Debunking myths and misconceptions about plant-based diets

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Until a few years ago, many people were highly skeptical of plant-based diets and the ones who decided to leave meat behind. Now, the tables have turned — as more and more individuals realize the importance of ecological thinking, the popularity of veganism skyrockets, and many have decided to move away from meat and animal products. With the high demand from plant-eaters, even fast food meat strongholds like Burger King and KFC introduced vegan options to their menus.

For many years, veganism was a fringe lifestyle, and the scant knowledge about a plant-based diet has borne many misconceptions that linger to this day. Some people hesitate to join the ranks with other vegans, as they believe a plant-based diet is restrictive, expensive, and causes iron deficiency. They also think it isn’t filling enough or fails to provide enough protein and B12 vitamins.

But that’s what they are — misconceptions that have no scientific basis. If you’re wondering whether you should choose a plant-based diet, below, we’re debunking some of the popular myths around it. Read on!

You risk vitamin B12 deficiency

The myth is based on the fact that animal products are the only source of vitamin B12, which is a vitamin that helps us maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells, among other things. The deficiency in this vitamin can seriously impede health, and that’s why many might be wary of trying out a plant-based diet.

However, it’s possible to get all the necessary amounts of this vitamin from plant-based food.

For instance, it can be found in foods fortified with B12, such as cereals, non-dairy milk, and tofu. Furthermore, vegans can take B12 supplements or the best vegan multivitamin on the market, solving the deficiency problem outright.

They lack protein

Many people believe that plant-based diets don’t provide enough protein. While it’s true that it’s

harder for vegans to get the recommended intake of protein than for carnivores, it’s not impossible.

For example, legumes have been dubbed as “nutritional powerhouses,” as they contain more protein than most other plant-based foods and are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aside from them, there are many other vegan protein sources, such as tofu, seitan, lentils, beans, chickpeas, nuts, peanut butter, and other soy products.

They may cause iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is a common health issue that may lead to severe problems, such as anemia. In order to prevent iron deficiency, it’s crucial to consume enough iron-rich foods every day.

Luckily, iron is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and is found in many plant foods. Legumes, leafy greens, blackstrap molasses, nuts, and seeds, are some of the best plant-based sources of this mineral. For vegans who consume soy products and no meat, it is essential to include more foods rich in vitamin C (such as oranges and broccoli) to help the body absorb iron better.

They’re expensive

A plant-based diet isn’t more expensive than eating meat or animal products. From an ecological point of view, plant-based diets are actually cheaper — meat production is more resource-intensive than farming. Sure, vegan ice-creams, cheeses, and plant milk might quickly empty your pocket, but you don’t have to eat them every day.

In reality, many vegan staples are incredibly cheap, such as rice, beans, potatoes, and legumes. You can save even more by buying in bulk and cooking at home. Moreover, you can visit a farmer’s market and purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are always cheaper than off-season products you can find in grocery stores.

They’re restrictive

Plant-based diets may deprive you of certain foods, but the truth is that they provide a whole range of new choices. The variety of options is enormous — you can explore a wide range of fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. And the combinations are endless — you can

prepare delicious meals with the simplest ingredients.

Furthermore, it’s important to mention that you don’t have to cut out meat entirely at the beginning of your transition. You can choose one or two days a week to eat meat, fish, eggs, and other animal products. This approach is called “flexitarianism” and is a great way to make your diet healthier without going on a full vegetarian or vegan path.

They aren’t filling

Plant-based diets are often associated with hunger, which is not surprising since most of us have been taught that eating meat is a great way to feel full after a meal. However, people who follow a vegan diet are every bit as satisfied as their carnivorous counterparts.

Even though plant foods are lower in calorie density, they will provide you with plenty of protein and fiber to keep your hunger at bay and your body well-nourished. Moreover, fiber will keep you sated for more extended periods, so you shouldn’t worry about feeling hungry.

They’re not that healthy

Some people think that plant-based diets aren’t healthy and don’t provide enough nutrients. However, it would be more appropriate to say that everything in moderation is healthy.

A plant-based diet based on whole foods contains plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are essential for our health. Furthermore, many studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower BMIs than meat-eaters, and they’re also less likely to develop heart disease or diabetes.


Plant-based diets have become more mainstream than ever before. As we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact our food choices can have on the planet, most of us are making conscious decisions to live in a more sustainable way.

Remember that you should always eat in moderation and include a variety of foods. A wholesome diet should consist of whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Whether you prefer simple dishes or elaborate meals, make sure you supply your body with all

the necessary nutrients. If you’re worried about lacking specific vitamins, you should talk to your doctor or nutritionist to ensure that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle.