Community: Forum: Health & Healing

Vegan Health & Nutrition Discussion Forum

Hi everyone, new vegan here (although it’s not my first time, I was vegan for a year a few years ago). I’m convinced that plant based nutrition is the healthiest choice, that’s my motivation in choosing this path. But when tracking my food, I’m concerned to see that I cannot get my fat intake down to the levels suggested in all the literature, not even close. I’m currently eating around 35-40% of my calories as fat. I don’t eat ANY processed food, and I don’t eat excessive amounts of nuts/seeds, or pour oil over everything, so I genuinely can’t see how I can eat less fat. I seem to need this amount to stay satiated and not get low blood sugar symptoms; should I worry about my health?

I’m a 42 year old woman, no health problems, and I’m in very good shape, around 19% body fat. I workout every day, mostly body weight stuff. So I don’t need to lose weight (it would be bad if I did), and I don’t have genetic predisposition to heart disease or diabetes or anything scary. Should I just listen to my body and carry on eating high fat?

I’ll give you an idea of my days meals:

Breakfast: oatmeal made with soy milk, blueberries, peanut butter
Lunch: quinoa, roasted veggies, chick peas
Dinner: stir fry veg, tofu, brown rice
Snacks: fruit, dark chocolate, handful of nuts, hummus

My overall calories is pretty low, 1800-1900, (I’m 5’10 and 135lbs, and active; my recommended calorie intake is 2000) so perhaps that’s skewing the percentages, so I’ll give you figures instead:

Carbs: 218g (48%)
Fat: 79g (39%)
Protein: 61g (13%)

I’d be so grateful for some advice!!!!

Responses (8)

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    Posted by Mountainmystic at 02/25/18 19:14:01

    This is interesting & challenging. What you want is the high carb low fat diet, eating starches like whole grains, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, oats, rice, potatoes, beans, legumes, greens like lettuce and spinach, and vegetables.

    Try cooking with healthier olive oil. For countering issues with low blood sugar, eat smaller meals and eat something every 2 to 3 hrs. Almonds and walnuts are good for that. Just a few, as you worry about fat intake. Fat slows down blood flow and keeps sugars from entering cells by blocking it, so nutrriens can't be properly integrated.

    Also, if you don't already, walk or exercise after your meal. This helps with blood sugar management naturally and speeds up metabolism. Also one feels more energy. Speeds up blood flow also through heart pumping.

    You sound like you are at a good weight for your height. You are eating healthy. Just eat less at meals but more often. Let us know how this works. Feedback and communication helps all of us.

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    Posted by Mountainmystic at 02/25/18 19:24:12

    This is interesting & challenging. What you want is the high carb low fat diet, eating starches like whole grains, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, oats, rice, potatoes, beans, legumes, greens like lettuce and spinach, and vegetables.

    Try cooking with healthier olive oil. For countering issues with low blood sugar, eat smaller meals and eat something every 2 to 3 hrs. Almonds and walnuts are good for that. Just a few, as you worry about fat intake. Fat slows down blood flow and keeps sugars from entering cells by blocking it, so nutrients can't be properly integrated.

    Also, if you don't already, walk or exercise after your meal. This helps with blood sugar management naturally and speeds up metabolism. Also one feels more energy. Speeds up blood flow also through heart pumping.

    You sound like you are at a good weight for your height. You are eating healthy. Just eat less at meals but more often. Let us know how this works. Feedback and communication helps all of us.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by justkel at 03/03/18 22:28:14

    Uh-oh.... The HCLF trend seems to be synonymous with veganism these days. Please don’t fall for that trend. Fats are not bad for you, and the saying being pushed around in the vegan community that “the fat you eat is the fat you wear”, just is not true. HCLF was the worst health trend I ever fell for. Never had skin issues in my life until I went low fat, I started experiencing breakouts on my chest, and my skin was noticably dryer. (And this was after a year of high carb eating) - once I increased my fat intake, my skin issues resolved themselves. Just warning from experience, because I was big into all the fitness youtubers who were promoting HCLF... eugh if I could take back that year of my life. Focus on a balanced diet. Your macros right now seem fairly balanced... And if you’re eating whole, plant foods... you can’t really go wrong. And you seem like a really healthy weight, especially for 5’10”... so this can’t be a weight issue?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by VeggieNovelist at 03/06/18 18:31:42

    "There are two things you don't talk about- politics and religion." I would like to add a third - nutrition. I can only answer this question by telling you my viewpoint based off the facts I've seen, and logical reasoning. And inevitably, some people will be diametrically opposed to what I'm about to say.

    In the dietary realm, "low-fat" and "low-carb" have been promoted as the end-all to weight loss problems. By extension, this reasoning worked it's way into everyday living. Well naturally, these two groups of thought oppose each other, and constantly argue over the merits of their dogma. They even use studies to validate their claims. But if course, if two opposing groups can use studies to validate their claims, it's because the scientific evidence is inconclusive. The point? People end up being told that they need to eat"less carbs", (or in your case)"less fat", with no proof that this is necessary.

    I've gone through study after study on this, and I've not seen proof that fat is bad for you. Generally, studies that "prove" fat is bad are correlational. Which means they say "Americans have more fat in their diet than Asians. Americans get heart disease more often than Asians. Fat must cause heart disease!" No one stops to consider the fact that something else (say eating way too many calories a daily and being overweight) could be the problem.

    Now for the logic part. The body uses fat to produce necessary hormones, so it needs some fat. But does it really matter how much fat we eat? Well for almost all of human history, people had no idea what macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein) were in their food, yet they've managed to be healthy. How is that possible, if it's so important that we have precise percentages of our calories coming from specific macronutrients? Or obsession with these percentages is illogical, and it's not supported by the evidence. Why would the body, which is designed to survive under extreme stress, require such an exact amount of each nutrient to be healthy? Instead of promoting survival, wouldn't that almost certainly lead to death?

    To sum this all up, it doesn't matter how much fat you eat. You're eating healthy, non-processed foods. Focus on staying in shape, keeping your body fat in a healthy range. That will do far more for you than avoiding fat. People may obsess over the tiniest details of our diet, but it body doesn't. Give it the basic things it needs, focus on keeping it fit. It will be far more pleased with that than 10% dietary fat.

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    Posted by LandonY at 04/16/18 02:13:13

    Check out “Healthy Crazy Cool” on YouTube. He’s a vegan nutritionist who believes in eating high fat. He has a lot of interesting videos and seems to know what he’s talking about, plus he’s funny! Maybe that will help you feel more comfortable with your fat intake :)

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    Posted by ManuelaGuarneri at 04/18/18 04:39:49

    Having healthy fats, is far more important than fats ratio.
    I guess your ratio is high because of peanut butter. You could still have it, depending on how much you spread.
    Healthy fats include: nuts, seeds
    unhealthy fats are: oils, coconut yogurt
    in cooking you can substitute oils in many ways: for sauces of pasta I use to blend steamed veggies, in the oven you could use banana
    on your salads you can blend fruits and nuts for a healthful dressing

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    Posted by nancyrobin at 04/20/18 05:59:13

    Hi there, thanks for sharing the helpful post. According to me, I think most of them are confused that how to maintain the fat intake in the body. I have heard that there are also guide which helps to provide helpful guidance about the eating habit. I think these can also be the best option to stay healthy. I have heard good reviews about https://www.cellublue.com/fr/product/fit-food-guide/ from my friend which provide helpful guidance to live healthy.

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    Posted by Mav at 04/27/18 20:08:53

    I will say that you're missing a lot of protein in your diet. Try adding more soy, tofu, and mushrooms into your daily regimen.

    Also try a protein powder that's plant-based. I've tried some from amazon! It's legit! They only use hemp, rice, soy, and other plant-based proteins and not casein or anything from dairy.

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