Angular resolved scanning transmission electron microscopy is an important tool for investigating the properties of materials. However, several recent studies have observed appreciable discrepancies in the angular scattering distribution between experiment and theory. In this paper we discuss a general approach to low-loss inelastic scattering which, when incorporated in the simulations, resolves this problem and also closely reproduces experimental data taken over an extended angular range. We also explore the role of ionic bonding, temperature factors, amorphous layers on the surfaces of the specimen, and static displacements of atoms on the angular scattering distribution. The incorporation of low-loss inelastic scattering in simulations will improve the quantitative usefulness of techniques such as low-angle annular dark-field imaging and position-averaged convergent beam electron diffraction, especially for thicker specimens.