weight loss your goal?
Learn the basics of a low fat vegan diet.
your doctor prescribe a low fat vegan diet for weight loss
or other health issues? If so, be thankful that you have a
knowledgable and caring doctor. He or she prescribed a
non-invasive treatment. It is safer than drugs or surgery, and it has
no harmful side effects. People
who follow this diet without "cheating" get great results.
What is a low fat vegan diet?
A vegan diet is simply a
plant-based diet. Every
bite of food you eat comes from a plant and not from an animal. That
means no beef, pork, poultry, fish, other sea animals, eggs, or dairy
products. It also means no chicken broth, fish sauce, worcestershire
sauce, whey, casein, or other animal byproducts.
You can be a
vegan and still have a high fat diet.
Many processed vegan foods are high in fat. Vegan crackers, cookies,
mayonnaise, chocolate, soy
milk, soy cheese, and soy ice cream are a few examples.
olive oil, margarine, and vegetable shortening are
usually vegan products....but they are 100% fat.
Most whole plant foods are low in fat, but there are a few high fat
A low fat vegan diet
avoids high fat foods, whether they are processed foods or
natural foods. Slender, healthy vegans may eat small
amounts of natural high fat plant foods. They should avoid added free
fats like oil. See our review of the RAVE Diet book and Eating DVD. These resources explain in detail why the ideal vegan diet is low in fat.
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What is so bad about fat?
Fat is the
macronutrient that can easily make us fat.
One gram of fat contains 9 calories, compared to 4 calories in a gram
of protein or carbohydrate. It is easy for our bodies to convert
dietary fat to fat on our bodies. Studies show that most of the people
who succeed at weight loss eat low fat diets.
Some fats are especially harmful to our health. On
this page are details about the worst fats, as well
as descriptions of some other unhealthy foods. Look for
unhealthy fats on food labels. Do not cook with them or add them to
But don't we need some good fats
Absolutely. There are two essential
fatty acids that you must get from your diet:
We need about 3% of our daily calories from these
two fatty acids. The good news is that whole plant foods contain high
levels of essential fats. On the other hand, animal foods are
deficient in them.
linoleic acid, an omega 6 fat
alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fat
If we take in 10% of our calories
from fat, we get more than enough essential fat. In
some parts of China, the diet is only 6% fat and people do not have a
deficiency of essential fats. The Chinese in these areas are lean,
strong, and healthy.
Is it hard to get 10% of our
This table shows the percent
of fat calories in some common plant foods:
you can see, they all contain fat. To lose weight, eat mainly
whole plant foods. Add one tablespoon of ground
flaxseed or an ounce of
walnuts per day for a little extra omega 3 fat.
How do we avoid added
Prepare your food at home as often as
you can. It is hard to follow a low fat vegan diet if you eat many
meals in restaurants. Restaurant chefs love to cook with oil....they
put it in absolutely everything.
If you have to eat out, look for a
salad bar and bring
your own oil-free dressing. Order steamed vegetables and a baked potato
or some plain brown
rice. Use A1 Sauce or salsa as a topping.
Read food labels carefully to avoid added fat in packaged products:
Check the Nutrition Facts section. The
calories from fat should be no more than 10% of the total
Read the ingredients list! Avoid products that
- any oils, including olive oil
- mono and diglycerides
the beginning, you will miss the taste of fat. It is a very addictive
flavor. But if you are strict about your low fat vegan diet, within 3
months your tastes will
change and you will no longer crave the taste of fatty
food. Greasy, oily food will taste disgusting to you!