Debunking myths around vegan food and fitness as India heads towards veganism
Despite all the knowledge and digital penetration floating around veganism, this neo culture comes with its set of assumptions, myths and confusions but half-baked knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge. Here we bust myths around vegan food and fitness as India heads towards veganism
Indians are fast evolving their food habits and as the world is adopting veganism as an alternate option for a healthy lifestyle, veganism in India is growing leaps and bounds since replacing meat with healthy vegan food are no more just thought processes but with every passing day, are emerging as a way of life. The Covid-19 pandemic has only empowered this world wide movement, further triggering more and more people to adopt a holistic lifestyle with a clean diet and conscious way of life, fuelled by a healthy and fresh produce oriented alternative.
The benefits of a vegan diet include lower risk of cardiovascular disease, better digestion and clearer skin. A vegan diet means giving up on consuming animal products including meat, eggs and even dairy and other animal-derived substances. Veganism is a growing trend across the world with individuals becoming more conscious and concerned about their eating habits over a period of time.
Vegan dishes come packed with benefits of a plant-based diet. According to a study published in the 'Journal of the American College of Nutrition, it was found that a low-fat vegan diet has better outcomes for weight, body composition, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels as compared to a Mediterranean diet. As per another clinical study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, postmenopausal ladies who consumed plant-based diet had lower risks of sudden death, cardiovascular infection and dementia-related demise as compared with ladies who ate fewer plant proteins.
Despite all the knowledge and digital penetration floating around veganism this neo culture comes with its set of assumptions, myths and confusions but half-baked knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge. There is a lot of speculation and mythical elements attached to vegan food, which are sometimes health related and sometimes mere confusions on nutrition breakdowns.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Sonal Bermecha, Founder of Santé Spa Cuisine, shared, “As this cult vegan religion is spreading around the globe, India, a majorly vegetarian culture since centuries, is not too far behind in making the vegan shift. Climate changes, erratic lifestyles and increase in health related issues are also playing a vital role in people making this shift. The idea of being earth conscious and doing well for their overall health is appealing to many. The new way of eating lifestyle has also given room for speculations and assumptions; such as vegan food is costlier than animal-based products or that it lacks healthy nutrients or dairy products cannot be replaced; or being vegan is a very hard task to accomplish. These myths are rapidly getting busted as people are accepting vegan diets.”
She busted 4 myths around vegan food and fitness as India heads towards veganism:
Myth: Vegan is a high-cost food
Fact: When it comes to vegan food, there is a myth that it is a high-end food habit that is only for rich people. A typical vegan diet consists of veggies, fruits, rice, whole grains, and legumes that are inexpensive. These vegan food ingredients are easily available anywhere, and they are a lot cheaper compared to expensive animal products. Now here is the catch in this scenario: if people buy more ready-to-eats or a specific vegan brand of food, then it is likely that they will have to pay more for that food.
Myth: Vegan food does not contain healthy nutrients
Fact: People are fixated on getting protein only from animal food products. But they lack the the knowledge that many plant-based ingredients such as broccoli, spinach, lentils, oats, nuts, quinoa, seeds, tofu, and beans have enough protein to sustain a healthy human body. Studies around the world have proven that red meat intake leads to diabetes, colon cancer, heart diseases, and obesity issues. The mere fact about animal-based protein is that the animals’ intake of plants shows that the protein is in fact gained from the plants.
Myth: Dairy products cannot be replaced with vegan food products
Fact: A common myth around dairy products, this one is encouraged by many in the society. One which we have grown up with being; that dairy products such as milk help bones to become stronger but in reality, dairy products are the carriers of calcium which is the reason for bone strength. Calcium is not limited to bone strength, it also helps in many healthy body functions such as muscle contraction, blood clotting, blood pressure, and sending signals to nerves. This makes it necessary for every vegan to intake calcium properly. When it comes to taking calcium from vegan food products there are sources available like spinach, soy-based foods, figs, beans, chia, lentils, peas, sesame seeds, almonds, and turnips that help to boost calcium in the food intake.
Myth: Vegan means a strict diet
Fact: When we try to get rid of our habits that we are comfortable and habituated to, it's difficult to undo it and adopt such a contrasting lifestyle. Many people are accustomed to eating certain foods a certain way and picking an alternative ingredient doesn't come easy. Truth is it is very easy to switch to plant-based diets and satiate those cravings despite being on a vegan diet. As people are inclining more and more towards veganism, many culinary options for this cuisine are emerging. The most powerful motivation toward opting for a vegan life option is to choose a balanced plant based nutrition which also helps nourish a healthy mind and body.