Is a vegan diet mostly carbs?

zki

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I ask because aside from healthy fats & vegs. the legumes - the whole grains and fruits contain carbs. I'm not an expert or dietician, I'm just curious how vegans see the
the carb part of their diet... I've also seen info. that even suggests that there are even low carb & high carb fruits & vegetables like corn or carrots. I noticed some of the trendy weight loss diets suggest lowering or even eliminating carbohydrates. Comments?
 

Poppy

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Based on my fitbit, my carb intake is between 45 and 65 %, which is exactly what the dietary guidelines recommend. Eliminating carbs is indeed trendy. Nearly all diets have some kind of gimmick and stats show that eating a well-balanced diet of whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, nuts and legumes is ideal - not just for weightless, but for long-term health.
 

David3

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All mainstream health organizations recommend eating beans, lentils, and whole grains - these are carbohydrate-rich whole foods.

No mainstream health organizations recommend eating added sugars or processed carbohydrate foods (white bread, crackers).
.
 

karolinaraton

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hi there!
vegan diet is not mainly carbs, it’s full of other important nutrients like protein, calcium or iron that our bodies need to function properly. I do not recommend cutting carbohydrates as they are very important in maintaining stable energy levels throughout the day.
 

Emma JC

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Yes, a whole food plant based diet with limited oils, salts and sugars is highly recommended. We likely eat about 70-80% carbohydrates, 10-15% fat and 20% protein or thereabouts. Great for weight loss, general health and for inexpensive living.

Starch is a better word than carbohydrate as people associate carbs with donuts and cakes and cookies and processed foods, whereas starch is potatoes and rice and whole grain pastas and bean and lentils and veggies etc.

Emma JC
 

TofuRobot

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I detest the word "carbs" as it is pretty much meaningless. What kind of "carbs" are we talking about? Simple "carbs?" Complex "carbs?" Our bodies need carbohydrates for fuel. To eliminate them would be stupid. BUT, simple carbohydrates like refined sugar, white flour, donuts, white bread, and white rice - are not good for you, whereas complex carbohydrates are. Starches is a better word, like @Emma JC said.

If you focus on eating whole, plant foods, you really don't have to worry about "carbs."
 

Lou

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I think the carb lobby needs a better publicist. Now it seems like the word carb is associated with un-healthy.

I partially blame the Keto People. Sure eliminating carbs will put you in ketogenesis which is a great way to lose some weight. But even the Keto proponents don't think Keto is a good long term diet strategy. Several studies have come out saying that people on low carb diets have shorter life spans. (1)

Carbs are good. What is bad is eating refined, highly processed foods. Some of those are carbs. Examples: sugar and white flour.

a good healthy diet is one where the calories you eat are between 20 and 30 percent protein. And less than 30% fat. So 40 to 60 percent of your calories should come from carbs.

(1) -https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45195474
 

Nekodaiden

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I ask because aside from healthy fats & vegs. the legumes - the whole grains and fruits contain carbs. I'm not an expert or dietician, I'm just curious how vegans see the
the carb part of their diet... I've also seen info. that even suggests that there are even low carb & high carb fruits & vegetables like corn or carrots. I noticed some of the trendy weight loss diets suggest lowering or even eliminating carbohydrates. Comments?

A vegan diet is one that excludes all animal products.

It can be healthy, it can be unhealthy. It depends on what one eats.

Carbs (mostly from whole foods, as they also contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids) are usually eaten in higher amounts by vegans. Simple/refined carbs (example, refined sugar, white bread) are allowed, but they are not usually recommended in high amounts, because they lack fiber and all the other things mentioned. A vegan depending too much on these type of foods can wind up hungry and sick.

A vegan diet can limit carbs and replace it with more fats (again, whole fats from things like nut butters are recommended and not fats from isolataes like refined oil), if this is desired. Provided it has the minerals and vitamins to do so, the body will convert the fats eaten into energy that it isn't getting from carbohydrate. I've heard of people eating a vegan diet that includes a larger fat component, but I know this wouldn't be for me and I wouldn't recommend it, especially to a new vegan.
 

Elminster

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I ask because aside from healthy fats & vegs. the legumes - the whole grains and fruits contain carbs. I'm not an expert or dietician, I'm just curious how vegans see the
the carb part of their diet... I've also seen info. that even suggests that there are even low carb & high carb fruits & vegetables like corn or carrots. I noticed some of the trendy weight loss diets suggest lowering or even eliminating carbohydrates. Comments?
My diet is between 70 and 80 percent whole food carbohydrates. A little fat, a little protein. Humans are carbohydrate burning machines. Most of our calories should come from carbs.
 
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Elminster

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hi there!
vegan diet is not mainly carbs, it’s full of other important nutrients like protein, calcium or iron that our bodies need to function properly. I do not recommend cutting carbohydrates as they are very important in maintaining stable energy levels throughout the day.
Calcium and iron are micronutrients, not macros. They are irrelevant to this discussion.
 
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I have unlimited carbohydrate. I keep the fat low (relative to my bodyweight - currently 110kg) and the protein relatively low.

Our whole body runs on sugar. These paleo, ketogenic diets are ridiculous, especially for long term weight loss. People who swear by these diets seem to run on stimulants like caffeine just to be able to do normal things, never mind have any kind of athletic performance.

I'm currently on a fat loss regime, and have lost 10kg in the last 12 weeks, looking to lose at least another 8kg. I have upped my carbohydrate considerably during this period, and I'm talking simple and complex carbohydrate.
 
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I detest the word "carbs" as it is pretty much meaningless. What kind of "carbs" are we talking about? Simple "carbs?" Complex "carbs?" Our bodies need carbohydrates for fuel. To eliminate them would be stupid. BUT, simple carbohydrates like refined sugar, white flour, donuts, white bread, and white rice - are not good for you, whereas complex carbohydrates are. Starches is a better word, like @Emma JC said.

If you focus on eating whole, plant foods, you really don't have to worry about "carbs."

👎 This whole sugar phobia era in which we live, is just ridiculous. All of the carbohydrate which we eat turns to glucose. What you're trying to say is that unless a food source contains fibre or other micronutrients, then it's unhealthy, which is crazy.

If you want to be a good boyfriend, girlfriend, hard-worker, athletic person, responsible adult who is in control of their emotions, then carb up and watch your fat intake (which will make you feel like a zombie - the fat you eat is the fat you wear) and avoid stimulants which will simply drain your adrenals.

This "whole plant foods" thing is also an odd one. What's a whole plant food? Is it only fruit?

Because it sure isn't rice, which is refined. It isn't pasta, which is refined. It isn't bread, which is refined.

Is it vegetables which you cook, and are no longer a whole food, as they are enzymatically dead?

I have never seen an obese high-carb, low fat vegan. Have you?
 

Emma JC

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👎 This whole sugar phobia era in which we live, is just ridiculous. All of the carbohydrate which we eat turns to glucose. What you're trying to say is that unless a food source contains fibre or other micronutrients, then it's unhealthy, which is crazy.

I agree with you completely about starches being very good for you and disagree with your "sugar" concept. The sugar in fruits and vegetables are very good for you and especially berries, blue! Processed sugar, on the other hand, is not healthy as an added supplement or within processed foods. Pasta that is whole grain and rice that is brown and/or wild etc. better than the white versions. Potatoes, sweet potatoes etc, awesome. Just like added salts in any large quantity are not good. A whole food plant-based diet with limited SOS salt, oil, sugar is the only diet/lifestyle that has been proved to prevent and reverse heart disease. That may not matter to you at age 28 and for those of us over 50 who have been eating a lifetime of animal products it is very important.

There is a big difference between "carbs" and starches. Some sugar is not going to harm an otherwise healthy eater but what it goes into your body as is important. If it is a chocolate bar or donut or Oreo then it is not good. My only use of sugar is in baking which I only do rarely. Lately I have made a raisin loaf with one cup of sugar and the rest is mostly raisins, whole wheat flour, ground flax, almond flour, some white flour and some oat milk, baking powder. It lasts the two of us at least a week and even that one cup makes me cringe a bit when I put it in.

I would refer to Dr Greger's latest book How Not to Diet. He has a lot of great info about sugar/berries/fibre etc.

Paranoid about sugar? no, just limited.

Congrats on your weightloss and may it continue!

Emma JC
 
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I agree with you completely about starches being very good for you and disagree with your "sugar" concept. The sugar in fruits and vegetables are very good for you and especially berries, blue! Processed sugar, on the other hand, is not healthy as an added supplement or within processed foods. Pasta that is whole grain and rice that is brown and/or wild etc. better than the white versions. Potatoes, sweet potatoes etc, awesome. Just like added salts in any large quantity are not good. A whole food plant-based diet with limited SOS salt, oil, sugar is the only diet/lifestyle that has been proved to prevent and reverse heart disease. That may not matter to you at age 28 and for those of us over 50 who have been eating a lifetime of animal products it is very important.

There is a big difference between "carbs" and starches. Some sugar is not going to harm an otherwise healthy eater but what it goes into your body as is important. If it is a chocolate bar or donut or Oreo then it is not good. My only use of sugar is in baking which I only do rarely. Lately I have made a raisin loaf with one cup of sugar and the rest is mostly raisins, whole wheat flour, ground flax, almond flour, some white flour and some oat milk, baking powder. It lasts the two of us at least a week and even that one cup makes me cringe a bit when I put it in.

I would refer to Dr Greger's latest book How Not to Diet. He has a lot of great info about sugar/berries/fibre etc.

Paranoid about sugar? no, just limited.

Congrats on your weightloss and may it continue!

Emma JC

Thanks for your input.

Just to clarify, I am not obese and I had visible abs at 120kg. Athletic performance is important to me, in terms of strength, power, flexibility and aerobic output. I am just in a cutting phase. I have to mention this because, in my opinion, Greger is full of nonsense. Nobody with any kind of athletic aspirations, or anyone living a busy life, should follow his advice. He would simply have you buzzing around on 6 cups of green tea each day. If I wanted a dad bod like he has, sure, I could buy into Greger.

Greger is someone who has spewed all sorts of nonsense about white rice, in particular. He has scaremongered many people into avoiding white rice. He attributed white rice as a reason as to why Indians are getting fatter, ignoring the substantial increase in fatty products.

I recommend "The China Study" and "The Starch Solution".

It's incredible how I'm losing fat by eating low fat, high carbohydrate (plenty of fruit, white rice, pasta and cane sugar) and lower protein (~120g per day), while exercising less than I was.

 
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Dr. Greger's advice is based on what's best for long-term health, not short-term athletic performance. I don't think anyone here would argue that simple carbs aren't the best fuel for intense exercise.
 

Emma JC

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If it weren't for Dr McDougall I would not be here today and so I am thankful every day for him and his appearance on Coast to Coast AM in October of 2016. He was on again two nights ago and he is to be commended for many things including pounding the drum about health at every opportunity.

It was his openness to having lots of potatoes and rice and pastas that helped me to finally make the switch, almost overnight, and I have never looked back. I do eat white rice because that is the preference of my spouse and we eat mostly whole grain pasta with lots of potatoes too. I do call myself a Starchivore or a Vegan Plus or that I eat a WFPB SOS lifestyle to the best of my ability.

When you diss Dr Greger you are throwing out the baby with the bath water. I learn from all them, Dr McDougall, Dr Esselstyn, Dr Barnard :heart_eyes:, T Colin Campbell, Dr Greger and so on. I take, from each, the things they suggest that work best for my family and our lifestyle. No one has the corner on perfection and to ignore all the amazing information that Dr Greger supplies, on a regular basis, to the world is, IMO, an error. Is he right about the white rice? could be, I don't choose to follow that advice from him but it doesn't mean that there isn't lots that I can't learn from him.

I own the China Studay and have for many years and it wasn't the book that helped me make the final switch. It definitely helped along the journey and the Starch Solution is definitely a great book and is the best for me. Dr McDougall does not recommend added sugars, they fall in this "caution" area.... and also acknowledges that brown rice is better than white rice and yet eating white rice/pasta is better than eating animal products... you can see his PDF link to the following page on his website - https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/cpb/ his CBP or Color Picture Book of foods.

I wish you all the best on your journey to health and fitness - you have watched The Game Changers, yes?

Emma JC
 

Emma JC

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a further note - I received this in an email from Dr McDougall last week - Jeff Novick works with Dr McDougall for the program

It’s the Food! A 10-Point Checklist for
The McDougall Program
Jeff Novick, MS, RDN


1) Fill your plate so that 70 - 90% of your plate (by visual volume) is filled with minimally processed starches (brown rice, oats, sweet potato, quinoa).
2) Fill the remaining 10 - 30% of your plate with minimally processed fruits and non-starchy vegetables.
3) Eliminate all animal foods (i.e., dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood).
4) Eliminate the intake of fake meats and cheeses as most are highly processed, high fat and made with isolated proteins and oil.
5) Eliminate any added oil.
6) Limit your intake of all higher-fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy) unless you are trying to gain weight.
7) Limit added sugars and added salts. This also includes gourmet sugars and salts. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.
8) Avoid liquid calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages). When thirsty, drink water.
9) Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full. Don't starve yourself and don't stuff yourself.
10) Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of daily moderate exercise (i.e., brisk walking).
In Health,
Jeff

 
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Lou

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Dr. Greger's advice is based on what's best for long-term health, not short-term athletic performance. I don't think anyone here would argue that simple carbs aren't the best fuel for intense exercise.

Not sure what you are referring to and I"m too lazy right now to figure it out. But I don't think anyone would say that simple carbs are the best fuel for Anything.
 

Emma JC

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Not sure what you are referring to and I"m too lazy right now to figure it out. But I don't think anyone would say that simple carbs are the best fuel for Anything.

I think he meant complex carbs - simple foods... whole foods.

Emma JC