Despite having hit the mainstream, it can often be hard to separate vegan facts from fiction.
So much so, that it can have you second guessing the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet.
Do vegans get enough protein? Is it more expensive to eat plant based? The list goes on. We’ve debunked the 8 most common vegan myths in The Netherlands, so you can get all the answers to your burning questions about making the switch to a plant based diet.
Myth #1: Vegan food is expensive
Adopting a vegan lifestyle doesn’t automatically mean digging deep into your pockets. Even though the plant-based diet gets a bad rap for being expensive, most of the core ingredients like legumes and vegetables certainly won’t break the bank. Our tip? Sticking to whole foods and avoiding prepackaged products might even save you some cash.
When it comes to ordering in, many world cuisines that are inherently vegetable-forward also come in at a friendly price point, and many are now available for takeaway, like masala dosa at Krishna Vilas in Eindhoven.
Myth #2: Eating vegan = restricting yourself
The overarching goal of veganism isn’t to deprive you of your most-loved meals, but to enrich your diet by including more plant-based options at meal time. While eating vegan might initially strike you as restrictive, it is actually a chance to explore new flavours and foods you haven’t tried before.
Veganism is actually a chance to explore new flavours and foods you haven’t tried before.
From finding the perfect swap to veganize your favourite meal, to stumbling upon new plant-based restaurants, veganism is as creative and flexible as can be. And when the carnivorous cravings hit seriously hard, rest assured that you can always order the McCruelty Free at Vegan Junk Food Bar in Rotterdam that tastes just like the real thing.
Myth #3: A plant-based diet is just plain boring
The days when eating vegan meant settling for salads and side dishes are long gone. Vegans now have a plethora of tempting options that make plant-based cooking easy and—most importantly—fun. Level up your meal with different seeds, citrus fruits, or aromatic herbs, and when you simply don’t feel like cooking, try ordering something new for a fresh dose of inspiration. How about the Shrimp-less tempura crunch from the Vegan Sushi Bar in Amsterdam? Count us in.
Myth #4: Veganism begins and ends on your plate
From clothes and household products to the shampoo you use, veganism goes way beyond food.
Think of it as a lifestyle that promotes a conscious way of living, one without leather products or animal-tested skincare. Ultimately, veganism is not merely a diet but rather a step towards more sustainable choices, whatever that means specifically for you. Instead of going cold turkey, explore veganism bit by bit: even if you change only one thing, every vegan swap or meat-free meal counts.
Veganism is not merely a diet but rather a step towards more sustainable choices
Myth #5: Veganism and Vegetarianism are the same thing
If you ever wondered if veganism and vegetarianism are the same thing, the answer is: no. While vegetarians simply don’t eat meat, veganism encourages you to take it a step further and ditch all products that come from animals, like dairy or eggs.
It goes without saying that the adjustment period can be a bit of a challenge, so why not try out some plant-based substitutions for the meals you love in the meantime? The vegan Pita Tikki masala from Vlees Noch Visch is just as addictive as the real kapsalon, we promise.
Myth #6: Vegans don’t get enough protein
Try asking your vegan friend about where they get their protein; chances are, they’ve heard this question before.
In spite of this common myth, a varied plant-based diet is actually packed with a number of valuable protein sources like beans, quinoa and tempeh.
A varied plant-based diet is actually packed with a number of valuable protein sources
Of course, remember to always consult a qualified health care professional before significantly altering your diet—and don’t be afraid to try out new plant-based foods like the protein-loaded mexican bowl at Foam in The Hague.
Myth #7: Vegan food will make you weak and hungry
No worry, as long as you’re eating enough, there’s no reason to starve just because you’re on a vegan diet. From juicy plant-based burgers to creamy soups and scrumptious pasta, there’s enough hearty vegan options to curb even the most ravenous of hungers. Fill up on a colourful variety of plant-rich foods, and if you’re craving that cheeky snack in between meals, try the fried banana with satay sauce at Kam Yin in Amsterdam.
Myth #8: Veganism makes you anti-social
Steering clear from animal products doesn’t mean that you’ll never eat out with your friends ever again, or be a buzzkill at pizza night. Nowadays, The Netherlands is home to a whole range of restaurants that cater to both herbivores and carnivores, like Habibi in Rotterdam. Serving up a number of delicious vegan options, we especially recommend checking out their moussaka that might even tempt a few of your non-vegan friends, too.