Do you follow a vegan diet? If so, you might want to try the keto diet for vegetarians. The keto diet for vegetarians has been extensively studied for its health benefits. The ketogenic or Keto diet for vegetarians is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has recently gained popularity for its health benefits.
Are you confused about which vegan foods are best for a keto diet? The diet usually includes animal products like meats, fish, and poultry, but it can adapt to suit vegetarians.
Here are all the details about the Keto diet for vegetarians that you need to know.
Keto diet for vegetarians: what is it?
The Keto diet for vegetarians combines both vegetarianism and ketosis. Generally, vegetarians avoid eating meat and fish but eat animal products like eggs and dairy.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet with a restriction of 20–50 grams of carbs daily. When you consume too few carbohydrates, you enter ketosis, which enables your body to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose.
According to the ketogenic diet, approximately 70% of your total daily calories should come from fat, including oil, dairy, meat, and fish.
However, vegan keto diets eliminate meat and fish in favour of other nutritious fats, such as egg yolks, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
Vegan foods to eat on a Keto diet
Keto vegetarian diets should contain vegan foods such as vegetables, healthy fats, and protein sources.
The following are some vegan foods that vegans should consume:
- Non-starchy vegetables: spinach, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, kale, and bell peppers
- Healthy fats: coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, avocados, and avocado oil
- Seeds: hemp, flax, chia, and pumpkin seeds
- Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts
- Nut butter: peanut, pecan, almond, and hazelnut butter
- Dairy products with full-fat: yoghurt, milk, and cheese
- Protein: tofu, eggs, spirulina, tempeh, natto, and nutritional yeast
- Spices and herbs: paprika, basil, turmeric, salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano, and thyme
- Fruits low in carbs (in moderation): lemons, berries, and limes
Foods to avoid
Vegetarian keto diets do not allow any meat or seafood. Vegan foods high in carbohydrates, such as grains, legumes, fruits, and starchy vegetables, are permitted only in small quantities, as long as they are included in your daily carb allowance.
You should avoid the following foods:
- Meat: pork, beef, goat, lamb, and veal
- Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, and goose
- Fish and shellfish: tuna, salmon, anchovies, sardines, and lobster
Foods to Limit
You should limit the following foods:
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: sweet tea, soda, juice, sports drinks, and energy drinks
- Grains: rice, bread, oats, quinoa, millet, barley, buckwheat, rye, and pasta
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, beets, yams, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes
- Legumes: beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas
- Fruits: bananas, apples, berries, oranges, melon, plums, apricots, and peaches
- Processed foods: granola, cookies, breakfast cereals, crackers, chips, and baked goods
- Sweeteners: white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar
- Condiments: honey mustard, barbecue sauce, marinades, ketchup, and sweetened salad dressings
- Alcoholic beverages: wine, beer, and sweetened cocktails
Despite no research studies examining the benefits of the vegan keto diet, however, much research has been done on the two-parent diets.
Some of the health benefits that can be obtained from the keto diet for vegetarians include:
- Weight loss is promoted
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases
- Controls blood sugar
Side effects of the Keto diet for vegetarian
In addition to its benefits, vegetarian keto diets have a few drawbacks. Due to this, some populations may not be able to use it.
- You may be at risk for nutritional deficiencies
- A flu-like illness can occur.
The bottom line
Vegetarian keto diets are high-fat, low-carb eating patterns that do not include meat or seafood. Moreover, vegetarian and Keto diets may help you control blood sugar, lose weight, and gain other benefits.
While this diet may be beneficial, it hasn’t been studied independently and can increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. However, if you are vegetarian and wish to try Keto – or if you are already following Keto and are interested in going meat-free – you can combine both.