Veganism promises incredible health benefits. However, it doesn’t mean you can get away with eating anything plant-based. Just like any other dietary program, you need to follow certain guidelines to get the health benefits that veganism promises.
Fortunately, veganism (except for Carbitarianism) isn’t that different from the standard healthy eating principles. Just limit your consumption of fats, choose your carbs wisely, eat your proteins, and consume whole foods – you know the rules, and so do I.
Despite knowing the drill, however, many vegans end up consuming unhealthy foods. This often happens to those who have turned vegan for reasons other than health and those who have been vegan for quite some time.
No matter your reason for committing to a vegan diet or what stage of the vegan journey you’re at, you need to revisit your strategy if you find yourself reaching out for unhealthy foods quite often.
While treats are good in moderation, consuming unhealthy food regularly will take a toll on your health in the long run. A healthy vegan diet plan can help prevent this by providing detailed dietary guidelines and carefully encouraging you to make food choices. The WSLF vegan diet helps you do just that!
What Is the WSLF Vegan Diet?
As evident from the name itself, WSLF vegan diet, or Whole Starch Low Fat diet, requires eating whole, starchy foods and limiting the consumption of fats. But there’s more to it.
You don’t just increase the consumption of starchy, whole foods. Instead, the WSLF diet requires you to center your meals on whole, unprocessed starches low in fat. Moreover, it calls for eliminating added oils from your diet.
What’s the Concept Behind the WSLF Diet?
The ideology behind the WSLF diet is similar to that of the Paleo diet in the sense that both diets take inspiration from the dietary choices of our earliest ancestors.
The WSLF diet argues that humans evolved from eating whole starch-based diets. Hence, our bodies are adapted for them. It further asserts that whole starches are healthier than processed foods and are calorie-dense. Therefore, they not only promote satiety but also keep you full and support your metabolism longer.
The WSLF diet also does not require portion control or calorie counting, which means you won’t have to starve yourself in the name of healthy eating.
Simply put, WSLF vegan diet allows you to eat until you’re full by making conscious food choices, i.e., consuming more whole, starchy foods and limiting your fat and processed food intake.
Who Created the WSLF Diet?
The WSLF diet was created by the renowned social media influencer and YouTuber couple Alex and Kristin MacDowell, popularly known as Mr. and Mrs. Vegan.
The couple used their more than two decades of experience following a vegan diet to create a plant-based diet that’s healthy and doesn’t require restricting meals to tiny portions that cannot make a child feel full. The WSLF diet ensures that you feel full and energetic for a long time and enjoy good food without compromising your health while following a vegan diet.
What Can You Eat on the WSLF Vegan Diet?
The WSLF diet stresses the importance of taking most of your calories from whole, starchy foods, such as legumes, whole grains, and starchy fruits and vegetables.
Some of the best foods to consume on the WSLF diet include:
- Leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and microgreens
- Starchy vegetables, such as butternut squash, corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
- Fruits, such as bananas and berries
- Legumes – various beans and lentils
- Whole grains – wheat, rice, barley, oats, cornmeal, quinoa
Can there be anything better than a diet that allows rice and potatoes and still falls within the domain of a healthy diet?
What’s even more exciting is that WSLF allows consuming smaller portions of healthy fats, whole wheat bread, and plant-based milk.
What Foods to Avoid on the WSLF Vegan Diet?
There is nothing strictly off-limits on the WSLF vegan diet, apart from animal products, which is pretty obvious, as it’s a vegan diet. However, it encourages eliminating or reducing the consumption of:
- Highly processed foods
- Refined or added sugar
- Added salt
- Smoothies and fruit juices
The WSLF diet also discourages eating high amounts of high-fat foods like olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Need guidance on planning your meals while following a WSLF vegan diet? Let’s learn from the creators themselves!
Check out the following video by Mr. and Mrs. Vegan to see what they eat in a day on the WSLF vegan diet…
How Much Fat Can You Eat on the WSLF Diet?
There is no fixed amount or an upper limit on fat consumption in the WSLF diet. It simply calls for limiting your fat intake. However, the creators of the WSLF diet believe that a healthy diet provides just enough fat that our body needs – we don’t need to add more fats to our foods (something we’re all guilty of doing). Hence, it requires you to prepare your foods without oil since it’s unnecessary fat.
Why Does the WSLF Diet Prohibit Oil?
Simple: because it’s bad for our health.
While we all know that oils are calorie-dense, and too much of them are not good for our health, the creators of the WSLF diet believe that added oils are harmful regardless of the type and amount you’re using.
According to Mr. and Mrs. Vegan, even olive oil isn’t healthy; it’s just less damaging than other oil varieties with high saturated fat content. They are even strongly against adding an oil-based dressing to salads. They believe that even a tablespoon of oil, even if it’s olive oil, can greatly alter the nutrient profile of any food and make your healthy food unhealthy.
What About Sugar and Salt? How Much Sugar and Salt Can You Eat on the WSLF Diet?
The Whole Starch Low Fat diet essentially promotes a food regimen centered on whole foods and limits—if not eliminates—added unhealthy ingredients in meals. This is exactly why it requires its followers to avoid processed foods. So, naturally, it also requires keeping your salt and sugar intake in check.
When following the WSLF diet, you should avoid refined sugar as much as possible. Also, your total intake of added sugar shouldn’t make more than 5% of your daily calories. Unlike many other diets, the WSLF diet doesn’t distinguish between different natural sweeteners; they are all the same. However, it discourages the use of artificial sweeteners.
The sodium limit on the WSLF diet is the same as in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 1 teaspoon or 2300 mg per day.
What Are the Benefits of the WSLF Vegan Diet?
The WSLF diet promotes healthy eating patterns on a vegan diet. Hence, it promises all the benefits that you would get with a healthy diet. Some of the major benefits of the WSLF vegan diet, as highlighted by Mr. and Mrs. Vegan themselves, include the following:
- There are no restrictions on food quantity and no need for calorie counting. You can eat until you feel full.
- Weight loss.
- It makes you less likely to develop chronic diseases, as many are associated with poor dietary habits and wrong food choices.
- Healthy skin, which is claimed to be particularly helpful for clearing up acne.
- You feel more active and remain steadily energetic throughout the day.
- It helps lower food addictions.
- Since the WSLF diet isn’t highly restrictive and doesn’t require eating less and controlling your hunger, it’s sustainable in the long run.
It’s important to note here that these benefits are in addition to what a standard vegan diet offers. You can refer to my article “Why Go Vegan” for a detailed discussion on the benefits of a vegan diet.
Wondering if the WSLF vegan diet really works? Take a look at the feedback shared by its followers on Reddit:
Will I Not Gain Weight Without Portion Control or Calorie Counting?
This is probably the biggest concern people have with the WSLF diet. It may seem that eating until you’re full will make you gain weight. However, it doesn’t happen on the Whole Starch Low Fat diet.
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains—the foods that the WSLF diet is based on—are healthy and packed with a wide range of nutrients. They are good for your health, help you stay energetic and active, and keep you full for longer.
This means that even when you’re eating until full, your overall food intake will likely reduce, and you will only be providing your body with beneficial nutrients.
According to Mr. and Mrs. Vegan, you may experience a slight increase in water or glycogen weight while transitioning to the WSLF diet, but it will only be temporary. In the long run, the WSLF diet will help you achieve and maintain a healthy BMI.
Do You Have to Be a Vegan to Follow the WSLF Diet?
Even though two long-term vegans created it, the WSLF diet doesn’t require everyone to become a vegan. Instead, it only promotes eating healthy plant-based foods.
Since veganism also promotes a plant-based diet, many health enthusiasts choose to follow the WSLF vegan diet, as it combines the benefits of both vegan and whole foods diets. Therefore, WSLF can be said to be a clean version of the vegan diet.
A Final Word – Is WSLF Vegan Diet Sustainable in the Long Run?
The biggest problem with most healthy diet trends is that they are not sustainable in the long run. Some are too restrictive in food choices, while others call for severely limiting your food intake. Other diets also call for fancy ingredients and hence, are expensive, whereas others are too bland and boring. Thankfully, that’s not the case with WSLF vegan diet!
Although the WSLF diet limits certain foods, it gives you a wide range of options to choose from. Furthermore, the foods that it encourages are easily accessible worldwide at affordable rates. The WSLF diet also allows you to eat as much as you want until you feel full.
What makes the WSLF diet even more impressive is that the creators give you a margin for mistakes and fallbacks, and flexibility in certain situations and environments. They also allow you to add some of the restricted foods in small quantities once you achieve your health goals or have developed healthy eating habits.
As mentioned on their official website, mistakes do not mean that you’ve failed for life. On the contrary, you are on the right path as long as you’re trying to make mistakes less often.
In my opinion, WSLF is one of the most humane diets. If you’re a vegan and looking to improve or maintain your health with clean eating, the Whole Starch Low Fat diet is worth giving a try.
Did you enjoy this article or learned something new from it? Interested to learn more about vegan versions of other popular diets? Check out my article Vegan Straight Edge!