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What is the Ketogenic (Keto) diet?

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Can vegetarians eat a Keto/Low carb diet?

February 27, 2018

It always seems to come around every few years. Keto dieting: consuming 65-75% of your calories from fat, 15-20% from protein and 5% from carbs. 

Competitive bodybuilders, bikini, figure and physique competitors have been using this method of dieting for years with great results. 

Traditionally when you hear about the Keto diet, you hear it linked to the all you can eat bacon, cheese and pork rinds.  

 

What about vegetarians?

As for individuals living a plant based lifestyle is concerned, hundreds of pro athletes at the very best in the sport have credited their success to a veggie habits. (Carl Lewis, Joe Namath and Venus Williams)

 

"But I'm a vegetarian who would like to do the ketogenic diet."

what are you supposed to do if a moderate to high-carb vegan diet doesn’t work for you and a standard ketogenic diet may be what you need, but it contains too many animal products?  


The Vegitarian ketogenic diet is one of the most restrictive diets, but it is possible to pull it off while maintaining your sanity, decreasing animal suffering, improving your health or for religious reasons. 

To implement the diet correctly, here are a few things to consider:

Supplements:

Supplement with nutrients that you may not be getting enough of like vitamins D3, B12, & B6, DHA & EPA, iron, zinc, and taurine.


It seems hard enough to restrict carbohydrate consumption on a regular ketogenic diet, so how are you supposed to limit them on a vegetarian keto diet? Let’s start with a simple list of high-carb foods that you shouldn’t include in your diet at all.

Do Not Eat: 

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.

  • Legumes — lentils, black beans, peas, etc.

  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.

  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.

  • Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

 

Now let’s look at low-carb vegan-friendly foods that you can eat on a vegan keto diet:

Do Eat: 

  • Vegan “meats” — tempeh, tofu, seitan, and other high-protein, low-carb vegan “meats”

  • Mushrooms — shiitake, king oyster, lion’s mane, etc.

  • Leafy greens – spinach, kale, etc.

  • Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.

  • High fat “dairy” – unsweetened coconut-based yogurt, coconut cream, vegan cheeses, etc.

  • Nuts and seeds – pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.

  • Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries

  • Fermented foods — Natto, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc.

  • Sea vegetables — dulse, bladderwack, kelp, etc.

  • Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners >

  • Other fats – coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, red palm oil, etc.

 

For a more comprehensive breakdown of the calories, fats, proteins, and carbs in some of these foods, check out the ketogenic diet food list.

By eating the foods on the “Do Eat” list, you will be able to follow a vegetarian ketogenic diet and cover most of your nutritional bases. Luckily, there are some simple substitutions you can make that will allow you to “veganize” almost every keto recipe. 

 

After speaking with individuals doing the Keto diet, some Carnivores , and some Vegetarians,

It is my opinion that a Keto diet as a vegetarian would be more suitable for me. 

I am not a vegetarian, and I do enjoy the occasional steak and/or burger. However, the veggie option seems to be a more doable option. 

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