Doctor Busts 7 Myths Around A Plant-Based Diet

There are many myths about plant based diets. Our expert busts these myths, and states facts about its nutrition value. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Sep 03, 2022Updated at: Sep 03, 2022
Doctor Busts 7 Myths Around A Plant-Based Diet

Knowing what to believe and what not to believe when it comes to nutrition can be challenging. Unfortunately, there is a lot of false information on the internet. It may be very challenging to determine what is and what is not supported by scientific research. Most of the misconceptions about eating a plant-based diet come from widespread misunderstandings. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Rushikesh Trivedi, Metabolic Expert at Fast&Up, to know about the myths and facts about a plant-based diet.

Myths about plant based diet

Here are the myths surrounding plant-based nutrition:

Myth 1: It is hard to get enough protein from a plant-based diet

plant based diet

The most frequent response we receive when questioned about protein is that it aids in muscular growth. Although technically correct, protein does much more than help in muscle growth. It gives us critical amino acids we need for healthy immunity, digestion, blood sugar regulation, and much more. Although everyone is aware that animal-based foods like fish, poultry, meat, dairy, and eggs are good sources of protein, one cannot overlook the nutritional benefits of plant-based proteins. For the majority of people, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogramme of healthy body weight. Eating a plant-based diet can easily help you achieve this. Whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds are a few examples of plant-based foods that are high in protein. 

Myth 2: Plant-based diets are expensive

A plant-based diet is frequently perceived as pricey. However, this isn’t always the case. First and foremost, you can buy frozen or canned fruits, vegetables, and legumes that have a longer shelf life; just try to choose low-sodium ones wherever you can. Seasonal fruits and vegetables can be bought at markets at affordable prices than non-seasonal foods at supermarkets. When it comes to dry grains and legumes, they can be bought in large quantities, and also stored for a long time.

Also read: Plant-Based Diet Or Vegan Diet: Which One Should You Choose?

Myth 3: Plant-Based eaters are iron deficient 

It is true that heme iron, which is present in meat, may be absorbed by the body more readily than iron from plant-based food (non-heme iron). However, according to a study, the availability of iron is improved by consuming foods high in vitamin C or other foods containing heme along with plant protein. For instance, a dish consisting of beans can be consumed with red peppers, or tofu with broccoli. You can also find a good amount of iron in plant-based foods such as lentils, chickpeas, dark leafy greens, chia and hemp seeds, and dried fruits.

Myth 4: Lack of plant-based eating options

You can enjoy most of your favourite foods in plant-based versions. There is a misperception that eating a plant-based diet is monotonous and restricted to salads. However, by committing to consuming more grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, you are exposing yourself to hundreds of new flavours and nutrients. You can always try your hand at new recipes to add variety to your diet. 

Also read: Plant-Based Diet: Know The Importance Of Natural Plant Food Sources By This Nutritionist

Myth 5: Plant-based diet lacks enough vitamins and minerals

This is by far the most inaccurate statement as most of the essential nutrients humans need can be  found in plant-based foods. For example, tropical fruits such as mangoes and pineapples are high in vitamin C, while leafy greens and legumes are rich in calcium, iron, and zinc. Berries are also very high in vitamin K and manganese. In the end, the more variety you include in your diet, the better. Also, broadening your pallet is enticing to your taste buds. However, considering that vitamin B-12 is derived from soil, those who consume only plants need to take supplements. Only this vitamin is inaccessible to those who consume  plant-based diets.

Myth 6: Plant-based diets aren’t filling  

It might seem that way since plants have a low-calorie density, but that’s totally incorrect. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are rich in fibre and will likely keep you feeling fuller for longer. Compared to meat, consuming more plant-based foods is possible and even encouraged.

Myth 7: Plant based diets causes digestive issues 

Contrary to popular perception, an all-vegetable diet can even be used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. Our intestines get healthier the more greens we eat. Plant-based foods that are high in soluble and insoluble fibres have been shown to be important for intestinal health. A plant-based diet even helps our microbiomes to remain healthy.

Now that the misunderstanding surrounding plant-based nutrition has been dispelled, it is time to experience the many wholesome and satisfying options available on a plant-based diet.

All image credits: Freepik