Nutrition

8 Lies Vegans Want you to Believe

There are 8 common white lies and myths that you may hear being told about going vegan and changing your diet. Oftentimes vegans promote the diet as something exclusive that allows and ENCOURAGES you to eat as much as you want. Being vegan is nothing magical and it doesn’t just dismiss science or your natural metabolism when you take out dairy and meat products from the occasion. I was inspired by the comment below to write an article to better inform people on how weight loss, nutrition, and calories work. There are multiple myths and false truths in this comment alone (metabolic damage?), but we’re going to focus on the myths relating to veganism.


  Vegan -- annoying comment2 “I think you should do more research on veganism. Do some searching on the high carb low fat. Also search about metabolic damage. Vegnaism has helped my body so much. I do not get sick anymore (I used to have a very weak immune system and get sick almost every week), I have gotten lean, I’m gaining muscle and strength. This has changed my life. Please keep trying. When going high carb low fat try a majority of fruit. Eat a lot. I mean 3,000 calories minimum every day. Especially for active people. Carbs do not make you gain fat. They are energy. Eat.” This comment has a new myth in every sentence. Let’s dig in.

THE EIGHT MYTHS ABOUT GOING VEGAN

Will you lose weight on a vegan diet?

MYTH 1: You will lose weight & get toned when you go vegan.

Weight loss has less to do with what you’re eating and everything to do with the amount of food you’re eating. This is just like saying that you can’t eat cookies while on your weight loss journey; you absolutely can. Those of you who are familiar with counting macros already know this. The reason that people find it easier to lose weight on a vegan diet is because a majority of the meals include vegetables & fruits, which are naturally low in calories and high in fiber. This is why when people are on a weight loss journey, its suggested to eat tons of vegetables; they fill you up with fiber and are lower in calories, which allows you to eat a large amount. At the same time, eating on a vegan diet does not guarantee that you will lose weight. There are many people who gain weight on this diet because they’re eating higher than their maintenance. Again, it has nothing to do with veganism and everything to do with your caloric intake. Can you eat more calories on a vegan diet?

MYTH 2: You need to eat more calories as a vegan.

The amount of calories you eat is completely irrelevant to being vegan. This is like people who say “muscle weighs more than fat,” when really muscle is simply more dense than fat. Just as a pound is a pound, a calorie is a calorie. If you’re eating 100 calories from plants and 100 calories from animal products, you’re still eating 100 calories. Eliminating animal products from your diet doesn’t suddenly mean that you can eat more calories. It doesn’t matter what kind of diet you’re on, calories are calories and your BMR isn’t going to double simply because you’re not eating animal products. This is the misinformation which leads people to gaining a ton of weight on a vegan diet; people believe they can eat an excessive amount of fruit and find themselves bloating and gaining weight. Can anyone eat a vegan diet?

MYTH 3: Veganism is for everyone.

Its important to understand that just because something works for you does not mean it works for everyone. Accept the fact that some people simply need animal products to be healthy. I know several people who want to maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet, but couldn’t due to health issues. Some people need to maintain a diet with animal products to remain healthy. For example, someone who suffers from food allergies or IBS may not be able to go vegan and still be healthy. On top of this, our bodies vary in the macro ratio needed to function best. Especially for bodybuilders; protein, carb, and fat ratios are important for muscle growth. In general though, ratios are important individually because it effects the way your body functions. Its hard to get the correct amount of protein in your diet, no matter whether you eat higher in fats or higher in carbs as a vegan. On top of this, eating lower in fats effects hormones and causes other problems as well. Some people experience this more than others, again, it all depends on the person. Does going vegan make you healthier?

MYTH 4: Being vegan makes you healthier.

A high percentage of people who maintain a vegan diet are health-conscious and stick to fresh and whole foods. In doing this, they are giving their bodies health benefits. These same health benefits would be provided to any person who decided to eat healthier, non-processed foods. All the while, there are TONS of junk food that, if vegans ate, they would experience health problems just the same as anyone else. We’ve got Oreo’s, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, Lays, and several other foods that are vegan. Its not the lack of meat that’s making them healthier, its eating fresh and nutritious foods, which can be done in a non-vegan diet as well. Are humans supposed to eat animals or dairy?

MYTH 5: Humans aren’t designed to eat animals.

There are many arguments that go back and forth with this. There’s information that can prove and disprove this argument. Scientists have examined the design of our teeth, acidity in our stomach, and our intestines to try and decide if we were ever truly meant to eat animals. Going back into history, humans have always ate meat and they wouldn’t have survived without it; it provided protein, which there was no other way to get the amount needed without it. On top of this they were also using every other source of the animal, such as hide and fur, to survive. The society that we live in now, animals are being mutilated and abused which is the reason why a majority of vegans are against eating meat. At the same time, its hard to maintain a healthy vegan diet without supplements in replacement of animal products. Do vegans get enough protein in their diet?

MYTH 6: You can get the same amount of protein in a vegan diet.

Many vegans claim that you can eat enough protein from raw vegetables and that it either a) provides the same amount of protein as animal products or b) you don’t actually need as much protein as science says. One way that vegans will prove both statements is by showing examples of vegan bodybuilders. Its a known fact that bodybuilders need lots of protein, so why wouldn’t this prove that vegans get enough protein? Some people gain muscle really easily. Some people don’t need as much protein in their diet as others because some build muscle easier than others do. This has a lot to do with genetics and testosterone. Not everyone can build a decent amount of muscle on a vegan diet. On top of that, if you look into many popular vegan bodybuilders, its not uncommon for them to go vegetarian (adding in eggs and dairy) during their training season to get the amount of protein that they need to sustain their muscle. Even people who could care less about maintaining muscle typically lack vitamins that come from protein sources. Do you need to eat high carb low fat as a vegan?

MYTH 7: You need to eat a large amount of carbs.

Carbs are great; your body uses them as its main energy source. At the same time, eating high in carbs and eating little to no fats isn’t necessary either. All calories taken in are used as energy, whether it be carbs, proteins, or fats. There was a study: “The A to Z Weight Loss Study,” which tested between a low-carb diet and high-carb diet. The study found that the results of the two programs were practically the same (although, those who ate higher in FATS were found to lose more weight) and that it doesn’t make a significant difference in whether you are high or low in carbs. Do take note that the people who were on the high-carb diet found that it was harder to maintain and that several dropped out of the study before the full year was over due to this. This means that whether you eat more carbs or more fats is irrelevant to weight loss. What is important is how many calories you’re taking in. Do you need to take supplements as a vegan?

MYTH 8: You can get all of the nutrients in a plant-based diet that you can get if you eat animal products.

If you’ve planned out your meals, are educated in nutrition, and take the correct amount of supplements, then you can probably manage a healthy vegan diet. The problem here is that from the things I hear from vegans, it seems that most know very little about nutrition based on the misinformation mentioned above. If a person doesn’t have knowledge relating to nutrition and calories, then its more than likely that they aren’t sure of specific nutrients they should be consuming (and how much) to keep their bodies healthy. Some of the things that vegans lack are protein in general, vitamin A, vitamin D, B12, and zinc.
Being vegan doesn’t give you magical powers. Its the same as any other diet. Its all about calories and nutrition. Be careful about the information you’re provided. Despite all of this, veganism is not too hard to transition into! If you plan on going vegan, be sure to do research and figure out how you’re going to get all of your nutrients. I encourage you to try it out if you’ve been looking into it; itss great for animals, our environment, and thus for humans as well.

If you want to learn more about going vegan, let me know in the comments below!

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