Vegan myths busted

The number of vegans in the UK continues to rise, but a batch of myths surrounding the lifestyle choice still persist. LK decided to investigate and separate fact from fiction…

According to statistics, there are over 600,000 vegans in the UK. Considering there were only around 150,000 in 2006, this is a pretty impressive leap. 

A vegan is someone who neither consumes animal products (meat, dairy) nor uses items containing them (leather chairs, cosmetics etc.) The rise has largely been attributed to people looking to lead healthier lives and protect animal welfare and the environment. 

So, what is the chorus against veganism still saying? Let’s take a look…

Myth: Vegans are unhealthy
Reality: A vegan is far more likely to eat the recommended portions of fruit and veg daily and by refraining from eating meat, avoid a whole lifetime of saturated fat – all leading to lower rates of obesity and reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease

Myth: Vegans need to supplement their diet
Reality: Lots of people believe that a vegan diet can leave a person lacking in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and there for must artificially supplement their diet. Yes, they can, if they want, just like any other person does, but it’s not essential. Eating well (just like a non-vegan) i.e. consuming lots of pulses, seeds, fruit, veggies and fortified foods does the trick. Some common deficiencies – e.g. B12 – are not exclusive to vegans and vegans can top their up easily with VEG 1. And for those who think by not drinking milk, vegans lack bone-boosting calcium – the truth is that leafy greens like kale or fortified plant milk work just fine.

Myth: “But WHERE do you get your protein from?”
Reality: This is a familiar cry. But, according to Veganuary: “Green vegetables (kale, broccoli, seaweed, peas and spinach), beans and pulses (lentils, lima, edamame, pinto, black), grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa and bulgur wheat) and nuts (brazils, peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios and walnuts) are all excellent sources of protein.”

Myth: Eating out is a nightmare for vegans
Reality: As little as 10 years ago, we’d have agreed! But, nowadays, there are vegan-food-only restaurants in every major city and mainstream outlets all have choices on their menus. You only have to pop into your local Subway to enjoy a truly tasty vegan lunch. The brand’s new Vegan Patty (the LK office will testify) is deliciously spicy and moreish and can be tucked inside a Sub or Salad and topped with the NEW Vegan Garlic Aioli sauce. Oh, and even their hash browns are vegan, and of course all their crunchy salads, 11 of their best-selling sauces and three of their dreamy breads!

Myth: Vegan food is boring!
Reality: See above (who doesn’t love a Subway?) and walk into any mainstream supermarket and find a wide range of delicious foods that are animal product free. Google the term ‘vegan chef’ – you’ll be amazed!

The new Vegan range is a permanent addition to the Subway menu.

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Thanks to the Vegan Society, Choose Veg and Veganuary for helping us bust some myths.