At the last Pudology sampling event (at York’s Holland & Barratt store) I was fascinated by everyone’s reaction when I revealed that our delicious puddings are vegan. It was clear that most non-vegans believed vegan food should taste inferior to the dairy alternative.
Of course, Pudology proved that wrong in just one mouthful…
We are big fans of all things vegan, which seems to be a common theme at the minute, as celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth and Pamela Anderson front the vegan revolution. As Pudology’s vegan blogger, I wanted to take this chance to challenge three of the most commonly held myths about the lifestyle.
Myth Number 1: Vegans only eat lettuce
This. Is. Not. True.
Just look at the delectable vegan Puds we have on offer!
Yes, vegan diets generally include a higher percentage of fruits and vegetables because those who are interested in their health tend towards a plant-based diet. But this doesn’t mean we just eat lettuce. ANY food can easily be veganised. From curry to pizza, cakes to kebabs; every morsel so delicious you will wonder why you ever ate anything else.
Who has time for lettuce when there is vegan pizza and chocolate desserts on offer?
Take a look at some of the recipes we have on our website – vegan truffles and chocolate brownie do not resemble lettuce. (And if you like the look of those, be sure to look out for our upcoming Eater recipe, which will of course be chocolate themed!)
You may even have some accidentally vegan snack foods lurking in your cupboards already. Oreos, Starburst and Bournville are firm favourites in most vegan households. Check out the ingredients on some of your beloved snacks and you might be surprised at what you find!
Myth Number 2: Vegan diets are unhealthy
While it wouldn’t be the best idea to base your diet purely on the food options mentioned above, you would likely find yourself feeling healthier than someone eating a Standard American Diet (SAD).
Michael Greger MD of nutritionfacts.org reports that a whole-foods, plant-based diet can reduce the risk of several diseases, including those of the heart, liver and kidneys as well as diabetes and several types of cancer. The SAD increases the risk of these to the dramatic figures we see daily.
Vegan diets can be healthy.
In my experience? Three years on a vegan diet has seen me recover from migraines, allergies and anaemia. My blood tests suggest that I am in great health. (I don’t eat healthily all of the time though, and am more than willing to divulge in a chocolate Pud when I’m in the office!)
But don’t vegans need supplements to stay healthy?
Some vegans choose to supplement B12; a vitamin that our bodies can’t create. Non-vegans can absorb some of the B12 they need from animal products (although most of the population is deficient), but only because the animals were given B12 supplements in their feed.
Vegans just cut out the middle-man.
Myth Number 3: Vegans don’t get enough protein
I hear this on a daily basis.
Protein is a macronutrient. The three macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrate – are present in all foods, in different amounts.
Beans, legumes, soya, nuts, quinoa, brown rice and even fruits and vegetables are all packed with protein.
Protein deficiencies happen only to those who consume a dangerously low number of calories – those who the World Health Organisation would classify as experiencing famine. It is not something that anyone eating a healthy number of calories on a daily basis is ever likely to experience.
For anyone who eats a specifically high protein diet or is looking to build muscle mass, there are also various vegan protein supplements which can be made into shakes or added while cooking.
But vegans can’t build muscle…
Yes. They. can.
Vegan body-building takes a little research (as much as non-vegan body building) and a lot of food, but it is entirely doable! In fact, many athletes who turn vegan say that their recovery rates decrease on a vegan diet, so they can pack more into their next workout without over-doing things.
Myth Number 4: It’s too difficult to be vegan
Truth: it has never been easier to be vegan.
Most restaurants have vegan options, or entire vegan menus! In fact, just this week Zizzi, J.D.Wetherspoons, Las Iguanas and Handmade Burger Co. launched new vegan menus to meet growing demand.
…Who said veganism was all about lettuce?
Most supermarkets include a ‘free from’ section which is bursting with vegan food, and if you live in a city, there is probably a vegan/veggie shop or restaurant in your area. High street shops such as Holland & Barrett and Ocado sell a huge range of vegan food (including Pudology desserts, you lucky lot).