The Atkins Diet for Vegans

flintstone ribs

Quick…What comes to mind when I say… Atkins Diet?

  • Steak?
  • Bacon?
  • Ribs?

How about textured vegetable protein?


Or, smoothies made from vegan protein powder?

rice protein vegan

Well, according to this research, test subjects who followed a “low-carbohydrate (26% of total calories), high–vegetable protein (31% from gluten, soy, nuts, fruit, vegetables, and cereals), and vegetable oil (43%) plant-based diet” for 4 weeks, saw improvements in blood cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors…including weight loss.

In comparison, the control diet (a high-carbohydrate lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (58% carbohydrate, 16% protein, and 25% fat)), produced improvements in weight loss but little change in the other heart disease risk factors.


A Vegan-Atkins diet is superior to a high carb, Lacto-Ovo, low-fat dairy, whole grain diet.


Is a Vegan-Atkins diet superior to:

  • a traditional “Fred Flintstone” Atkins diet?
  • or a Paleo style diet based on animal protein, fruits & vegetables?
  • or a Mediterranean style diet?


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  1. The only problem is that too many vegans/vegetarians rely so much on soy and in large amounts soy is not good for many, especially women. It is heavy, many people are allergic to it, and it is the largest genetically modified crop in the world. Sticking with protein from nuts, seeds and veggies is better, I think, though I am all for a balanced carb diet.


  2. Readers of this post: don’t be drawn in by the hype! This is a great post by Dr Doug to make us think, but a vegan diet is not for men. I find vegan diets to be overloaded with soy (promotes estrogen) and deficient in complete BCAAs (hampers protein synthesis).

    If you want to be healthier and lose weight regardless of anything else, this might be a good diet. However if you want to be healthier, lose fat, build muscle, get faster and more powerful, and have more energy, you should choose a higher protein, lower carb, moderate fat diet that targets carb intake around workouts, and avoids red meat and pork in favor of fish and chicken. Just my opinion.

  3. Yeah, I was wondering why they used soy and gluten instead of beans and lentils to do this experiment (oh yeah, and why they didn’t use a real Atkins control). Turns out this study was bankrolled by the soy industry. Cute, huh?

    Here’s my analysis of the Eco-Atkins diet.

  4. Very informative. Always thought high carb isn’t a good diet.

    Soy taken in moderation should be ok, just like everything else. But no need to take soy excessively.

    As pnw fitness said, there’s probably too much processing. and doesn’t sound like a good food choice for men.


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