15 Vegan Myths You Won’t Believe We’re Still Debunking in 2024

Veganism has been around for a while now, but there are still a lot of myths floating around about it. Even in 2024, people share old ideas about vegan diets that aren’t true. Whether you’re thinking about going vegan or just curious, it’s good to know what’s fact and what’s fiction.

In this article, I discuss 15 vegan myths that are still hanging around.

Vegans Don’t Get Enough Protein

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This is one of the oldest vegan myths around. The truth is that many plant foods are rich in protein. Beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and even some vegetables have plenty of protein. Most vegans easily meet their protein needs without trying too hard. Many vegan athletes and bodybuilders prove you can be strong and muscular on a plant-based diet.

Vegan Diets Are Always Healthy

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Just because something is vegan doesn’t automatically make it healthy. There are plenty of vegan junk foods like chips, cookies, and fake meats. A healthy vegan diet, like any diet, should focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. It’s possible to eat an unhealthy vegan diet, just as it’s possible to eat an unhealthy non-vegan diet.

Vegans Can’t Build Muscle

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This myth is easily debunked by the many vegan athletes and bodybuilders out there. Building muscle depends on eating enough calories and protein and exercising correctly. Vegan protein sources like beans, lentils, and plant-based protein powders can provide all the amino acids needed for muscle growth. With the right diet and workout plan, vegans can build muscle just like anyone else.

Vegan Diets Are Expensive

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While some specialty vegan products can be pricey, a basic vegan diet can be affordable. Staples like rice, beans, potatoes, and seasonal vegetables are often the cheapest foods in the grocery store. Buying in bulk and cooking from scratch can make vegan eating even more budget-friendly. It’s possible to eat a healthy vegan diet on any budget.

Vegans Are Always Tired

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This myth probably comes from people who tried a poorly planned vegan diet. A well-balanced vegan diet provides all the nutrients needed for good energy levels. If a vegan feels tired all the time, it’s likely due to not eating enough calories or missing out on key nutrients like B12 or iron. These issues can be easily solved with proper meal planning or supplements.

You Can’t Get Enough Calcium Without Dairy

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While dairy is a well-known source of calcium, it’s not the only one. Many plant foods are calcium-rich, including leafy greens, fortified plant milk, tofu, and some beans. Some of these plant sources even have better calcium absorption than dairy. With a varied diet, vegans can easily meet their calcium needs without dairy products.

Vegan Diets Are Boring

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This couldn’t be further from the truth. A vegan diet can include a wide variety of flavors, textures, and cuisines from around the world. From colorful salads to hearty stews, from spicy curries to sweet desserts, vegan food can be just as exciting and delicious as any other diet. Many people find that going vegan encourages them to try new foods and get more creative in the kitchen.

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Soy is Bad for You

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Soy has been unfairly demonized over the years. In reality, whole soy foods like tofu, tempeh, and edamame are nutritious and have been eaten for thousands of years in many cultures. Studies have shown that soy can have health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of some cancers. Like any food, it’s best eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Vegans Need to Combine Proteins

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This myth comes from an old idea that plant proteins are “incomplete” and must be eaten together to be useful. However, nutrition science has shown that our bodies are good at using the amino acids from different plant foods eaten throughout the day. You don’t need to worry about combining protein at each meal as long as you’re eating various plant foods and enough calories.

Vegans Can’t Eat Out

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This myth is becoming less true every day. Many restaurants now offer vegan options, and some are even fully vegan. Even fast food chains are adding plant-based items to their menus. With a little planning, vegans can find something to eat at most places. Many chefs are happy to make adjustments to dishes if you ask politely.

Vegan Diets Are Low in Iron

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While it’s true that plant-based iron isn’t absorbed as quickly as iron from meat, vegans can still get enough iron. Lentils, beans, tofu, and leafy greens are rich in iron. Eating these with vitamin C-rich foods helps the body absorb the iron better. Many vegans have normal iron levels without needing supplements. If you’re worried, a simple blood test can check your iron levels.

All Vegans Love Animals

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While many people go vegan for animal rights reasons, it’s not the only motivation. Some choose a vegan diet for health reasons, while others do it for the environment. Some people are vegan because of their religion or culture. Not all vegans are animal activists, and not all animal lovers are vegan. There are many different reasons why someone might choose a vegan lifestyle.

Vegan Diets Aren’t Safe for Kids

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Well-planned vegan diets can be healthy for people of all ages, including children. Many health organizations say that vegan diets can meet growing kids’ nutritional needs. The key is to ensure they eat various foods and get enough calories. Some nutrients, like B12, might need to come from fortified foods or supplements.

You Need Fish for Omega-3s

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While fish is a well-known source of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s not the only one. Vegan sources include flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and algae oil supplements. Our bodies can convert some of these plant omega-3s into the types found in fish. Many vegans have healthy omega-3 levels without eating fish.

Veganism Is Just a Trend

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Veganism has been around for decades and continues to grow. It’s not just a passing fad. More people are choosing vegan diets for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. The number of vegan products and restaurants keeps increasing. While it might seem trendy, veganism is a long-term lifestyle choice for many people.

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Mary Apurong

Mary Apurong is an experienced editor and ghostwriter who enjoys writing and reading. She loves researching topics related to life and creating content on quotes, gardening, food, travel, crafts, and DIY. Mary spends her free time doing digital art and watching documentaries.

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