This post, by nuitrionist Ginny Messina discusses five top myths associated with a vegan diet:
- You’ll feel awful when you first go vegan because your body will be detoxing. Ah yes, that old chestnut. I am growing heartily sick of hearing about detox diets and how it’s important that we purge our bodies of all the toxins that are apparently festering in our intestines. There is little to no scientific evidence to support these claims, especially since our digestive system is designed to process foods efficiently.
- Plant foods are incomplete because they’re missing essential amino acids. Plant foods contain all the amino acids; they might have them in lower quantities, but since most healthy vegans eat a lot of plant-based foods, they should get plenty. I still hear people clinging onto the long-debunked myth that you have to combine foods to get complete protein.
Vegan diets are low in fat. Low in saturated fats, yes.
- Vegan diets are boring and restrictive. This depends on the individual, of course, and his or her approach to cooking and eating. As I hope my recipes show, my vegan diet, at least, is far from boring and restrictive.
A vegan diet requires vitamin B12 supplements, so it’s not a natural diet for humans. I suspect that many human carnivores and omnivores don’t get plenty of vitamins and minerals that the body needs, so this is a non-starter. I get a chuckle from others who claim that it’s “natural” for humans to eat meat because we originated as hunter-gatherers. The Paleo Diet makes me chuckle in its claim that the original caveman diet is the healthiest, since this is what we humans are genetically designed to consume. So, I suppose we should discount the hundreds of thousands of years of human development and change.