New Delhi, Mar 28 (IANSlife): There has been a greater emphasis on plant-based diets in recent times due to the increasing awareness around adopting a healthy and more sustainable eating habit. The growing consumption of meat products has reportedly led to a rise in health problems that include heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
A plant-based diet usually consists of high quantities of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and beans and avoids the usage of animal-based ingredients that can cause harm to the animals. A well-structured plant-based diet is reported to be beneficial to people from all walks of life and help in reducing the chances of needing medication in the future.
Moreover, choosing a plant-based diet over meat products helps in promoting a sustainable way of living. However, with the adoption of a plant-based diet still in its nascent stages around the world, there are many underlying myths that need to be busted.
Shikha Dwivedi, Dietitian and Nutritionist at OZiva tells IANSlife about plant-based living and its new way for the youth while debunking myths:
A plant-based diet fails to provide sufficient proteins
Proteins are very important nutrients for the human body as they not only provide energy but are also the building blocks for all kinds of body tissues. Now, one of the biggest myths around consuming plant-based has been that they are not enough to provide your body with the protein requirements that one needs. However, that could not be further from the truth. According to reports, the recommended protein requirement on a daily basis is around 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of healthy body weight for most people. Many plant-based foods including beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, rice, and seeds are rich in protein value and therefore are enough to fulfill those protein requirements.
Plant-based diet results in muscle loss
There are many reports on the internet that suggest that a plant-based diet leads to a loss of muscle, however, these suggestions are false. The concept of gaining muscle mass and overall strength are associated with the protein intake and workout routine of an individual. There are many viable plant-based options available in the market that help in building muscle effectively, in a similar fashion to animal products. In other words, the foods derived from plants that are high in protein will provide you with muscle mass just as well as the foods derived from animals.
Plant-based diets do not provide enough nutrients
Another big misconception about the consumption of a plant-based diet is that they are not successful in matching the nutrient requirements. It is not true as plant-based foods are the most nutrient-dense by far like leafy greens and legumes are very rich in iron, calcium, and zinc. Other alternatives may be rich in Vitamin K, with many tropical fruits possessing Vitamin C like mangoes and pineapples. Moreover, whole grains included in such diets are a wonderful source of fiber.
There aren't many plant-based food alternatives to try out
Reports of there being only a limited number of plant-based alternatives to try out are just a myth. Such diets are not just restricted to eating salads, as there are a vast number of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and seeds to choose from. Other than that, alternative options for cheese can be homemade with blended spices and nuts. Keep taste-testing different varieties of fruits, legumes, and vegetables as the more variety in your diet, the better.
A plant-based diet is a very costly affair
Many people believe that in order to maintain a well-planned plant-based diet, you have to shell out a lot of money. It's not always the case as people can choose their plant-based requirements like seasonal fruits and vegetables from farmer markets at cheaper prices. Grain and legume purchases can be made in bulk, and they can also be kept in storage for a long time. Moreover, due to technological advancements, there is greater availability of plant-based products at reasonable prices, which wasn't the case earlier.
Bonus tip: Opt for clean, plant-based supplements
Supplements are one of the best ways to fulfill nutrient gaps. Even if you are the healthiest eater, you could be missing out on nutrients. That is where plant-based multivitamin and protein supplements help you satisfy your holistic nutritional needs and protect vital organs like the brain and heart and load you up with much-needed stamina, energy, and improved metabolism. Include a lot of fiber and protein-rich foods and supplements in your diet to avoid health problems. Adopting simple habits like eating clean, including plant-based supplements, getting enough sleep, and daily physical activity can help you get healthier holistically.