22 Oct Debunking Common Plant-Based Diet Myths and Misconceptions
A recent report published by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) found that more than half of all Americans, or 55 percent, would be willing to eat more plant-based foods, such as products made with soy, potatoes, peas, and other vegetables. Despite this, only one in ten Americans eat plant-based meat alternatives about two to five times per week. The reason behind this discrepancy can be attributed to a number of factors, namely the myths and misconceptions surrounding plant-based diets.
Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, is a nutrition-focused cardiologist in Tampa, FL, board-certified in internal medicine, interventional cardiology, nuclear cardiology, and cardiovascular disease. He and his team of cardiac specialists work to provide their patients with a tailored diagnostic and treatment plan, including an outline of goals and expectations. As an advocate for the plant-based diet, Dr. Popat frequently recommends eliminating meat and dairy products from your diet in pursuit of a healthier heart. In this editorial, we’ll work to debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding a plant-based diet.
A Plant-Based Diet Is Restrictive
One of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding a plant-based diet is that the diet itself will be restrictive. Many people thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet are worried about what their diet will look like without many of the meat-based or highly-processed foods they’re used to. It can be easy to feel bogged down or discouraged if you don’t know what options are available.
The truth is, you can eat almost anything on a plant-based diet that you’re normally accustomed to eating thanks to the wide variety of plant alternatives to meat, such as mushrooms, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables. Not only are these foods rich in fiber and nutrients, but, with the right seasoning and preparation, they can replace bacon, minced meat, pulled pork, and more in all of your favorite recipes. Additionally, thanks to the recent rise in demand for plant-based products, you can find many ready-made plant-based alternatives at your local grocery stores.
A Plant-Based Diet Won’t Provide You With Enough Protein
Another misconception you’ll hear frequently about a plant-based diet is that you won’t be able to get enough protein from the diet. Many people find themselves worried about the hoops they’ll have to jump through in combining foods to get an adequate amount of protein. In reality, protein needs are grossly overstated in the United States. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for most individuals.
A plant-based diet has the capacity to contain more than enough protein for the RDA, even for those with active lifestyles. For example, a 100-gram serving of cooked chickpeas will provide approximately 18 percent of the daily value for protein. All soy products, such as tofu and tempeh, are high in protein as well.
A Plant-Based Diet is Hard to Keep Up With
We won’t lie and say that transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle is going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done; however, we can say that it will be well worth the effort when you reap the positive health benefits. For you, the first step in the right direction could be contacting the best cardiologist in the Tampa Bay Area: Dr. Popat. He and his team will work to understand your lifestyle goals and develop a personalized action plan to revolutionize your health.
If you’re interested in exploring more information regarding plant-based options, feel free to browse our website for many of the articles we have written regarding the topic. We also have a documentaries section in which you will find many useful video resources regarding people that have worked towards a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle and succeeded.
To consult with Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, please call (813) 344-0934 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
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