Are you considering going vegan or are you already vegan but have some doubts about whether it's nutritionally sufficient? The Physicians Committee has invited Dr. Barnard to share some insights and debunk some myths about veganism.
One common myth is that it's impossible to get enough protein on a vegan diet. But as Dr. Barnard points out, this is simply not true. Plants can be an excellent source of protein, and it's all about finding the right balance and variety in your diet. For example, if you were to eat nothing but broccoli for a day (which we don't recommend), you would get 147 grams of protein - more than three times the amount the average person needs. And if you were to eat nothing but lentils, you would get 157 grams of protein. Mixing a variety of plant-based foods such as vegetables, beans, grains, and some fruits will give you all the essential amino acids your body needs to build protein.
But protein isn't the only nutrient you need to worry about. Another myth is that spinach can't really keep you "pumped" like Popeye. But as Dr. Barnard explains, spinach does have protein and iron, which are both important for maintaining energy levels. In fact, there are plenty of plant-based foods that can provide the nutrients your body needs to stay energized and healthy. It's all about finding the right balance and variety in your diet.
Some people may also be concerned about getting enough calcium and other nutrients on a vegan diet. But the truth is that there are plenty of plant-based sources of calcium, such as leafy greens, almonds, and tofu. And when it comes to other nutrients, it's important to pay attention to your diet and make sure you're getting a variety of foods. For example, if you're worried about getting enough vitamin B12, you can take supplements or look for fortified foods.
So if you're considering going vegan or you're already vegan and have some doubts, know that it's completely possible to get all the nutrients your body needs on a plant-based diet. Don't let myths hold you back from making healthy choices for yourself and the planet. Remember, it's a new year and a new you - so take control of your health and well-being with a balanced, plant-based diet.