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51 Vegan Myths Debunked

Posted on October 25 2020

51 Vegan Myths Debunked | Roshni Sanghvi
There are so many myth's when it comes to a plant- based diet. As a consumer, it can be challenging and even a cause for anxiety when you see mixed messages online. Everyday we see a new advertise of a 'must have vegan supplement'. But do we really need them?
I insist you read through these points, especially if you are considering switching to a plant-based diet to help you clear some doubts. Though each of these point's can be a blog by itself, I have tried to give as much information as possible in a few words. Do not hesitate to comment below if you have further questions.

1. Vegans are deficit in nutrients

Fact- Nutritional deficiency and a vegan diet are often associated. If anything, the very opposite is true. Animals do not make their own micro nutrients. They depend on plant's to get their optimal dose of nutrients. Including calcium, omega's and proteins, animals are just a carrier, but all of these nutrients are found in plants. A plant- based diet is not only sufficient, but the only source of micronutrients.

2. Vegans Are Devoid of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fact- A plant- based diet is certainly an excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Unlike meat based omega- 3 sources such as fish, the omega's coming in from plant- based food are not high in toxins such as mercury and lead. Here are a few omega- 3 sources on a plant based diet.
  1. Chia Seeds
  2. Brussels Sprouts
  3. Algal Oil
  4. Hemp Seeds
  5. Flaxseeds
  6. Perilla Oil
  7. Walnuts

3. Meat Iron is Better

Fact - Ever heard family members say that real men eat meat? TBH Vegans actually consume more Iron than meat-eaters and vegetarians. Meat eaters get less than 20% of their iron from meat and more than 45% of their iron from cereals, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts.
But iron coming in from meat, known as hema iron has been linked with brain degenerative diseases and certain types of cancer. The same effect is not seen with plant- based iron sources (non- hema iron). Plant- based iron in fact only has health benefit's to offer.

4. Pets Can't be Vegan

Fact - This statement is half untrue. Yes, cats are carnivores and need meat over a vegan diet. Dogs are omnivores. However, both cats and dogs can survive adequately on a well planned vegan diet. One needs to ensure their pets are consuming a well-balanced diet inclusive of all necessary nutrients. There are many vegan pet foods available in the market that are sufficiently well-equipped in the nutrition value chart. That being said, find a vet that understands your ethical choices and helps you make the best decision for your fur baby.

5. Turning Vegan Means Bidding Farewell to Yum Food.

Fact- Well meat by itself has no taste at all. Meat is cooked using 'vegan' spices to bring in taste. Consuming yum food depends on the way you cook and not the ingredients you choose. Vegetables and fruits have a lot of flavor and you can use vegan meat alternatives like Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh to mimic the taste of meat if you want. One just needs to experiment with different ingredients and the different methods of cooking to achieve a masterpiece dish!

6. "Plant-based" and "Vegan-based" are Synonymous.

Fact - A vegan diet is simply a diet that rejects all animal products inclusive of honey, dairy and its byproducts. It focuses on completely doing away with anything that comes from an animal. A vegan diet is an ethical choice, keeping in mind the suffering of animals. However, a plant-based diet focuses on switching to healthier food choices for personal well being. It is also devoid of all animal products but comes from a different point of view.

7. Vegans Miss Out on All the "Fun" Foods (Cream Cheese, Chocolate, Ice Cream, etc.)

Fact- With more and more people opting for Veganism, a lot of plant- based alternatives are available in the market. Vegan Ice Creams made from almond milk, cashew milk and coconut milk are on the rise! Soy and nut-based cream cheese are available today to ensure that vegans don't lose out on all the "fun". One only needs to tweak around with the ingredients and switch to vegan options and enjoy succumbing to gluttony! But you can very well stock up your home pantry with these goodies.

8. Vegans Need a Lot of Supplements.

Fact- On the contrary, a plant- based diet likely requires the least amount of supplements because it is naturally very high in micronutrients. Vegetables, fruits and legumes are a powerhouse when it comes to getting adequate nutrients. Unless you are eating rocks in the name of a vegan diet, a vegan diet is well balanced in vitamins and nutrients.

9. A Vegan Diet is a Healthy Diet.

Fact- Anything can be termed as a 'healthy' or 'unhealthy' diet depending on your food choices. But a plant- based diet is naturally low in cholesterol, saturated fats and sulfur containing amino- acids, making it a healthier choice. You could still survive on deep fried oily vegetables and make a vegan diet 'unhealthy', but that can be with any other diet too.

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10. Vegans are Arrogant and Hell-Bent on Converting the Whole World.

Fact- Honestly, a number of us are vegans only to switch to a better lifestyle. We are strong in our opinions, but not all vegans are humanitarians or animal activists. We care about the carbon footprint and the environment. We believe in spreading awareness. Ultimately switching to veganism is a personal choice and not a religion to be converted into.

11. Cow Milk is the Only Source for Calcium.

Fact- Apart from a little bit of calcium, your dairy products coming from the cow also gift you with excess cow estrogen (sex hormones), saturated fats and cholestrol. There should be a policy to mention all this on your carton of dairy milk. These causes hormonal imbalance in the body. Especially in women, this can lead to complications like PCOS and PCOD. It can also be a harbinger of painful periods and intolerable PMS symptoms. Here are 5 foods that are safer and better sources of calcium, with higher absorption capacity:
  • Broccoli - 100mg per cup
  • Kale - 179mg per cup
  • Collard greens - 266mg per cup
  • Bok Choy - 160mg per cup
  • Soybeans - 175mg per cup

  • 12. PETA is Not Vegan.

    Fact- PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a non-profit organisation that stands up for the animals being mistreated in laboratories, in the clothing trade, in the entertainment industry and the food industry. I don't think any other body could be any more vegan than PETA!

    13. You will Get Sick and Die if You're on a Vegan Diet.

    Fact- To be precise, becoming sick or weak is completely dependant on what you are eating. If you are not eating adequate calories, you are not getting adequate nutrition. A vegan diet is naturally anti- inflammatory and immunity boosting in general. Vegetarians and vegans have fewer cases of heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.

    14. Animal Protein is More Important than Plant Protein.

    Fact- Our system was never built to digest animal protein. We are herbivores by hardware. The saturated fats and sulphur containing amino acids coming in animals are seldom digested effectively by our system. Our kidneys and liver have to work extra hard to get rid of the toxins coming into our body in the name of animal proteins. Plants provide all essential proteins when compared to their meaty counterparts. In fact, animals also get their proteins from plants. Plant's have all the essential amino acids (in significantly higher quantities) needed for the body.

    I also insist you watch the below video for more details about plant- based proteins:

    15. Vegans Hate Humans.

    Fact- LOL. I guess we just love animals more! We love humans too, and that's why we like spreading awareness about opting for a healthy lifestyle. To be good to your own system is the agenda!

    16. Vegan Foods Are Expensive.

    Fact- Veganism is not for the elite. Infact, if you look at the blue zones around the world (nations where people live the longest), their diet is predominantly vegan, because they cannot afford meat. Look at any restaurant menu, meat is always more expensive than potatoes. Prepackaged foods are on the expensive side of the spectrum. However, opting for staple foods like beans, lentils, oats and vegetable like carrots and cabbage are inexpensive.

    17. Veganism is the Cause for "Deforestation".

    Fact- I am bawling with laughter tears right now! :'D
    Did you know that grazing of cows, in horticulture, loosens soil particles and is the root cause for soil erosion? On the other hand, growing fields of paddy, wheat and vegetables strengthen the soil and improve the soil profile by a drastic margin. Soil erosion and deforestation to expand animal agriculture is the biggest reason for the disappearing of forests and global warming. More water is used to make a single beef burger than the amount you use to shower for the entire year!

    18. Veganism is an Eating Disorder.

    Fact- Veganism is a healthy lifestyle disorder! :P
    Studies show that, compared to omnivores, vegans have a lesser risk of developing eating disorders. They are more healthy in their ways of eating as all you'll ever find them eating is fruits, veggies and nuts! A plant- based diet is high in volume, naturally filling you up faster and helping you maintain an ideal body weight without calorie counting. Food obsession and calorie counting is a sign of an eating disorder.

    19. Vegan Diets are Not Suitable for Children.

    Fact- A growing child's nutritional requirements are going to be different from an adult. A vegan or non- vegan diet has nothing to do with this fact. As long as parents are monitoring the key nutrients that are entering their kids' systems, children thrive on a vegan diet. Human body cannot digest the sugars coming from milk. This is also a leading cause for type 1 diabetes. Kids on a vegan diet do better in terms of preventing lifestyle diseases than their counterparts. In fact, it is the best diet for children as their developing digestive systems might not be able to take the load of animal foods.
    Watch Amy from the Big Bang Theory talk about raising her children vegan:

    20. Veganism is a Myth.

    Fact- Veganism is a concept that is trending in the 21st century. People with clear head-space and who know what they want are opting for this healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy and fresh food becomes a way of life after getting into veganism and there is no going back from that. You begin to feel lighter and healthier. So no, we aren't mythical creatures, we exist.

    21. Veganism is a Diet.

    Fact- Sure it can be a dietary choice alone for some, but for most, Veganism is a lifestyle. We live a life based on the ethics of Veganism which roots for animal rights and is against the exploitation and harming animals.

    22. All Vegans are Animal Lovers and Environmentalists.

    Fact- Most vegans are animal lovers and environmentalists. Not all. But we all believe in healthy living and believe that this can be achieved through veganism.

    23. ONLY Vegans Need Supplements.

    Fact- Vegans are probably the only people who do not need supplements. Every single nutrient required by human beings is found in plants. How meat-eaters get these nutrients is by eating animals that consume those plants. Hence, the whole idea of vegans needing supplements is false!

    24. Veganism is "White-Culture"

    Fact- Opting for a cruelty-free lifestyle is not a white concept. In India, Jains, Hindus and Buddhists have always vouched for animal rights and fair treatment. They are ardent vegetarians. In China, Taoists are vegan and are known to have invented Tofu! If anything, the west is learning from the east!

    25. Turning Vegan is Hard.

    Fact- Meat and dairy is a condiment to your main dish. Just get rid of that and your plate is filled with vegetables, fruits, lentils, pulses and legumes. Turning vegan is not as hard as one would think. Once you turn vegan for a substantial period of time though, you cannot go back to your earlier ways of eating. A vegan diet comes with good skin, good hair, improved bodily functions and a lean figure. Moreover, this lifestyle is too fresh and neat to go back to consuming saturated fats!

    26. Vegans Don't Like People Who Eat Meat.

    Fact- Vegans just don't like meat! We like telling people what we know and what they don't about animal consumption. We just like spreading awareness. This is misunderstood as hate. Compassion is the underlying motto and that is the very reason we reject meat-eating and embrace veganism. At the end of the day, to each their own.

    27. Vegan Food Doesn't Fill You Up.

    Fact- Fruits and vegetables have high dietary fibre content. Nuts and seeds too. High fibre content means more volume and slower digestion process. These foods are thus known to keep you fuller for a longer period of time. This is the reason why fitness trainers and weight loss programs inculcate diets with foods that are high in fibre. They prevent binge eating and promote weight loss.

    28. Pregnant Women Should Not Be Vegan.

    Fact- Did you know? Disorders like PCOS and PCOD which make it difficult for women to get pregnant and even make them infertile can be reversed by merely adopting a vegan diet. So I don't see why one must do away with this lifestyle after getting pregnant. If anything, a vegan diet will keep hormone levels at a check, keep type 2 diabetes at bay and check cholesterol and heart health! All of the above are regular grievances of pregnant women. That being said, working with a nutritionist who understands your food choices is the best option.

    29. Eating Soy Can Cause Cancer.

    Fact- Soy contains high fibre, proteins and antioxidants. The isoflavones present in soy is misunderstood to mimic the human hormone estrogen in the body. This is where the misconception of soy causing breast cancer arises. Isoflavones actually bind to estrogen receptors differently and function differently. Multiple studies prove that these isoflavones actually INHIBIT the growth of cancer cells and stimulate apoptosis (self-destruction of cancer cells.) They support the body's antioxidant defences and DNA repair which also prevents cancer.

    Please watch the below:

    30. Vegans Don't Get Sick

    Fact- Surely not as often as someone following an inflammatory diet high in animal protein and hema iron. But vegan's are also at risk of infections like Swine Flu and Covid-19. However, vegan's do have a better immune systems owing to anti- inflammatory and anti- oxidant food choices. Have you noticed how doctors advise vegetarian diets when you're down with a fever? This is because a vegetarian diet supplies you with the necessary nutrients in building antibodies and fighting pathogens.

    31. Going Vegan Will Guarantee Weight Loss.

    Fact- Weight loss is subjective to body type. While going vegan will definitely help speed up the process in numerous ways, weight loss depends on the kind of lifestyle you live. Plant- based food is naturally high in volume and lower in calories. It is also loaded in micronutrients, thus helping you keep the body fat percentage down.

    32. All Vegans Are Hippies.

    Fact- Hippie culture rejects all conventional societal ethics (the way they dress, the way they put their hair, etc) They advocate non-violent ethics and might also indulge in hallucinogens. They may or may not be vegan. However, vegans merely reject the consumption of meat. The might or might not support narcotics and do not strive to reject all societal practices. They only reject meat-eating and animal killing practices.

    33. If everybody went vegan, cows and pigs would go extinct.

    Fact- It is important to understand that most of these animals are raised in slaughterhouses due to forceful impregnation for human consumption. For example, a dairy cow is impregnated every nine months (as soon as she gives birth), to keep the production of milk high and constant supply of veil (baby calf skin). Naturally, cows don't conceive as often. It is the same case with chicken and pigs. Research about animal agriculture and you will understand how much of natural resources (water/ food) is wasted to raise this animals, thus depleting forests. This allows an elite few to enjoy their meat while millions across the globe die due to hunger. It is untrue to say that the food cycle would be disrupted. In fact, the cycle change is so trivial that everything would eventually balance out.

    34. "Plants Also Feel Pain so Quit Killing 'Em."

    Fact- Let us go back to school now, shall we? Plants DO NOT have a central nervous system. So it is safe to say that plucking fruits, nuts and veggies would merely "feel" like the clipping of a nail to them. Even if they do as per baseless logic, more plants are used to feed the animals raised to be eaten by humans. Might as well cut the middle man and at least spare them.

    35. If Men Eat Tofu, They Will Grow Man Boo-bs (breasts).

    Fact- The isoflavones present in tofu are mistaken to behave as animal estrogen. This phytoestrogen are actually cancer combating and does not behave as the estrogen found in female human beings. The fact is that they play no role in the depletion of testosterone and do not affect your manhood. Look at Asian populations that consume soy beans in huge quantities. Will you see a single man bo-ob on a Japanese beach? Compare that to a beach in Goa. Walk upto any obese individual in Goa and ask him if he has ever tasted tofu in his life. Chances are he will say no but still be familiar with paneer. Dairy cows are literally pumped with estrogen to boost milk production. This makes its way into the human body.

    36. We Need Animals to Convert Feed into a Protein that Can be Processed by the Human System.

    Fact- All protein needs are easily procured from plants. The simplest form is found in plants. When animals eat plants, they get nutrients. Meat-eaters get their nutrition from this reduced source. Humans also consume unwanted elements like saturated fats and cholesterol by eating these animals. It makes more sense if you consume concentrated and undigested nutrients. Might as well get your proteins from the source- plants.

    37. Avocados are Causing Droughts in Places.

    Fact- Avocados produce 33% of the emanations of chicken, a fourth of those of pork, and a twentieth of meat. On the off chance that you are as yet stressed over avocados, you can obviously decide not to eat them. Yet, it is anything but the motivation to eat meat rather, which has a lot greater water and deforestation impression.

    38. Fruits and Vegetables are Not Vegan Because They Use Animal Manure as Fertilisers.

    Fact- Most vegans would express it's only senseless to state leafy foods are animal items owing to the usage of manure as fertilisers. Manufactured compost is effectively produced using the nitrogen noticeable all around and there is a lot of natural manure accessible. Over-utilisation of compost causes water contamination issues in numerous pieces of the world. Yet, that applies to both engineered compost and fertiliser and results from awful administration.

    39. Vegan Diets Create Mass Murder of Bugs and Insects.

    Fact- The facts demonstrate that creepy crawlies are in an awful decay over the planet. However, the greatest drivers of this are the decimation of the wild environment, generally for meat creation, and far-reaching pesticide use. On the off chance that it is bugs that you are truly stressed over, eating a plant-based natural eating routine is the alternative to pick.

    40. All farmers who raise livestock would go broke and unemployed if the world went meat-free.

    Fact- Animal cultivating is hugely sponsored with citizens cash far and wide – in contrast to vegetables and natural product. That cash could be utilized to help more manageable nourishments, for example, beans and nuts rather, and to pay for other significant administrations, for example, catching carbon in forests and wetlands, reestablishing untamed life, cleaning water and decreasing flood hazards. Shouldn't your expenses be utilized to give public merchandise as opposed to damages?

    41. Eating Too Much Fruit is Bad for You Because of The Sugar.

    Fact- While fruit contains sugar, this is a natural sugar (fructose) and is contained inside the fibrous lattice of the organic product. This type of sugar is essential for the body unlike the sugar found in milk, dairy products (lactose) and processed table sugar. Sugars from the fruits also come in with fibre, helping keep your blood glucose in control. Fruits are natures desserts and extremely essential for you.

    42. Grass-fed beef is Low in Carbon Emission.

    Fact- Grass-fed beef utilizes more land and delivers more emissions that hormone pumped, factory produced beef. In any case, the outflows from even the best meat are as yet usually more than that from beans and pulses.

    43. A vegan diet makes you depressed.

    This is far from true. Brain degenerative diseases such as alzimers, dementia and even depression have been strongly linked to consuming excess fish and sea creatures. Heavily toxic produce from the sea with chemicals such as mercury is one of the reasons for the same. A plant- based diet on the contrary is high in fibre, helping rid the body of excess hormonal fluctuations and mood swings.

    44. Vegan Food is Boring.

    Fact- Food is possibly boring in the event that you make it boring. Veggie lovers shockingly can get extremely inventive in the kitchen, for example, utilizing one element for a wide range of dinners. For instance, you can have mixed tofu for breakfast, stacked fresh tofu tacos for lunch, tofu lasagna for supper, and chocolate pie made of tofu for dessert. You can utilize various flavors, various marinades, and various surfaces to make your taste buds energized during each supper. Vegan food is extraordinary. Try it yourself.

    45. Veganism and Vegetarian is the Same.

    Fact- Unlike vegetarians, who only abstain from consuming meat, vegans abstain from using any animal product. This can be in food, clothing, make up, cosmetics etc. They also abstain from the use of animal byproducts like milk, honey, cheese, etc. Animals used in the entertainment industry such as circuses and zoo's are also shunned down by vegan's.

    46. Honey is Healthy and Vegan.

    Fact- Honey, a byproduct by bees is not vegan. It is high in sugar which can be detrimental to your health. High-sugar diets may be linked to obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance, liver issues, and heart disease.

    47. Soy Milk is the Only Alternative to Cow Milk.

    Fact- To be honest, there are a plethora of alternatives to cow milk. Infact, all of these alternatives are healthier. Here are 5 alternatives to cow milk apart from soy milk:
    1. Almond Mylk
    2. Rice Mylk
    3. Oats Mylk
    4. Cashew Mylk
    5. Walnut Mylk

    48. Veganism Applies Only to Food.

    Fact- Veganism is widely related to food consumption but not limited to it. Vegans reject ALL animal products because our motto is that of compassion and cruelty-free nature. We reject animal products in clothes, shows, belts, make up, cosmetics, hats. You name an animal byproduct and we reject it.

    49. It is Impossible to be Vegan Because Animal Products Exist in Literally Everything!

    Fact- This is like saying it's impossible not to do drugs because they are available everywhere!
    It all boils down to choice. With Vegan culture gaining a fast forward in the 21st century, more and more people are becoming aware and more cruelty-free products are being invented. One merely has to make the choice. That being said, no one can be 'the perfect vegan' and that is ok. Do the best you can.

    50. Vegans Don't Get Enough B12.

    Fact- So can't non- vegans. This is because b12 is made by microorganisms who live in the soil. Animals feed on the soil, thus, some b12 might make its way into their meat, but hardly in enough quantity that it matters. The best way to get your daily doze of b12 is to live close to a farm or using a supplement.

    51. Butter is Better Than Margarine.

    Fact- In terms of taste, its really the same. In terms of health, its really also the same. Both are saturated fats and cholesterol, equally bad for the body. Your best bet is to avoid both.

    I truly hope the above helps you see veganism through a new perspective. you do not have ot get everything right to transcition to a plant- based diet. But taking your first few steps is important for your health and the health of the planet.

    Reach out to me for customised meal and fitness plan's when in doubt.

    Nutrition Newsletter


    Roshni Sanghvi is an Indian plant-based sports nutritionist and body transformation specialist. She is the first Indian to represent on a national bodybuilding stage being on a 100% plant-based diet. Roshni is a holistic nutritionist, graduated from the prestigious NutraPhoria college of nutrition in Canada. She is also an ACE-certified personal trainer, certified PlantFed gut coach, certified Bodyshred, and Animal flow instructor with a specialisation in disease reversal through food and lifestyle modification.

    Her approach is more focused on helping you in adopting a healthy lifestyle. With her result-oriented holistic methods, she has managed to transform and reverse lifestyle diseases such as PCOS, Thyroid, Diabetes etc for 12k+ clients worldwide.


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