A vegan low-fat diet combines the principles of non-animal sourced diets and avoiding high-fat foods and additives. It is often used for weight loss and to manage type 2 diabetes. Though quite restrictive in terms of what types of food are allowed, a vegan low-fat diet often has the advantage of avoiding calorie counting and letting the dieter eat as much as he or she desires. These diets are important to manage carefully, in order to ensure that the dieter is getting healthy amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Low-fat vegan diets tend to rely heavily on foods and grains that come from plants. Among the things a dieter can eat are all fruits and vegetables, cereal grains, and soy products. Foods to be avoided include all types of meat and dairy, honey, gelatin, eggs, and fish. On a traditional vegan diet, healthy oils such as olive and canola are used freely, but low-fat dieters may need to severely restrict these products, as well as other high-fat foods such as nut butters. A vegan low-fat diet may also restrict or ban the use of processed sugar, particularly if the dieter is diabetic.
In order to ensure good health, careful choices must be made within the available food choices to ensure adequate nutrition. This may include choosing whole grain breads and cereals for their superior fiber content, eating lots of raw, fresh vegetables and fruits to get the highest mineral and vitamin levels, and supplementing the diet with a vegan multivitamin.
Since most processed and packaged foods are not permitted due to additives and non-vegan products, following a vegan low-fat diet can require more time for food preparation. Grocery shopping habits may need to change to adapt to the need for very fresh fruits and vegetables, and may be difficult during times of the year when produce selection is limited. Since many vegan diets stress the use of organic foods, grocery bills may also be somewhat higher.
People may choose to follow a vegan low-fat diet for several reasons. The elimination of fats, sugars, and processed foods from the diet is considered by many diet experts as one of the best ways to lose weight. Some may be drawn toward the diet out of a dislike for animal products and a desire to eat in a way that does not adversely harm any animals. Some medical studies have also shown a strong correlation between a vegan low-fat diet and a reduction in the need for medication in type 2 diabetes patients. Diabetic patients may want to consult with their doctors before attempting this type of diet, since it can alter both natural insulin and cholesterol levels.