5 Vegan Foods That Make You Fat
A vegan diet may be healthy and ethical, but it can pack on pounds if you’re not careful
A vegan diet, the more restrictive cousin of a vegetarian diet (no meat or dairy), is becoming increasingly popular, with vegan restaurants popping up across the country and lines of packaged vegan foods showing up on grocery store shelves. While this eating style is often naturally lower in fat and calories than the average American diet, due to its emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, going vegan doesn’t guarantee weight loss. In fact, it could actually cause weight gain if you’re not careful, according to Rachel Begun, MSRD, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“No matter what dietary plan you follow, whether or not it’s healthy or good for weight loss depends on nutritional value, portion sizes, and overall calorie intake,” she says. Here are five foods common in a vegan diet that have the potential to pack on pounds.
This tropical tree nut is a mainstay of vegan eating and very high in saturated fat, the type that can increase bad cholesterol, as well as calories. It’s used as cooking oil, as a creamy base for soups and stews, and as a non-dairy ice-cream alternative. And with good reason—it’s delicious! But just like cooking with cream and butter, it should be used judiciously, not as an everyday food source. Plus, there’s no evidence proving that this type of saturated fat is any healthier than the type found in animal products.