Low-carb High-healthy-fat (LCHF)
We will start with explaining Low-carb High-healthy Fat (LCHF) because, when it’s done right, it is the most immediately effective approach to lowering blood sugars and A1C numbers. LCHF can be utilized by all dietary lifestyles, whether non-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, or dietary vegan. The polar opposite of LCHF is High-carb Low-fat Whole-food (WFPB, aka “whole-food plant-based”) but is only effective if you are a strict dietary vegan.
What to know about LCHF
See more details about Low-carb High-fat Moderate-Protein.
The term “Low-carb High-fat” is expressing a relationship between carbs and fats, not specific amounts. See our article, “Why Can’t I Eat Low-carb and Low-fat?”
Low-carb is generally defined as less than 100 grams of TOTAL carbohydrates per day, although we recommend that you try to keep your carbs lower than that. Very low-carb is less than 50 grams of TOTAL carbohydrates per day. Many diabetics find they need to limit their daily carb quota to less than 30 grams—or even less than 20 grams—of TOTAL carbohydrates per day.
In general, we recommend that you avoid starchy vegetables, grains, most legumes, and most fruit (except for most berries). This means no grain products, such as bread, cakes, muffins, bagels, rice, noodles, and potatoes (of all colors).
Focus on protein, and eat whatever fat comes with the protein. Eat whole eggs.
Get healthy carbohydrates from low-carb vegetables: dark green leafy, cruciferous, and other non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, peppers, zucchini, and yellow crookneck squash.
Eliminate “vegetable” oils (they are really industrial seed oils). This includes canola, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oils. Use coconut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, and butter (or ghee).
Food lists for your convenience
- Low-carb Food List for Diabetics (recommended)
- Dr Westman’s (page 4)
- Vegan Keto Food List (Renee Louise Samson)
High-carb Low-fat Whole-food Dietary Vegan (WFPB)
Whole Foods Plant-based (WFPB) is actually high-carb low-fat and must be whole-food dietary vegan in order to reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes. Success is not promised unless you are totally “plant-based” (dietary vegan, with no eggs or dairy), eating only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes with no sugar and no oil. More details at High-carb Low-fat Vegan (Plant-Based).
What to know about WFPB
- WFPB is not effective in lowering blood glucose as quickly as LCHF.
- Many vegan diabetics find that fruits, grains, pasta, noodles, and starchy vegetables spike their blood sugars.
- Vegan diabetics have been taught by proponents of WFPB that they don’t need to check their blood glucose very often or at all (and they just rely on the semi-annual A1C bloodwork results).
List of Whole-Food, Plant-Based Foods
- Nuts and seeds
- Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, and peas
- Fruits such as berries, apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, figs, bananas, and kiwi
- Whole grains such as oatmeal, buckwheat, quinoa, and rice
- Legumes such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils
- Plant-based oils such as olive oil or avocado oil
- Minimally processed plant-based foods such as tomato sauce, nut/seed butters, pea protein, or tempeh
Comparing LCHF and WFPB
In summary, the strictest LCHF proponents recommend that you limit your daily carb quota to 30 grams TOTAL carbohydrates. You can be a non-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, or dietary vegan, preferably eating real food (unprocessed whole foods).
The strictest WFPB proponents recommend that you limit your daily fat quota to 30 grams and it must be from a whole-food source, such as avocados, olives, or coconut meat; and you must be dietary vegan (no meat or meat products, dairy, or eggs).
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