Considering that low carb diets rely so heavily on meat and protein, is it feasible for a vegan to cut carbs, lose weight, and still maintain their dietrary restrictions?
It would seem that veganism and the low carb diet are opposing forces in the world of diet and nutrition. While the low carb dieter relies heavily on the protein gotten from meats and some dairy, the vegan eschews both of these in the same of animal rights, opting instead for alternate forms of sustenance from vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains. As a result, the vegan must struggle to find creative ways of getting non-meat protein into their daily diet, and otherwise relies heavily on high carb intakes.
Because we now know that most humans’ metabolisms cannot handle the high level of carbohydrates that are eaten in the modern western diet, it is no wonder that vegans suffer from overweight and obesity, in spite of the fact that their fat intake is often lower than individuals who do not limit meat and dairy. As we know, pasta, breads, and other carbs metabolize into sugar, which leads to overweight.
So, for the vegan who is looking to lose and maintain a healthy weight, the low carb diet would in theory be an impossible choice. What foods, for example, would be available to a vegan on a low carb diet?
For as much as the challenges for a vegan on a low carb diet are high, the fact is that the low carb diet still offers vegans a better option for losing weight than a low calorie diet: since the vegan already relies so heavily on the “quick fix” that carbs offer, eating a high carb, low protein diet is recipe for diet failure and lethargy.
The vegan low carb diet is often referred to as the eco-Atkins diet, since it employs the same principles that Dr. Atkins espoused in his Diet Revolution, but is entirely plant-based. According to EatDrinkBetter.com, the diet can be very successful in providing a balanced diet with plenty of protein that: “they designed a 100% vegan diet that was high in protein (31% of calories) and fat (43% of calories).The protein was derived from gluten, soy, vegetables, nuts and cereals. Fat came mostly from nuts, vegetable oils and soy products.”
As you can imagine, fake, soy-based meat products are a staple on such a diet for many vegans — but this isn’t a real change from what they would normally eat. The difference comes from replacing much of what the average low carb dieter has to replace: refined grains and sugars. Instead, the eco-Atkins dieter concentrates of these staples:
Beans and some whole grains are also factored into the eco-Atkins diet for protein, and as a result, vegan low carb dieters often do not garner the same level of ketosis that non-vegan low carb dieters experience, thus slowing down their weight loss. But on average, even vegan low carb dieters who have employed this version of the Atkins diet have experienced similar low term weight loss goals.
If you’re a vegan looking for low carb diet foods, be sure to check out Linda’s Diet Delites! You’ll be amazed at how many low carb breads, mixes, and other items are actually vegan! Take a look!