Vegetarian Diet |
In a culture that has tended to overindulge on portion sizes, fast food, and processed foods in recent years, many believe that a vegetarian diet fails to provide one with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and energetic.
But in fact, a vegetarian diet can provide your body with all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to function on a healthy and optimal level.
Here are five common myths about the vegetarian diet that can help you understand more about why many nutrition-savvy individuals choose this diet for purposes of health and weight management.
Myth #1: Vegetarians are always hungry
Many individuals think that meat is necessary to provide one with a lasting feeling of fullness and satiety. However, many fruits and vegetables are abundant in protein and fiber — which your stomach will take longer to digest and create a lasting feeling of fullness. Peas and broccoli are examples of vegetables high in protein and fiber, as well as avocados, apples, carrots, cabbage, and bananas.
Myth #2: Vegetarians generally lack protein
Protein isn’t just found in meats — but in a number of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains as well. When many individuals think of protein, they think about meat, but as long as you eat a diet comprised of the foods mentioned above, your body will not be protein-deficient. In fact, many studies have shown that Americans eat twice as much protein than is needed on a daily basis, which can have a negative impact on health — especially when consumed in the form of red meat.
Myth #3: Vegetarians are health nuts who have never been overweight
When someone is told to conjure an image of a vegetarian, they often think about a skinny, athletic person who has never had to worry about dieting or gaining weight. While this may be true in some cases, it’s important to remember that vegetarians often tend to be healthier and thinner because of the choices they’ve made in terms of diet. There are many vegetarians who were previously overweight and lost weight after making the decision to become vegetarians.
Myth #4: Vegetarians are all animal-rights activists
Though there may be some vegetarians who refrain from eating meat as a result of not wanting to eat animals, the majority of vegetarians actually enjoy experiencing the health benefits of the diet. A study published in a magazine called Vegetarian Times actually showed that 53 percent of all vegetarians practice the diet to become healthier, while 25 percent are vegetarians because they specifically want to make an effort to lose weight.
Myth #5: Vegetarians eat fake meat to compensate for lack of real meat
Many believe that vegetarians often eat substitution meats to satisfy their cravings for real meats. However, meat cravings among vegetarians are mostly rare and non-existent since vegetarians are already getting the protein and nutrients they need from alternative sources. In some cases, it’s possible for vegetarians to crave meats if they are eating foods that fail to provide them with adequate nutrients, such as cheese. Despite this myth, many retailers continue to advertise imitation meat products as being ideal for vegetarians.