What Is Veganism?
Veganism is a dietary practice that excludes all animals products from everyday consumption. Not only do vegans abstain from eating meat products like pork and beef, they also evade fish, poultry, dairy, honey, and even marshmallows. In case you needed a fun fact, marshmallows are made from gelatin, a substance created by boiling the skin, cartilage, and bone marrows of animals.
Though vegans only take up a fraction of the world population, a report shows that this 2017, the number of vegans is up by 6% compared to 2014 when it was only at 1% in the US alone.
The demand for vegan food has skyrocketed in recent years, raising eyebrows and increasing the number of misconceptions surrounding the dietary practice.
#1: Vegans need dairy for calcium
Many of us grew up thinking that milk is the only source of calcium in existence. We couldn’t be any more wrong. Leafy green vegetables like kale have excellent absorbability compared to dairy milk. Aside from kale, other vegetables such as spinach, okra, broccoli, and soybeans are excellent sources of calcium.
#2: Vegans only eat salads
Yes, vegans do eat salads, but their diet is not limited to a bowl of leafy greens. Vegans also enjoy burgers, pizza, tacos, and pasta. Did you know that Alfredo sauce can be made with cashew nuts, water, and spices mixed in a blender? Or that cheeses like ricotta can be recreated with tofu? How about a decadent chocolate mousse made with sweet potatoes, dates, or avocados? If anything, being vegan brings out the creative chef in individuals.
#3: Vegans can’t get enough protein
Research shows that adults who eat high-protein, animal-based diets are four times more inclined to die of cancer and 75 percent more likely to suffer from diseases than adults who eat a low-protein diet. In other words, too much protein is never a good thing. But vegans ensure that they meet their protein needs with beans and legumes, which contains 14 to 22 grams of protein per cup. Other meatless sources of protein include beans, quinoa, chia seeds, and nuts which are jam packed with macro nutrients.
#4: A vegan lifestyle is expensive
Staples, such as pasta, tofu, beans, rice, and greens are much cheaper than meat. If it’s a matter of not knowing what kind of meals to make with the handful of ingredients you have, there are hundreds and thousands of free vegan recipes to explore online.
When it comes to special food items like fake chicken, steak, or bacon which all seem impossible to be 100% meat-free, they do retail at a higher price point to pay for the manufacturer’s fixed costs, as well as gain profit since the demand does not compare to real meat products.
#5: Vegans are not healthy
The practice is high in dietary fiber, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin C, iron , nd phytochemicals. Also, if you’ve read and understood everything stated earlier, this particular misconception will be easier to debunk. Eating a plant-based diet is like any other way of eating; be cautious of what you’re putting in your body, and your body will thank you.
Being vegan isn’t restrictive, pricey, nor unhealthy. A well-balanced, plant-based diet can and will provide your body with the nutrients it needs — from calcium and protein to fiber and Omega-3s. With the added benefits of a healthier heart and a guilt-free eating habit, it’s no surprise why veganism and its popularity are at an all-time high.
Additional Reading: Things You Need To Know Before Going Vegan