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What Are All These Different Plant-Based Diet Labels (WFPB, HCLF, 80/10/10, etc.) People Talk About?

As you learn more about eating a plant-based/vegan diet, there’s a good chance you’ll run into different ways this can be done.

Let’s go over some of the most popular lifestyle diet programs.

Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet (WFPB Diet for short)

The Lowdown

Focus on eating mainly whole, unrefined and fresh foods as outlined by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

Eliminate as much as possible:

  • refined sugars, flours and salt
  • oils
  • beverages
  • overly processed and junk food products
  • all animal products

Your diet can consist of: fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, tubers, seaweeds, legumes, whole grains, pseudograins, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.

Where We Diverge

Essentially, we:

  • DO encourage the use of high-quality oils when used wisely
  • DON’T encourage using whole grains as staple foods
  • put whole grains in the “eat sparingly” category
  • remove avocado and coconut from the “eat sparingly” category

The 80/10/10 Diet (80/10/10 or 811 diet for short)

The Lowdown

This is a high-carb, low-fat, raw vegan diet, devised by Dr. Douglas N. Graham focuses on getting:

  • minimum 80% of your calorie intake from carbohydrates
  • max 10% from protein
  • max 10% from fats

No cooked food, animal products, or overly processed and refined food products are part of the diet.

Your diet can consist of raw: fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

The bulk of your calories will come from fruit.

Minerals and additional nutrients are included from leafy greens and other veggies.

The majority of your fat intake will come from avocado, coconut, nuts, and seeds.

The general approach is to eat fruit during the day and end with a large salad for dinner which can incorporate high fat content foods.

Where We Diverge

For at least 8 years, we’ve known of this program and paid attention to people following it. For some, the diet proves to be challenging to sustain year over year without occasional “cheating” (i.e. eating cooked food). Though there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this.

If you live in a climate where it’s cold for part or all through the year, you’ll likely find it tough to stick to a raw food diet, let alone one requiring large volumes of fruit intake daily.

Raw Till 4 (RT4 for short)

The Lowdown

This is a high-carb, low-fat, vegan diet, devised by Leanne Ratcliffe (a.k.a. Freelee), that focuses on eating whole, unrefined plant-based foods and sticking to similar macronutrient ratios as The 80/10/10 Diet:

  • Minimum 80% of your calorie intake from carbohydrates
  • Max 10% from protein
  • Max 10% from fats

You’ll be eating large volumes of raw fruits, leafy greens and vegetables until the afternoon (from 4 PM) where you can enjoy cooked meals, typically starch-based.

This usually translates into a raw breakfast, raw lunch, and a cooked dinner.

You can gorge as much as you want with no calorie restrictions.

The diet strongly emphasizes food combining (see Freelee’s chart).

Your diet can consist of: fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, tubers, some grains, and herbs.

Where We Diverge

Unlike 80/10/10, the Raw Till 4 Diet encourages you to enjoy low-fat, cooked meals to make the diet more inclusive and sustainable.

What we don’t stand behind, is the push for unlimited intake of carbohydrates with almost total disregard for foods with higher fat content (e.g. avocado, coconut, nuts, and seeds).

As a beginner, you may feel like having to force yourself to drink a large fruit smoothie or eat 12-14 bananas to achieve a 1000-calorie breakfast.

High-Carb, Low Fat Diet (HCLF for short)

The Lowdown

A high-carb, low-fat diet is pretty self-explanatory once you know the macronutrient lingo.

In this case, most of your calories will come from carbohydrates and the remaining calorie intake is usually divided equally between fats and proteins.

There are different, yet popular ways to follow a HCLF diet, such as:

You can also take bits and pieces from the existing programs and guidelines, then ultimately do your own thing.

Where We Diverge

In our experience, attaching negative stigma to high-fat foods, especially on a plant-based diet, is a mistake.

Neither low-fat or high-fat diets are universally perfect ways to eat for everyone.

But a diet that allows you to consume the amount of fats you need to feel satisfied, and doesn’t intentionally restrict and condemn fats, is a diet that can provide more long-term stability.

We encourage incorporating avocados, olives, coconuts, nuts, seeds, and certain high-quality oils as part of your diet.

These oils should be:

  • organic
  • unrefined
  • unheated (avoid cooking with oils)
  • cold pressed
  • contained in glass bottles

Raw Vegan (Diet)

The Lowdown

A raw vegan is someone who only eats plant foods in their uncooked state or dehydrated at a maximum temperature of 105°F (40.5°C) to 115°F (46.1°C) degrees using a dehydrator.

Raw foods maintain the highest level of nutrient integrity and enzyme-activity.

Cooking reduces the nutritional value of food, making many foods less beneficial.

Of course, some foods, such as legumes, grains and tubers, must undergo additional preparation before you can consume them.

Be aware that you may experience digestive discomfort with certain foods when eaten raw, like broccoli and cabbage, while these same foods may cause no issues at all when eaten cooked.

This may include soaking, sprouting, fermenting and/or cooking, all of which can help reduce antinutrients and natural plant toxins. So there are pros and cons to cooking, but it depends on the type of food.

Your diet can consist of raw: fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, tubers, seaweeds, sprouted legumes, sprouted pseudograins, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, unheated oils, and salt.

Where We Diverge

The raw vegan diet can be a great short solution to improve your health and overall well-being through various kinds of cleanses. It can be argued that no other animal cooks their food.

Depending on your personal circumstances, it may be difficult to switch to being completely raw, but this is definitely a useful tool you should know of.

We advocate the best of both worlds, raw and cooked, to allow success for as many people as possible.

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