What Registered Dietitians Thinks About a HCLF Vegan Diet
Research has shown that the high-carb low-fat vegan diet can help people who are already overweight lose weight, said Jessica. In addition to being lower in calories than the traditional Western diet, the HCLF vegan diet is high in soluble and insoluble fiber, which both increase feelings of fullness and help to reduce hunger, which typically causes you to eat less.
However, research on which this diet is based includes a fat intake of only about 20 to 30 grams per day. Jessica said that current recommendations for dietary fat intake suggest a higher level — between 44 and 78 grams for someone eating a 2,000-calorie daily diet. Fat is also satiating so it helps keep you full, and not eating enough fat could lead to nutrient deficiencies from not getting enough fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).
She added that protein needs start at about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight daily and trend upward depending on gender, activity level, body weight, and other factors. As far as carbs go, a general range for intake is 45 to 65 percent of calories, which is about about 225-335 grams of carbohydrate daily.
The bottom line is eating a more whole, plant-based diet is a healthy way to eat, since it encourages a person to eat vitamin- and fiber-rich fruits, veggies, and whole grains. But eating a balanced diet is essential for optimal health. For a general macro breakdown for meals, registered dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, author of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook recommends dividing your plate into: half plate low-carb veggies, one-quarter plate protein, and one-quarter plate carbs plus fat.
Everyone has individual needs and goals, so if you're looking to lose weight, have more energy, gain muscle (or all three!), both Jessica and Leslie agree that the best thing to do is to meet with a registered dietitian to figure out the best nutrition plan for you.