Vegan, go or no? How to overcome the obstacles

How do you go about switching from a normative diet to a plant-based diet? Before the vegan lifestyle becomes a habit, it takes some getting used to. Logical. We list the major obstacles and how you overcome them.
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6 January 2021

Plant-based food and the most common obstacles

Are you wondering if a plant-based diet is something for you? These are our most common obstacles to starting a vegan lifestyle. Do you recognize them?

How do I get proteins?

Proteins are super important. Still, this is easier than you think in a plant-based diet. Proteins are mainly obtained from legumes, but also from (fermented) soy, seitan, nuts and seeds. In comparison: chicken contains 22% protein and eggs 13%. But lentils contain 28%, peanuts 29%, hemp 30% and tofu 13%.

Do you want to follow a high-protein diet with, for example, 30% protein per day? Then it gets more difficult. If you eat plant-based you simply have less choice in protein-rich products. Plus if you eat meat, you quickly eat about 100 grams. If you do the same with protein-rich nuts or seeds, you will end up higher in your carbohydrates or fats.

Pro tip:

Choose a protein-rich product per meal and build your meal around it. Always alternate that protein source. For example, choose quinoa (16% protein) in the morning, chickpeas (23% protein) in the afternoon and seitan (28% protein) in the evening.

Is it healthy?

This is a matter of debate. As with any lifestyle, this largely depends on how intentionally you eat. And what your life is like in addition. Do you sport? Do you smoke? As a vegan you can also live on fries and ketchup, but then you naturally lack nutrients. More often vegans eat a lot of vegetables and fruits with a lot of variety. This way you will soon have a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.

Being healthy is about more than just meat or no meat. Listen to your body and check with the professionals if you want to be sure.

What about vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is indeed only obtained from meat. Some people say you can get it from seaweed, but you can’t. So if you eat plant-based, it is wise to take in B12. Have your B12​​checked by the doctor or naturopathic therapist.

Fun fact

According to dietitian Lobke Faasen, humans used to get vitamin B12 via mud and earth residues on unprocessed fruit and vegetables. But now that we eat everything so cleanly, you can only get it from meat or B12 vitamin pills.

I just really like meat

This point is fair and legit. Every beginning is difficult, give yourself the space to grow to be completely vegan. There is a gray area between going vegan and eating only meat. Put that in perspective. Take it step by step. That’s how you make your meatless choices a habit. And habits, you keep them up.

Isn’t too much soy bad?

Some people avoid eating too much soy, because soy production is harmful to the environment. This is quite a discussion on its own, but we can be brief about it. When it comes to the environment, you should know that the soy grown for human consumption is only 2%. The soy that’s grown for animals is therefore much more polluting. You can help solve this problem a little by eating less meat.

Would you rather not eat too much soy to improve your health? Always buy organic (non-GMO) soy products. Also remember that fermented soy products are really a different story. Fermented soy works as a probiotic for your intestines. Think tamari, shoyu, miso, tempeh and natoo.

Want to know more about soy and hormones? Then check the site of Rineke Dijkinga.

Not quite over the line yet?

Tell us what you are unsure about, we would like to know!