If you are someone who is planning to go vegan or someone who is a vegan beginner then this article might prove helpful. As a beginner or someone who is planning to go vegan, you might have your concerns. Especially when it comes to choosing the best vegan diet plan among many different types of vegan diets.
Plus your food choice and daily nutrition needs also matters when it comes to choosing the best diet plan.
Many people fear that going on a strict plant-based diet might do more harm than good to you. They believe that eating merely plants and fruits for diet is just not enough which is not true of course. It is just a misconception that people have due to lack of knowledge of food and nutrition.
Eating a plant-based diet can provide you with more than enough essential nutrients in order for you to live healthily. Fruits and vegetables are in fact the healthiest foods that you can eat. They are a great source of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Reading this article shall provide you with great insight on how to live on a plant-based diet along with different vegan diet plan choices you have. You might as well choose any one of the vegan diet plans according to your preferences and needs.
But before we jump into understanding the different types of vegan diets, we must first understand the vegan diet.
A Vegan Diet:
A vegan diet is a strict plant-based diet that excludes any and all types of animal products including dairy, eggs, and honey. You might as well say that a vegan diet is a strict veg diet. It includes fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, legumes, seeds, and other processed foods such as tofu, pasta, bread, jam, etc.
You might have already known by now that there are many kinds of vegan thriving on a plant-based diet. They have different preferences when it comes to food choice.
Take the raw vegans for example, they only eat raw foods as a part of their diet. The plant-based vegan or simply vegans on the other hand eat the combination of raw and cooked food.
The majority of vegan however prefer to eat the combination of all these vegan diets which is understandable since not everyone can eat raw only or fruits only.
Coming back to the topic, let us understand the different types of vegan diets.
Different Types of Vegan Diets:
1. Fruitarian Vegan Diet:
The fruitarian vegan diet is a popular vegan diet approach. As the name implies the fruitarian vegan diet consists of roughly three-fourth portions of raw and ripped fruits and about one-fourth of seeds and nuts.
This diet is also popularly known as the 80/10/10 diet. It is named after a book published in the year 2006. The people who follow this diet plan are often known as fruitarian vegans. They thrive on, raw, ripe fruits mostly eaten as a whole along with some seeds and nuts, and leafy vegetables.
The fruitarian diet discourages any kinds of flavoring including salt and spices. The foods are eaten raw and often whole i.e. without turning them into something else such as fruit juice and smoothie.
The diet may seem perfectly healthy and delicious to live on. You can find many people thriving on the fruitarian diet. But there are some concerns when it comes to consuming fruits only for most of the part.
Fruits may be rich in vitamins but are also high in sugar content. Especially the ripe ones. And there is concern over the lack of essential nutrients including fatty acids and minerals.
The fruitarian diet mainly consists of:
- Fruits (All kinds) including apple, mango, grapes, papaya, oranges, pomegranate, banana, avocado, etc.
- Some seeds and nuts such as flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, cashews, etc.
- A small portion of green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, kale, collard green, lettuce, etc.
- Fruit slices
- Berries for snacks
- Whole fruits
- Mixed fruit salad
- Vegetable salad with seeds and nuts toppings
2. High Fat Raw Vegan Diet:
The high-fat raw vegan diet is primarily designed by keeping fatty acids in mind. The high-fat raw vegan diet mainly consists of fatty nuts and seeds as the main course and vegetables and leafy green as the side dishes.
Interestingly, a high-fat raw vegan diet also focuses on eating raw foods much like the fruitarian vegan diet. Except for the fact that you get to add flavorings to your foods which makes it more preferable for your taste buds.
You also have the option to blend or juice your foods. You have the option to prepare vegetable juices, smoothie, prepare some delicious desserts out of dried fruits, and more. Apart from eating raw foods, you can also cook your foods up to 46 degrees Celsius. But cooking past that point is highly discouraged.
The primary motive behind cooking the foods up to 46 degrees Celsius is to preserve the nutrients present in the food that may get destroyed when cooked at a higher temperature.
The high-fat raw vegan diet mainly consists of:
- All kinds of seeds and nuts including pistachios, walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, etc.
- Vegetables and leafy greens.
- Soaked and sprouted grains and legumes.
- All kinds of fruits and dried fruits.
- Smoothies and juices
- Mix fruit salad and vegetable salad.
- Chocolate and bars, etc.
3. High Carb Low Fat Diet:
The high carb low-fat diet is a more sustainable way of thriving as a vegan. You get to enjoy all kinds of whole-plant based foods such as rice, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.
The high carb low-fat diet also allows lots of processed foods such as cereals, pasta, bread, etc. that are rich in carbs content. The only things that are missing from this diet are seeds and nuts but that is to be expected since they are high in fat content.
Food rich in carbs helps to keep you energetic and healthy. The high carb low-fat diet is also good for your health and may help in preventing diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, and some other chronic diseases.
The best part of this diet is that you get to cook your food unlike most of the vegan diets that are eaten mostly raw. But you still have to make use of flavorings as low as possible.
The high carb low-fat vegan diet mainly consists of:
- Foods that are rich in starches such as oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, rice, millet, popcorns, potatoes, etc.
- Processed foods such as pasta, bread, cereals, etc.
- All kinds of fruits are allowed.
- All kinds of vegetables and leafy greens can be eaten.
- Legumes and lentils, etc.
- Rice and vegetable curry,
- Burgers and sandwiches,
- Fruit juice, fruit salad,
- Pasta, etc.
4. Raw Till 4 Diet:
You might have already guessed what raw till 4 diet is about. And you’re correct to assume. Raw till 4 as the name suggests is a diet plan where you eat raw foods for breakfast and launch and cooked foods for the dinner.
The goal of the diet here is to let you enjoy one cooked meal per day which makes it more appealing. All you need to do is eat raw food for your breakfast and launch and enjoy a large portion of cooked meal after 4 PM.
By eating raw means you do not get to enjoy your daily cup of tea or coffee in the morning or during your lunch break which might actually be difficult at first.
You can however eat to your heart’s content at dinner every single day. You get to eat a lot of carbs rich foods including rice, legumes and lentils, fruit smoothies, and more. It is one reason why there are higher chances of you gaining some weight while on the raw till 4 diet plan.
You can however add some vegetables and nuts and cut off some whole grains if you do not want to end up gaining weight. Furthermore, you are encouraged to drink plenty of water which will help you to maintain your body weight.
The raw till 4 vegan diets mainly consist of:
- Foods that are rich in carbs such as rice, pasta, corn, lentils, and legumes, etc.
- Most of the fruits including banana, berries, dates, figs, mangoes, etc.
- A few of the vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
- A handful of seeds and nuts.
- Rice with mashed potatoes,
- Vegan Mac and cheese,
- Potato stuffed lettuce boats,
- Banana nice cream with berries,
- Corn pasta with tomato sauce, etc.
5. Detox Vegan Diet:
The detox vegan diet is much similar to a high carb low-fat diet except for the fact that you omit processed foods that are included in the high carb low-fat diet plan. It further encourages eating raw instead of eating cooked and processed foods.
The goal here is to eat clean and healthy whole grain foods. Processed foods are often considered as not clean and healthy to eat. While the cooked foods may destroy the nutrients on the process. Thus a new way of eating clean and healthy foods was developed.
In this diet plan, you’ll most likely find yourself eating raw foods most of the time with few cooked meals here and there. You also get to eat a lot of fresh green vegetables along with sprouts, fresh juices, and smoothies.
People who follow the detox vegan diet plan often tend to drink herbal and green tea while cutting down on their caffeine intake.
The detox vegan diet mainly consists of:
- Fresh raw fruits
- Vegetables and leafy greens,
- Beans and lentils,
- Seeds and nuts,
- Gluten-free whole grains, etc.
- Juices and smoothies,
- Roasted veggie with brown rice,
- Quinoa and chia oatmeal,
- Raw beet burgers with avocado and kale salad,
- Citrus lime tofu salad, etc.
6. Low Carb Vegan Diet:
There is no surprise as to why even people on a vegan diet want to go low carb. A low carb diet is known to help in weight loss by activating ketosis. Ketosis is the process of turning body fat into ketone bodies which are then used by our body and brain as an alternative energy source.
Since glucose is our primary energy source by default and ketone bodies replace it when you reach ketosis. A low carb diet also lowers the risk of suffering for cardiovascular diseases. Some other health benefits of a low carb vegan diet include type 2 diabetes control, lower blood pressure, and reduced insulin resistance.
The low carb diet such as the keto diet includes lots of meat and fish which is to be avoided in a vegan diet. It is thus relatively difficult to practice low carb while on vegan since almost all food items contain some carbs in it. It is thus best if you decide to go medium carb instead of a low carb vegan diet.
Prioritizing protein is the goal here. A vegan diet unlike a non-veg diet may lack all the essential amino acids needed by your body if not eating a balanced diet. Essential amino acids or protein can only be obtained for the food you eat.
Furthermore, plant-based proteins are difficult for your body to digest which makes it less useful. You need to eat more protein compared to animal protein for better health. It is thus important that you eat a diet rich in protein even when going low carb.
The low carb vegan diet mainly consists of:
- Lupine beans and lentils,
- Soy products such as canned black soybeans, tofu, natto, etc.
- Seeds and nuts including help seeds, almond, almond butter, peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Vegetables and leafy greens including spinach, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.
- Fruits and berries low in carbs such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.
- Dark chocolates,
- Oils such as olive oils, coconut oils, sesame oil, macadamia oil, etc.
- Tofu scramble,
- Vegan quiche muffins with sundried tomatoes and spinach,
- Cauliflower pizza bites,
- Steamed or raw vegetables with tofu/seitan and peanut satay sauce,
- Roasted cauliflower soup,
- Cauliflower rice,
- Avocado smoothie,
- Lettuce wraps with tofu or seitan and garlic sauce,
- Lemon garlic grilled zucchini,
- Cauliflower and potato curry, etc.
7. Whole Food Plant-Based Diet:
The whole plant-based vegan diet as the name suggests is a vegan diet that emphasizes easting plants exclusively. The idea here is to eat the whole plant-based food and avoid processed foods completely.
Unlike any other types of vegan diets in the list, you get to eat to your heart’s content. Since plant foods are rich in fibers, you’ll fill full without having to eat a lot.
Eating plant-based whole foods on a daily basis in fact good for your health. It helps you to reverse the negative impact that is caused to your body and health by consuming animal products.
Furthermore, eating plant-based whole-grain foods helps to lower your chances of suffering from certain types of diseases such as certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases
Focuses on plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts, which should make up the majority of what you eat.
The whole plant-based vegan diet mainly consists of:
- All kinds of whole grains including millet, wheat, barley, quinoa, rice, oats, etc.
- All kinds of legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, black beans, etc.
- Fruits all kinds such as apples, bananas, berries, figs, grapes, oranges, etc.
- Vegetables and green veggies such as kale, spinach, collards, peppers, green peas, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, beetroots, carrots, etc.
- Seeds and nuts of all kinds.
- Lemon rosemary white bean soup,
- Oatmeal with soy milk, banana, raisins, and walnuts,
- Tofu scramble,
- Cauliflower soup,
- Walnut lentil burger with cauliflower purée and red lentil relish
- Brown rice with tofu and Asian veggies
- Chickpea mushroom pita burger,
- Mashed potato with curries gravy,
- Roasted spice carrots,
- Maple glaze mushroom and lentil loaf,
- Quinoa salad with grilled vegetables
- Whole grain pasta with vegan cheese sauce
- Oatmeal peanut butter cookies
8. The SOS-Free Plant-Based Diet:
The SOS stands for sugar, oil, and salt and by SOS free means you ought to exclude on all the three flavorings i.e. sugar, oil, and salt from your meal. The SOS free approach to a vegan diet takes the whole food plant-based diet to the next level.
Much like the whole food plant-based diet, you get to eat to your heart’s content and still manage to maintain your weight. You might as well lose weight if you feel like losing excess body weight.
It is all possible just by giving up on the stimulants that may lead many to pleasure trap and they cannot stop themselves from overeating. People often overeat when they get to eat flavored foods i.e. foods with salt, sugar, and oil.
The SOS free plant-based diet is thus helpful for those who are addicted to overeating. By cutting out of sugar, oil, and salt, from the food, it lowers their chances of overeating which is highly beneficial to health.
People with chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. can highly benefit from this diet plan. Furthermore, it is also best for people who have abnormal blood sugar levels and hypertension.
The SOS free plant-based vegan diet mainly consists of:
- Whole grains mostly gluten-free such as oats, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, corn, rice, millet, etc.
- Vegetables and leafy greens such as kale, collards, lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, beets, sweet potatoes, broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, etc.
- Fruits such as apples, banana, raspberries, grapes, berries, cherries, melon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, oranges, pomegranates, kiwifruit, plums, etc.
- Seeds and nuts such as almonds, cashews walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
- All kinds of beans and lentils.
- Banana and Flaxseed Polenta,
- Corn chowder over rice,
- Rice and Spinach with Avocado and Grapefruit Salad and Steamed Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts
- Potatoes with black bean salsa,
- Salad with Corn Tortillas and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
- Oatmeal apple crisp,
- Beefless Stew with Creamy Coleslaw and Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint,
- Kale Edamame Salad,
- Sweet potato pecan pie, etc.
9. The Starch Solution:
Now here’s another diet rich in carbs unlike other types of vegan diets on the list. The starch solution diet emphasized on eating more of foods rich in starch. This way of eating was first introduced by Dr. John A. McDougall.
Contrary to the present belief that eating carbs leads to weight gain, Dr. John found from his study that eating foods rich in carbs is actually a great way of losing weight. He further claims that his way of eating will help you stay fit and also aid effectively in weight loss.
The idea here is to count your calories, not the carbs. Eating fat or carbs does not matter unless you look out for extra calories that you gain by overeating. But the starch solution diet is not as simple as one might think of it.
Going on a starch solution diet plan means that you give up on most of the fast foods, including oils, sugar, processed foods, etc. It only allows dietary fats found in seeds and nuts.
By restricting these foods helps in weight loss which is more sustainable in the long run in comparison to the low carb diet approach.
The starch solution diet mainly consists of:
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, tart root, celeriac, tapioca, water chestnuts, parsnips, yams, etc.
- Whole grains including oats, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, corns, millet, etc.
- A wide variety of pasta including tomatoes pasta, corn pasta, whole-wheat pasta, spinach pasta, rice pasta, bean pasta, etc.
- Beans and legumes such as red kidney bean, black bean, white kidney beans, pink beans, pinto beans, etc.
- Peas and lentils including brown lentil, green lentil, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, split yellow peas, etc.
- Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Peppers,
- Bean chili with rice,
- Banana Brown Rice Porridge,
- Multigrain hot cereal,
- One-Pot Vegan Chili,
- Low-fat mushroom risotto,
- Pea soup with bread, etc.
10. Junk Food Vegan Diet:
The junk food vegan diet or rather convenient vegan diet is suitable for those who want to join the vegan community for a good cause and are not that much into health. They do not care a bit about what they are eating as long as it is vegan or meat-free.
They only care about going on a vegan diet just to protect the animals that they care about and the environment they live in and are deeply in love with. Junk vegan mostly eats foods that are convenient and easy to get.
They are not into cooking all sorts of healthy vegan meals for themselves. Rather they like to lay down or walk to the nearest foods points and order foods that don’t go against vegan rules.
Their way of eating is more practical in comparison to any other vegan diet on our list. It is more like living a life with care for the animals and nature and yet not restricting oneself. You get to go out to new places and order all kinds of vegan fast foods including vegan burgers, pizza, sandwiches, sausages, and more.
Furthermore, you don’t need to omit anything including food stimulants such as Salt, sugar, and oil. Nor you have to give up on eating foods rich in carbs or fat. You can pretty much cook your food before you eat. You also do not have to avoid processed foods such as cereals, bread, pastries, and cakes, etc.
The junk vegan diet mainly consists of:
- Vegan fast foods including vegan sausages, vegan burgers, vegan pizza, etc.
- Vegan cookies, candies, and chocolates, etc.
- Faux meat and dairy products
- Processed foods such as cereal, bread, pasta dishes, etc.
- Taco bell’s bean burrito,
- Hershey’s chocolate syrup,
- Glazed doughnut with a soy latte,
- Vegan burger with fries and soda,
- Pizza with vegan cheese and mock meat,
- Falafel tacos with a creamy dressing, etc.
11. Just Vegan:
Now here comes the vegan diet that has no guidelines and restrictions. Just a vegan diet is a simple vegan diet that can consist of anything unless it is dairy or non-veg. You don’t have to give up on anything that you like unless it is not vegan.
The just vegan diet is more practicable and most of the vegans out there are just vegans who follow the just vegan diet. It is environment friendly and helps to protect the animals from killing or being tortured.
You simply thrive on a plant-based diet. You can add flavoring to your food and eat to your heart’s content. But it would be wise to eat a wide variety of foods instead of eating one or two types of foods that you like. This way it will do well to your health as well.
The just vegan diet mainly consists of:
- All kinds of fruits and vegetables,
- All kinds of seeds and nuts,
- Different types of grains,
- All kinds of processed foods such as faux meat, tofu, sausages, packaged foods, pasta, etc.
- Everything else unless it is not vegan.
- Vegetable biryani,
- Spicy chines egg-plants with Szechwan sauce,
- Carrot cake with cashew frosting,
- Sweet potato bulgur salad,
- Toast with cashew cheese, radish, and mint,
- Strawberry bean smoothie,
- Vegan lasagna or pasta bake, etc.
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