Myth 1: Dairy products are a good source of calcium and are essential for bone health.
False – when it comes to healthy sources of calcium, dairy products can’t compare to beans, almonds, tofu, sesame seeds, soy milk, seaweed, and grains. A study of nearly 78,000 women found no evidence to support the claim that milk builds stronger bones. However, studies do show that the animal protein found in dairy products actually increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Myth 2: Eating fish and other sea animals is good for you.
False – if you wouldn’t drink seawater, you shouldn’t eat sea animals. The flesh of certain fish and shellfish has been found to be 9 million times more toxic than the water that they live in. Consuming toxic fish greatly increases the risk of birth defects and various types of cancer and can damage the liver, kidneys, and nervous system.
False – Protein is easy to get – it is abundant in both plant and animal foods. In fact, most people eat more than double the amount of protein per day than they need. Vegetarians who eat a balanced diet – like beans, vegetables, grains, fruit, nuts and seeds – have no problem getting enough protein in their diets.
Myth 4: Vegetarian diets aren’t good enough for athletes.
False – vegetarian and vegan diets are just as capable of sustaining elite-level athletes as omnivorous diets. Athletes can burn thousands of calories more than average exercisers and it may be difficult for them to eat enough food and get enough nutrients, vegetarian or not. Check this site out for a list of famous vegetarian/vegans!
False – vegetarian diets can be appropriate for every age and stage of life – even during pregnancy and infancy. Just like a diet that contains meat, meatless diets should be balanced and planned according to each person’s needs.
Myth 6: Vegetarian diets aren’t natural – humans are meant to eat meat.
False – humans are omnivores. We are capable of surviving on animal- or plant-based diets. The variety of diets around the world show that it is possible for people to subsist on only plants, while others survive on milk or meat. Culture, tradition, and food availability all help to dictate our diets. But this is an interesting article posted by PETA.
False – most vegetables are lower in calories than meat and cheese products, so you may have to eat a higher volume of them to be full. But thanks to a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber, meatless diets can be rich and satisfying too. Not convinced? Try a hot bowl of vegetarian chili topped with sour cream, cheese and sliced avocado.
Myth 8: Vegetarian and vegan diets are boring.
False – vegetarian and vegan diets can be diverse and interesting. Western cuisine uses meat as a main dish; vegetarian dishes can follow the same plan, using meat substitutes. Branch out and try one-dish meals, soups, stews and stir-fries instead of having meat at the center of the plate. In my experience, vegetarians and partial vegetarians generally eat a much wider range of foods than the typical bacon loving meat-eater. This site is wonderful for vegetarian meal planning, yummy!
Myth 9: Vegetarians are freakish militants intent on banning all meat.
False – if you took the time to actually get to know some vegetarians, you’d find the vast majority of them are quite peaceful, and they certainly don’t lie awake at night worrying about what you just had for dinner. Most vegetarians quietly go about their business eating a healthy and perfectly satisfying diet, and they are okay with you eating meat if that’s what you choose to do.
Myth 10: Vegetarians can’t have successful relationships with non-vegetarians.
False – if people of two different religions can marry or coexist in the same home, a veggie lover and a carnivore can find a way to make it work too (and lots do!). Even though I may hate the smell of bacon cooking in my house, I know my hubby LOVES it and deserves his “treats” every now and then!
What have you heard about vegetarian/vegan diets?