Veganism may be a popular growing lifestyle option, but it does have a fair share of misconceptions and myths. The biggest concern is people thinking that changing their diet preferences will destroy their protein intake. Does a vegan diet provide a healthy protein count? Is a plant-based diet well-balanced? Let us demystify some of the most common myths surrounding the vegan diet.
A Vegan Diet Doesn’t Contain Enough Protein
Protein is important for a healthy body but did you ever wonder what protein quantity your body requires to function properly? According to the guidelines given by the US dietary institute, adult men should receive a daily intake of 56 grams of protein. In comparison, adult women should receive an estimate of 46 grams of protein daily. An easier way to determine the protein intake for any individual is the 1 gram = 1 kg rule. For every kg, one should intake 1 gram of protein. Keep in mind that protein needs vary according to age, physical activity levels, and other such factors.
Food items such as beans, tofu, chickpeas, seitan, lentils, and many more are rich in protein. 100 g of almonds have 20.3g of protein, 1 cup of cooked soybean has 28 grams of protein, equivalent to 150 grams of chicken. So, the myth that the vegan diet does not provide enough protein for the body is officially wrong, and factually there is no basis for this comment.
Soybeans Are Unhealthy
The consumption of soy has raised many controversial statements, but most of these statements do not have any scientific basis. 100 grams of soybean contains 36 g of protein, so soy is a popular item in vegan diets. It is also rich in amino acids, micronutrients, and fiber. Some myths related to soybeans are that it contains estrogen, GM crops, causes cancer, feminizes men, disrupts reproductive and growth development, and last but not least, harms the environment.
Many of these myths exist because most people confuse phytoestrogens (found in soy) with estrogens (found in the human body). Soybean does not contain estrogen; they contain phytoestrogens that are very healthy for the body as it blocks estrogen, reducing cancer risk. Phytoestrogens also contain isoflavones, which is a well-known antioxidant that works against cancer.
Dairy Is Necessary For Strong Bones
People assume that dairy is the only source of calcium, which is wrong. A vegan diet has multiple calcium sources such as seaweed, soy, chia seeds, almonds, flaxseed, spinach, and many more. Dairy products pose a greater risk to the human body than plant-based food ever did. To increase the milk quantity in cows, most farms inject their cows with an estrogen hormone. Studies have shown that men who consume dairy products have a higher estradiol level, a hormone responsible for female attributes such as enlarged breasts, pitchy voice, etc. So, no, dairy is not important for the growth of bones and muscles, calcium is important, and a vegan diet has several calcium sources.
Meat And Eggs Are Important To Build Muscles
This statement is based on the protein myth mentioned above. A protein-rich diet is vital to gain muscle and strength, but that does not mean that a vegan individual cannot gain muscle. As mentioned above vegan diet has many sources of proteins, with lesser side effects than meat and egg-based protein.
There is no scientific basis for such statements, and a vegan diet could have more benefits as compared to a non-vegetarian diet. The important thing to note is balance because too much of anything can be bad for you. Ensure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients regardless of what diet you follow, but there is no doubt that your body can thrive on a vegan diet.