VEGETARIAN DIETS – MYTHS AND FACTS
Vegetarian diet is getting more and more common recently. I must say – if it’s done correctly, it can be the most beneficial diet. However, myths about this diet keep appearing to a point that they become “facts”. This post is written to clarify some of the myths about vegetarian diets that you may have heard before ?
? Myth: Vegetarians and vegans have to rely on artificial protein to meet their requirements
The fact is: no, you can have a variety of plant-based protein in a vegetarian diet. Various sources include legumes (beans, lentils, peas and peanuts), soy products, whole grains, nuts, seeds and (for lacto-ovo vegetarians) low-fat or fat-free dairy and eggs. You may need more protein in a plant-based diet comparing to regular diets with animal protein, as it is absorbed less readily.
? Myth: If you don’t have dairy in your diet, you can’t have strong bone structure
The fact is: even though dairy is a great source of calcium and vitamin D, eating different types of vegetables can help you get an adequate intake of these nutrients. More precisely, a variety of leafy green vegetables would get you the requirements; these vegetables include kale, broccoli, bok choy, calcium-set tofu and fortified soymilk. In addition, calcium-fortified foods such as non-dairy milk, ready-to-eat cereals, orange juice and tofu would also be great choices.
? Myth: Switching to soy as main protein source increases risk of developing breast cancer
The fact is: there is no current evidence to support this myth – AT ALL. However, be versatile within your diet. Soy is a great source of protein, but you don’t have to stick with it for the entire diet. Also, aim for the less processed food – such as edamame or tofu
? Myth: These diets would do more harms than goods in individuals with higher needs – such as pregnant women, children, or athletes
The fact is: we encourage a well-planned diet in these groups, no matter they are vegetarians or not. As each of these groups have different nutritional requirements, it is important to address these differences and alter the diet accordingly. You may also make an appointment with us for further advice and nutritional recommendations
? Myth: If it said vegetarian, it is healthy
The fact is: the food might be vegetarian while still being processed and high in sugar, fat, or calories. Believe it or not, chips are vegetarian ????? So what can you do in this case? Make sure you read the label before deciding if it’s healthy or not. Emphasize the veggies, the fruits, the whole grains, and the lean protein in your diet – those are “healthy” components