Is a vegetarian or vegan keto diet possible?

Is a vegetarian or vegan keto diet possible?

Keto diet menu, keto diet, ketogenic diet

General description:

Vegan diet: A diet free of all animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and fish.

Vegetarian diet: A diet that may include dairy products and eggs, but no meat or fish.

Keto Diet Menu: A very low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet with the goal of entering a metabolic state of nutritional ketosis.

So is a vegetarian or vegan ketogenic diet possible? Short answer: Yes.

The keto diet differs from other diets in that it is not based on food groups that you can or cannot eat.

The keto diet is based on the ratio of macronutrients your body needs to enter a state of nutritional ketosis. (defined by an increase in beta-hydroxybutyrate in the blood).

So any way of eating can be ketogenic, be it vegan, paleo, low FODMAP, etc.

When approaching the ketogenic diet from a plant-based perspective, see which plant-based foods align with the macronutrient ratios you’re following. Stick to it.

General guidelines for following a strict keto diet menu:

Carbohydrates: no more than 50 g total per day; target ~20-30 g

Proteins: 1-1.5 g/kg of body weight; try to stay under 120g

Fats: should make up at least 65-80% of your daily calories (108-133g for someone consuming 1500kcal/day and 144-177g for someone consuming 2000kcal/day)

Vegan Ketogenic “Food Groups”

Oils

Any low-carb food can be used as part of a ketogenic diet. You simply add oils as oils are 100% fat.

For example, low-carb vegetables like broccoli do not have a ketogenic macronutrient ratio. Smother it in coconut oil and it quickly becomes ketogenic.

Be sure to choose the right oils (most are plant-based). If possible, include MCT oil in your meals.

Oils are likely to be your primary source of fat on a vegan or keto diet.

Low carb/ non-starchy vegetables

Try to include it in every meal. Think leafy greens, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cucumbers, celery and zucchini. In addition to supporting a healthy gut microbiome, vegetables make it easier to eat more oils. These ensure a better taste of vegetables. It’s a win-win-win! Tired of boiled vegetables and salad? Add some variety!

Nuts & seeds

Because of their versatility and convenience, these are staples of the vegan ketogenic diet. Just be careful: some nuts contain more carbohydrates than you think.

Examples of low-carb nuts and seeds (number of carbs per 100g):

Pili nuts (4 g)

Hemp seeds (8.67 g)

Brazil nuts (11.7 g)

Pine nuts (13.1 g)

Walnuts (13.7 g)

Macadamia nuts (13.8 g)

Hazelnuts (16.7 g)

Sunflower seeds (20 g)

Almonds (21.6 g)

Flax seeds (28.9 g)

Coconut and coconut products

Yes, coconut is so good it deserves a special place. It is high in fat, relatively low in carbohydrates (depending on the product) and delicious. There are a few ways to incorporate coconut into a ketogenic diet: coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut cream, coconut flour, shredded coconut, in curries, coffee and cakes.

Coconut products to avoid on a ketogenic diet: Coconut sugar/nectar and coconut water due to their carb content.

Proteins

Although the ketogenic diet only requires a moderate amount of protein, protein is essential. Finding low-carb plant-based sources of protein is difficult, so keep a quality protein supplement on hand.

Foods like hemp and pumpkin seeds can provide moderate amounts of protein without significantly overdoing the carbs.

Other Vegan Ketogenic Foods

avocado, olives, kelp noodles

nori (seaweed), pickles, artichokes

sauerkraut, palm lemons

lime, herbs and spices, shirataki noodles

tahini, mustard, hot sauce

apple cider vinegar, kale chips, flax seed crackers

Other Vegan Ketogenic Foods

avocado, olives, kelp noodles

nori (seaweed), pickles, artichokes

sauerkraut, palm lemons

lime, herbs and spices, shirataki noodles

tahini, mustard, hot sauce

apple cider vinegar, kale chips, flax seed crackers

Foods that must be strictly limited or completely avoided:

Grains and Legumes – No bread, pasta, pastries and no chickpeas, lentils or any other beans.

Fruits – especially fruits with high sugar content such as bananas, grapes and mangoes. If you must eat some fruit, stick to a maximum serving of ~¼ cup of wild blueberries or raspberries. These tend to have the least sugar.

Starchy vegetables – Potatoes, corn, beets, and all root vegetables should be eliminated or severely limited on a keto diet.

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