Sushi and All Bar One.
“Veganism isn’t Healthy”!
Actually, health improvement is the second biggest reason for people deciding to go vegan. A plant-based diet can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, prevent cancer and lower your cholesterol level and blood pressure. Adopting a vegan diet is also a fantastic way to lose weight. Last year, 97% of those who participated in Veganuary said they felt healthier, while 87% also claimed to have lost weight.
Processed meat is now classified as a Group 1 carcinogen, putting it in the same category as smoking. This includes meats such as bacon, ham, canned meat, and sausages. Eating processed meat also increases your risk of developing stomach cancer and colon cancer. Unprocessed red meat is classified as Group 2A, meaning it is “probably carcinogenic to humans”; meaning there are clear links between red meat and certain types of cancer. Although several believe switching to a white-meat-only diet is the solution, it sadly isn’t. Approximately three-quarters of chicken carcasses a year are contaminated with campylobacter, a bacterium that can cause severe symptoms such as vomiting and a high fever, there are around 280,000 cases a year and 100 people die.
Being vegan doesn’t mean you miss out on vital vitamins and food groups, in fact, most vegans have a diet richer in vitamins and minerals than non-vegetarians. A well-planned vegan diet is full of plant foods, which are high in minerals, fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals. Absorbing enough protein is usually a big concern with a vegan diet, however, with some of the best vegan protein powder now available, it’s easy to combine these supplements with protein-packed foods such as lentils, quinoa, buckwheat, and soy.
“Being Vegan is Expensive”
It doesn’t have to be. Most cupboard essentials are cheap, and it’s likely you’re already buying these anyway. If you filled your shopping basket with vegetables, fruits, beans and rice, it will more than likely be cheaper than if you bought five steaks. One of the easiest ways to keep food costs down as a vegan is to cook your meals from scratch instead of buying pre-packaged foods. You can also bulk buy staples such as pasta and rice and cook them to freeze for future use.