This week a 'nutritionist' – I've never heard of her before – said that "It's very complicated to make sure a vegan diet is safe and adequate, I'd never recommend it." and it stoked the tired argument that non vegans bandy around like the absolute gospel truth, that vegans are all massively undernourished.
As soon as you become vegan everyone around you seems to become a nutritionist. Suddenly they know all about what nutrients you need, how much, and where to get them.
"Where do you get your protein from though"
It's as if being a non vegan automatically means you're eating a nutrient rich diet.
Which is odd because only something like 1.05% of the 15 and over population is vegan in the U.K. but the health supplement business is booming, I mean, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Superdrug, boots, Holland and Barrett (to name but a few) have whole sections dedicated to health supplements. It's almost as if people aren't getting everything they need from their meat based diets! How very curious!
I'm not a doctor, scientist or nutritionist, so I cannot blind you with facts, figures, and so on, but when researching food, google is your friend. I mean, just a few clicks on google and I can find out exactly what my food will do for me.
Take the humble banana
That wasn't complicated, I found out exactly what a banana offers me without eating getting off the sofa.
I'm on a roll now, I've discovered that tofu is quite a good thing to eat if I want to add to my calcium, protein and iron intake.
Guys, this isn't complicated at all 😉
The NHS webpage on the subject says you should be able to get most of the nutrients you need by eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.
It even goes on to give information about how.
Wait, what? You mean vegans aren't entirely cut off from all sources of information, – readily available online, no less, – about how to eat healthily? Crazy! Who knew?
What's needed if you're going to eat a vegan diet, is some sensible research, which you can do very easily online, into what your body needs, and how to get it.
This research doesn't take years to carry out, you don't need a university degree.
A very quick google into vegan infographics already led me to these
This is the tip of the iceberg, you can find a wealth of handy infographs. It's not difficult.
We all agree that eating more fruit, veg and whole foods is more healthy right?
The thing is, as with whatever diet you eat, it's all about taking personal responsibility for eating the right nutrients.
Personally I think vegans are probably more careful about eating the correct nutrients because we become super aware of what we need to eat.
Anybody can have a bad diet, but if anyone wants to suggest that a person who eats, for example, a boiled egg and toast for breakfast, a ham sandwich and yoghurt for lunch and then a couple of sausages, chips and beans for dinner, has eaten better than me, for example, who eats, typically, a yoghurt, fruity cereal bar and a glass of calcium fortified milk for breakfast, a banana sandwich for lunch, with a nectarine, pear, and a few prunes, then for dinner a vegan pasty (protein) with mashed potatoes, swede, carrot, peas and mange tout, and perhaps a fruit smoothie for supper, then I would imagine they would be wrong. I don't eat anything complicated, I just eat food, but I've put some thought into it, it's just food that happens not to contain any bits of dead animal.
Personally after seeing so much evidence about what animal products do to the body, I am absolutely convinced that just by not eating meat, my diet is already the more healthy one.
But most people would immediately assume my diet is lacking.
A vegan can of course eat unhealthy food, cake, donuts, biscuits, chips, but so can a meat eater, and they are much more readily available to meat eaters.
Whatever kind of diet you eat you can find a way to not eat healthily. This is not something that's exclusive to vegans.
The argument that it's difficult to eat a healthy vegan diet is a lazy one, (as well as boring) and one that can just as easily apply to a non vegan diet, in fact, it arguably applies more to a non vegan diet.
If you want to know more these are good starting points.
Forks over knives – Netflix
Veducated – Netflix
And this is a very interesting piece about why humans are herbivores.
Why not sign up for the vegan society challenge to go vegan for a week, as part of their Plate up for the planet campaign ?