Vegetarian Myths Debunked

A few days ago my daughter went on a playdate with a new friend from school.  When I went to pick her up I was able to chat with her friend’s mother for a bit.  She told me that she was surprised at lunch when Hannah asked if they had any meatless options.  Now, I haven’t raised my children solely vegetarian but have given them the tools to understand a plant-based diet and a meat-based one.  I wanted them to make their own decisions.  It made me proud that Hannah asked for a vegetarian option and didn’t want to eat a hot dog or a sloppy Joe.

Hannah’s friend’s mother seemed offended that I raised my children knowing both options.  She was convinced that a vegetarian diet isn’t good for growing children and that they need meat to grow and be strong. 

After I got home I did some thinking; if people really do believe that a vegetarian diet isn’t healthy, do they know where their meat comes from?  I was taken back after the situation and saddened at the misconception.

Common misconceptions of vegetarianism frighten people and discourage them from trying it.  Understanding the true facts of a vegetarian lifestyle can change your mind and encourage a healthy change.  After everything that happened I want to debunk a few misconceptions that I believe are popular, and set the story straight.

1.    You don’t get enough protein as a vegetarian- Most people believe that meat = protein and you can’t have one without the other.  That is the farthest thing from true.  Beans, grains, nuts, and green veggies, and dairy provide plenty of protein for a vegetarian diet.  There are also protein supplements you can take if you are concerned about it.






2.    Vegetarians eat like rabbits- What’s wrong with eating like a rabbit?  They are pretty healthy aren’t they?  Although vegetarians don’t eat meat doesn’t mean they exclusively eat lettuce and carrots.  There are so many options and delicious recipes that are very filling and rich.


3.    Being a vegetarian will make you healthy and lose weight- Although vegetarians are generally thinner, you can be an unhealthy vegetarian as well.  Replacing meat with carbs like pasta and breads, lack nutritional value and hinder your body from getting proper nutrients.  You can be an unhealthy carnivore and an unhealthy vegetarian.  Vegetarians come in all shapes and sizes.

4.    Vegetarian food is expensive- Pasta, rice, tofu, beans, and seasonal fruits and vegetables are much cheaper than meat.  Some meat replacements and non-seasonal fruits and vegetables can be expensive but not nearly as expensive as meat.

5.    You’ll always be hungry- I can’t remember the last time after a meal that I was still hungry; it is usually the opposite.  The main digestible part of a pant is fiber.  Fiber keeps you full, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and full of energy.  If I do get hungry, a handful of nuts usually does the job; packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats.



I hope these debunked myths help people change their ideas of vegetarianism and do a little more research.  If you think I missed any, please share!  The more information, the more people will understand.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

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