Making a change in your diet can be daunting, especially when making the switch to eat vegetarian and opt for only plant-sourced foods. The elimination of food groups, making sure you’re abiding by the rules, and finding recipes to help make the transition easier, are all part of the process. After hearing a few of the most common concerns regarding the vegetarian diet, we’re here to debunk those myths to make your transition a bit easier!
Myth #1: I won’t be able to get enough protein if I’m only eating plants.
False! So many people fall into this myth, because let’s be honest, it makes logical sense. If you’re not eating meat, you won’t be getting the same amount of protein that you’re used to! Well, that isn’t always the case, and did you know that as Americans, we consume way too much protein, to begin with? So, if we lose a little bit of the protein intake, that isn’t the worst thing ever. There are so many ways to get protein from plant sources!
Myth #2: I won’t have the same energy.
False! If you’re getting enough calories and eating when you’re hungry, you should have ample energy levels. It is important to note that vitamin B12 can only be consumed from animal sources, so if you’re opting to consume eggs and dairy, you should be good to go! But if you’re not, be sure to include soy products like edamame and tofu.
Myth #3: I am guaranteed to lose weight on a plant-based diet.
False! If you aren’t careful to monitor your protein levels, you might find yourself struggling to stay full. You also might consume too many carbohydrates to make up for the loss of animal products. So it’s important to monitor your protein levels as well as your carbohydrate levels. It’s important to note that a lot of foods that are considered vegetarian might not be considered healthy – pizza, granola, and doughnuts all fall into this danger zone.
Myth #4: Abiding by a vegetarian diet is expensive.
False! In recent years, the price of meat has gone up, as the price of gas has also increased. Assuming you have a substantial spice rack, going vegetarian can really be much cheaper! A package of chicken breasts is about $8, while a can of black beans is close to $1! When you add a package of rice and a few vegetables, you would still come in under the $8 you would have spent on a package of chicken breasts.
Myth #5: I have to go all in.
False! Some people have an easier time adopting a new lifestyle change than others, but in this case, it’s completely up to you! Whatever your reason for eliminating meat maybe that can be your determining factor when deciding how all-in you’d like to be. You’re benefiting from an increase of fruits and vegetables and saving money, the rest is up to you!