Have you ever been confronted with the typical prejudices about veganism and vegan nutrition? “Vegans don’t get enough protein”, “Being vegan means giving up enjoyment” or “A vegan diet contains so many prohibitions and is difficult to implement” – unfortunately you hear such statements again and again. Today we want to put an end to all the vegan prejudices and myths and shed light on them. So let’s take a look behind the scenes together!
This blog post is about uncovering the truth behind the ten most common vegan diet myths . It's high time to do away with the stereotypes and give you the facts you need to make informed decisions. So buckle up, because together we will debunk ten stubborn prejudices and refute them with facts. We'll show you that a vegan diet is not only healthy, but also full of delicious options. Stop making false assumptions and claims! Are you ready to lift the veil of vegan myths and learn the truth about the vegan diet? Then join us on the exciting journey through the world of prejudices and facts about vegan nutrition!
Are you particularly interested in a particular prejudice about vegan nutrition ? Then jump directly to the chapter:
- Vegans don't get enough protein
- Vegans are deficient in important nutrients such as vitamin B12
- Plant-based foods do not contain enough iron
- A vegan diet is expensive and unaffordable
- Vegans cannot build muscle mass or be athletes
- Plant-based milk alternatives are not as healthy as cow's milk
- Being vegan means giving up taste and enjoyment
- Vegan diet is not sufficient for children's growth
- Vegans are always weak and have little energy
- A vegan diet is too restrictive and difficult to implement
Myth #1 – Vegans don’t get enough protein
“Vegans don’t get enough protein” – you’ve probably heard that before. In reality, it's a persistent stereotype that vegans can't get enough protein because animal products are supposedly the only true source of it. In fact, there are a wealth of plant-based protein sources that are anything but boring or tasteless. Legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas are not only real protein bombs - they also provide you with a good dose of energy.
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are not only rich in healthy fats , but also provide plenty of protein. But that's not all! Soy products like tofu and tempeh are not only super versatile to prepare, but also fantastic sources of protein.
Whole grains such as quinoa, oat flakes and amaranth also provide you with valuable fiber and a good portion of protein. As you can see, there is a wide range of plant-based protein sources that vegans can use to meet their protein needs. So you don't necessarily have to resort to meat or fish to provide your body with enough protein. A balanced vegan diet can provide you with everything your body needs.
Prejudice #2 – Vegans are deficient in important nutrients such as vitamin B12
Now we come to an important topic that often causes debate: vitamin B12 . One often hears the accusation that vegans automatically develop a vitamin B12 deficiency if they do not eat meat and fish. But we can tell you that there is a solution for this too!
Yes, it's true that vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products - but hey, we live in the 21st century and have found some clever ways to meet our daily vitamin B12 needs. Vegans can turn to fortified foods to ensure their B12 intake. Feel free to take a look around the supermarkets. There you will find a variety of plant-based milk alternatives that are enriched with vitamin B12. You can enjoy your coffee with it as normal or add it to your cereal. And if you want to be on the safe side, there are nutritional supplements available. There are special vitamin B12 preparations that have been developed especially for vegans and cover the need for this important vitamin. A small sip or a tablet per day - and you're on the safe side.
But why is vitamin B12 so important? Well, a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to long-term health problems as vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the formation of red blood cells and the functioning of our nervous system . That's why it's so important that you cover your daily need for vitamin B12.
Nevertheless, we can put aside the prejudice that vegans inevitably suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency. With proper planning and consumption of fortified foods or dietary supplements, you can easily meet your need for this important vitamin.
Myth #3 – Plant-based foods do not contain enough iron
Let's talk about iron - an essential mineral often associated with meat. But plant-based foods also contain iron, albeit in a form that is not as easily absorbed by the body as the iron in animal products. But don't worry, there are some tricks to make sure you get enough iron!
The key is to optimize the absorption of non-heme iron (the name given to the iron found in plant foods) from plant sources. One possibility is to specifically select iron-rich plant foods . These include, for example, legumes such as lentils and kidney beans, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, whole grains such as oatmeal and quinoa, and nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds and sesame.
But now comes the interesting part: the absorption of non-heme iron can be improved by simultaneously consuming foods rich in vitamin C. For example, by combining your iron-rich meals with citrus fruits or peppers, you can boost iron absorption . A great opportunity to prepare a fresh fruit or vegetable side dish and boost your iron levels at the same time.
And did you know that the choice of cooking utensils can also play a role? No joke! Cast iron pans can actually help give your food a little extra iron. When you cook in a cast iron pan, a small amount of iron is released into the food. A simple and quite practical way to get a little extra iron boost !
Let's note: Vegans can ensure that they absorb enough iron through careful planning and the targeted selection of iron-rich foods. By combining foods rich in vitamin C and using cast iron pans, we can further support iron absorption. So, don’t let the vegan myth of iron deficiency scare you away. With the right approach and a varied diet, you can ensure that your body is supplied with enough iron .
Myth #4 – A vegan diet is expensive and unaffordable
Now let's move on to a sensitive but not unimportant topic: money . It is often said that a vegan diet is very expensive . But that doesn't have to be the case! In fact, plant-based foods can be an affordable alternative to meat and fish products.
The best thing to do is go to your trusted supermarket and look at the prices for meat and fish. You will quickly notice that they are usually significantly higher than the prices for plant-based foods such as legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables. These staples are often affordable and can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of meat and fresh produce.
In addition, there is another great way to save money. At the same time you are also doing something good for the environment ! By purchasing seasonal products that are currently abundant in your region , you can benefit from cheaper prices. Buying in larger quantities can also be cost-effective , as many plant-based foods have a longer shelf life compared to animal products.
Careful planning is also important to keep your budget under control. By planning your meals in advance and creating a shopping list, you can target affordable ingredients while preventing food waste .
It's also helpful to visit local markets or farmers markets, where you can often find fresh and inexpensive plant-based foods. These markets often offer a wide selection of fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods at fair prices.
As you can see, the vegan diet can be quite cost-effective , especially compared to animal products. With careful planning, purchasing seasonal products and buying in larger quantities, you can enjoy a diverse and healthy vegan diet - even if you are short on money and only have a limited budget. There are numerous ways to live a cost-effective vegan lifestyle without sacrificing taste and variety .
Myth #5 – Vegans cannot build muscle mass or be athletes
Many people believe that animal products are the ultimate source of protein and essential nutrients , especially when it comes to athletic performance. But that is a myth that has long been debunked. Numerous top athletes have proven that a purely plant-based diet provides enough protein to build muscle mass and increase performance.
Plant-based protein sources such as legumes, soy products, nuts and seeds are rich in high-quality protein. They contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and repair muscle tissue. In fact, a balanced vegan diet can also provide enough protein to meet the needs of an active athlete.
Plant-based proteins also offer other benefits . They typically contain less saturated fat and cholesterol compared to animal protein sources. This can contribute to better heart health and improved blood circulation, which in turn positively influences athletic performance .
In order for athletes to maintain their performance and achieve their goals, a balanced diet that meets energy and nutrient needs is crucial. This also works with a vegan diet. Athletes get their calories from a variety of plant sources , such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
In addition to protein, it is important to also keep an eye on other nutrients such as iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. Careful planning and selection of plant-based foods can ensure athletes receive all the nutrients necessary to optimize their athletic performance.
Overall, the growing number of vegan athletes and their successes show that a plant-based diet does not impair athletic performance, but on the contrary can actually support it . It's possible to build muscle mass, improve endurance, and promote post-workout recovery - all with plant-based protein sources and a balanced vegan diet . Impressive, right?
Prejudice #6 – Plant-based milk alternatives are not as healthy as cow’s milk
It is often claimed that cow's milk is essential to a healthy diet, particularly due to its high calcium and protein content . But the reality is that plant-based milk alternatives are an excellent option that offers many health benefits and is also extremely tasty.
Plant-based milk alternatives such as almond milk, oat milk or soy milk are rich in nutrients and can also be a good source of calcium and vitamin D , especially when fortified. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, while vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and plays an important role in strengthening the immune system .
In addition, plant-based milk alternatives contain less saturated fat than animal cow's milk. High consumption of saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease, while unsaturated fats found in plant-based milk alternatives may even help protect the cardiovascular system .
Another advantage of plant-based milk alternatives is that they do not contain lactose. This makes them a good choice for people with lactose intolerance or milk allergies who would otherwise have difficulty digesting cow's milk.
It's important to note that not all plant-based milk alternatives are created equal. Some varieties may contain added sugar or additives. Therefore, you should always check the ingredients and choose unsweetened or naturally sweetened versions depending on your preference.
Overall, plant-based milk alternatives offer a healthy and tasty alternative to cow's milk. They are rich in nutrients, lower in saturated fats, and are a good option for people with specific dietary needs or ethical beliefs . No matter whether you follow a vegan diet, are lactose intolerant or are simply looking for variety: plant-based milk alternatives are a wonderful addition to your diet. The claim that cow's milk is healthier than vegan milk alternatives is simply wrong.
Prejudice #7 – Being vegan means giving up taste and enjoyment
You've probably heard this prejudice a time or two: Vegan food tastes boring or bland and those who live a vegan lifestyle automatically forego taste and enjoyment . The reality now looks completely different. The market for vegan products is constantly growing, day after day - and today there are a large number of vegan online shops ( madevegan.de is one of them) that offer a wide selection of vegan foods, snacks, desserts and cooking ingredients. There are countless ways to fully enjoy a vegan diet. Would you like an example?
In our shop you will find many exciting products that have been specially developed for the vegan lifestyle . Just click through our range and let yourself be inspired by our world of new flavor options! Whether you are already vegan or just curious about plant-based alternatives, it is worth exploring the variety of our vegan products and discovering new taste experiences !
And let's be honest: there is a wealth of delicious plant-based foods and different methods of preparation that bring a variety of aromas and flavors. With a wide range of spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, vegan meals can be just as tasty as non-vegan dishes. In fact, many people have reported that by switching to a vegan diet they have discovered completely new culinary delights and have been able to expand their sense of taste . So anyone who claims that being vegan means having to forego enjoyment has simply not properly dealt with the topic of vegan nutrition.
Prejudice #8 – Vegan diets are not sufficient for children’s growth
Yes, it is correct that protein is an important nutrient for the growth and construction of tissues. As you have already learned, vegans can also get protein from legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, from soy products such as tofu and tempeh, from nuts and seeds and from whole grains such as quinoa and oatmeal. Children can also optimally absorb their protein by combining different plant-based protein sources .
Iron is also crucial, especially for the formation of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen in our body. Plant sources of iron include green leafy vegetables , legumes, whole grains and nuts. Eating vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, peppers, or broccoli in combination with iron-rich plant foods can improve your body's iron absorption.
Calcium, on the other hand, is important for building strong bones and teeth . Plant sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli, sesame seeds, almonds and fortified plant-based milk alternatives. It is important to ensure that children get enough calcium, either through food or, if necessary, supplements .
As already mentioned, vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products, but vegan children can also meet their needs. Either with fortified foods or in some cases even by taking vitamin B12 supplements .
Studies have shown that children who follow a vegan diet and a balanced diet with sufficient nutrient intake can grow just as healthily as children who consume animal products. Careful planning and selection of nutrient-dense plant foods can help ensure children receive all the nutrients they need to develop healthily. If you have any questions or uncertainties about a vegan diet, you can also seek advice from a nutrition expert .
Myth #9 – Vegans are always weak and have little energy
To ensure that your body is supplied with enough energy , you need one thing above all: carbohydrates ! These play a significant role in supplying your body with energy. What's particularly great is that plant sources such as whole grains, oatmeal, potatoes, legumes and yes, even fruits and vegetables also provide you with plenty of carbohydrates , all of which serve as your main source of energy. These complex carbohydrates are broken down very slowly by the body and thus ensure a consistent and long-lasting energy supply - and it's completely vegan!
Proteins and healthy fats are also an important part of a balanced vegan diet. Unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocados provide your body with long-lasting energy and help it absorb fat-soluble vitamins . An adequate intake of healthy fats is crucial for your energy levels and your general well-being .
In addition to nutrition, other factors are also important to maintain your energy. Adequate hydration through water and other healthy drinks is essential to keep your body hydrated and support metabolic processes. Adequate sleep and rest periods are also very important when it comes to maintaining your energy level and optimizing your physical and mental performance .
Regular physical activity is another key to an energetic life. Exercise and sport stimulate your metabolism, improve blood circulation and promote the release of endorphins , which leads to an increased feeling of energy. Vegans can pursue their sporting activities just as passionately and successfully as non-vegans. So it is wrong to claim that vegans have less energy or are weaker.
Prejudice #10 – A vegan diet is too restrictive and difficult to implement
Finally, one of the most popular prejudices and myths: there are so many prohibitions on the vegan diet, all of which are difficult to implement. Incorrect!
The plant-based diet offers a wide range of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and spices that can serve as the basis for delicious and varied meals . You can discover and customize dishes from different cuisines around the world. By combining different ingredients and spices, you can create new taste experiences and develop your creative cooking skills .
Another advantage of the increasing popularity of the vegan diet is the growing range of vegan alternatives to animal products. There is now a large selection of plant-based milk alternatives, vegan meat substitutes, cheese alternatives, yogurt, ice cream and much more. These products allow you to maintain the familiar taste and texture of animal products while still choosing a plant-based diet.
Additionally, there are numerous resources , cookbooks and online recipes designed specifically for vegans. They offer inspiration and instructions for delicious vegan dishes and support you in implementing a balanced diet. You can get to know new ingredients and preparation techniques and develop your culinary skills .
Of course, a vegan diet may require a little more planning and attention, especially in the beginning. But over time, you'll develop a sense of which foods you prefer, how to balance meals, and how to meet your nutritional needs. It's about discovering new taste experiences and being creative and open to new culinary impressions.
Ultimately, of course, it is in your hands how diverse and flexible your vegan diet is. You can adapt your meal plan to your individual preferences, cultural influences and nutritional needs. A vegan diet offers a wide range of options to pamper the palate while taking ethical, health and environmental aspects into account.