More and more people are choosing to eat a vegan diet. Although many jump on the bandwagon for Veganuary every year now, there are plenty who stick to this plant-based way of eating, or at least they do for the most part.
Despite the fact that vegan diets have become much more mainstream, there are still a number of myths around this way of eating that discourage people from giving veganism a try.
If you work with catering food suppliers, you’ll know how important it is to offer a varied range of options to people at your events, and vegan food is now expected by more and more people. So, what myths should we try to dispel when it comes to veganism?
The first is that it’s restrictive, according to a post for Live Kindly. The news provider pointed out that most meat-based meals are adaptable to include a plant-based alternative, and that there are lots of whole plants that can make an excellent substitute for meat.
These include mushrooms, jackfruit, legumes and pulses, among others. The key is in the preparation and seasoning, the post added.
Beans and lentils are particularly good choices, because they are high in protein and fibre, as well as being a source of B vitamins, not to mention the fact that they’re low in fat.
Despite the fact that it’s recommended that we should aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day (in the UK this has now increased to ten), some people still believe a vegan diet isn’t healthy.
Getting more vegetables into your diet is good for you whether you’re vegan or not, but if you look at ways of incorporating different vegetables into meals then you can tick two boxes, both the plant-based way of living and hitting the recommendation for your fruit and veg consumption.
The news provider cited research from Dole Packaged Foods Europe, however, which showed that only 75 per cent of Brits manage to hit the minimum five portions of fruit or veg each day.
Another myth about the vegan diet that regularly gets cited is that it’s not suitable for children. However, the publication pointed out that “a growing body of evidence suggests that a well-planned, nutritious plant-based diet can meet the nutritional requirements of people of all ages”.
The key here is that it’s well-planned and nutritious. There are, of course, people on vegan diets who don’t eat healthily because they reach for junk-food options, just as there are people on meat-based diets who do the same.
Parents who are unsure about going vegan with their children may want to look at the NHS advice on the subject. The health service notes that young children can get “most of the nutrients they need to grow and develop from a well-planned, varied and balanced diet”.
There are some supplements recommended for children, including vitamin B12, iodine, and omega-3. The NHS also lists a number of iron-rich foods that are part of a vegan or vegetarian diet, as well as alternative sources of calcium to dairy products.