I’m going to make it easy for you. There are two that I recommend depending on your circumstances. But what do I mean by a vegan diet. I’m talking of the diet at the macro level and not so much at the micro level.
The micro level is the servings and types of foods you eat. So 5 servings of fruit and 7 servings of vegetables would be suggestive of a diet based upon micro components. That’s not what I’m aiming at. Lots of other folks have done a good job of that.
Everybody by now should realize that they need to eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains and beans. And this includes some vegans and vegetarians. I’ve written often about the importance of being a healthy vegan so that others might see this lifestyle as a viable option. The last thing animal rights needs is junk food vegans.
But there is a lot of argument out there about which type of vegan diet is beneficial. You’ve Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Dr. Michael Greger suggesting similar low fat, and we mean very low fat diets. Though Dr. Ornish and Dr. Fuhrman are not offering strictly vegan diets. In fact, it seems that Fuhrman has lost his mind and is now offering poultry and fish as part of his suggestions.
I think this is the problem with trying to get folks to eat low fat vegetable based diets with fruit and beans as addendum. You just won’t be very satisfied.
Then there’s the vegan paleo style diet, the Macrobiotic diet which can be vegan as well as eating according to the general guidelines of vegan dietitians which are based upon the general dietary guidelines of places like the MyPlate program put out by the department of agriculture.
Okay, with those options highlighted, what is a vegan to do, both for health and enjoyment of food. That’s easy. Having been vegan for almost 25 years I’m going to tell you.
If you have been vegan for several years or you are just starting out vegan but you DON’T have any major health issues i.e. cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc, then choose a vegan diet that’ll likely end up being around 50 – 60% carbs, 15% protein and around 30% fat. That’s just what a run of the mill vegan diet, like the one I’m on will end up being if you put all your food into Cronometer.
This is where I’m usually hitting, and it’s based on eating an American/European diet but made vegan style. I’m also trying to eat food as close to their whole foods and minimize junk foods as best I can. This diet I’m recommending is what Jack Norris and Ginny Messina have advised in their book Vegan For Life.
If you’re reasonably healthy, then that’s the dietary lifestyle as a vegan I’d recommend. It’s probably easiest, most closely resembles the kind of food you grew up eating and it’s healthy and cheap.
IF however, you have any sort of health problems like those mentioned above i.e heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc, then I recommend you follow Dr. John McDougall’s recommendations. A good place to start is with his latest book, The Starch Solution.
This style of vegan eating is very low fat. Generally around 10% or lower, and I have found it quite challenging to adhere to. But when your health is at stake it is important to take bold steps.
DISCLAIMER: I think this is a good point to add a disclaimer. None of what I’m suggesting supersedes your doctor’s advice. In fact, if you are unwell or suffering any sort of ailment I’d speak to your doctor before embarking on any lifestyle changes. I am not a doctor, and this is just my personal observations.
Those are my thoughts on the two best options for vegan eating depending on where you’re at. I follow the Vegan For Life type of program, and I have since before I found out about that book. It just happened to adhere to what I was using as my best guide to eating a healthy vegan diet. Go for the easy and simple and the comfortable.
And at the end of the day, don’t be afraid of carbs. Bread is indeed the staff of life. And I’ll be talking more about that later. Hope this helps. I’m always available to help those transitioning to a vegan diet. Just reach out to me through the contact form.