The ketogenic diet promotes weight loss and other health improvement benefits. But what does it really mean to be in a keto diet? Being in a keto diet means having low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein food consumption. And sad to say, this type of food consumption is often associated with eating animal products.
Does that mean that vegan cannot do the keto diet?
There are plant-based methods to do ketogenic diet so vegans can also gain the diet’s many health benefits. But because vegan diets exclude all animal-based products, it is more difficult to have a low-carb consumption.
If there’s a will, there’s a way. But in vegan keto diet, it is not just will that can make it possible. It should be partnered with careful planning to be fully achieved.
What is Vegan Keto Diet?
In keto diet, dieters have to reduce it carbohydrate intakes and make it at least 50 grams per day to reach the ketosis state. Ketosis is the metabolic state wherein the body rely on fats as an energy fuel source instead of glucose (sugar).
The keto diet also increases its fat intake for about 75% of the meal intake. Keto dieters rely much on animal products such as meats, full-fat dairy, and butter to achieve the 75% fat intake. However, vegans can also achieve the keto diet by eating plant-based products.
Vegans are basically the people who eliminate animal products from their meal. But consuming plant-based fats is not a myth. They can take it from grains, fruit, and vegetables.
The Benefits of Vegan Keto Diet
The first question to arise here is what is the benefit of a vegan keto diet? Well, keto diet and vegan has promising health benefits. Unfortunately, there are no studies available that focus on “keto plus vegan diet”. So let’s focus on what each diet can do for your body.
Benefits of Vegan Diet
First is the vegan diet. It has been shown to decrease the risk of many diseases, especially chronic ones, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
For instance, a study shows that vegan dieters a lower chance to develop high blood pressure. Thus, type 2 diabetes is as well have a lower risk to develop in a person.
In pertaining weight loss, vegans have greater tendencies to lose weight than those who are non-vegans. In fact, a study proved that vegans are more successful when it comes to losing weight.
Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
On the other hand, the keto diet is also related to many health benefits just like a vegan diet. Included in its benefits are its positive impact on weight loss, blood pressure, and heart health.
In a study wherein 58 obese children are the participants. The researchers found that children who follow ketogenic diet have a greater weight and fat loss than children who follow a low-calorie diet.
Additionally, having a positive fat metabolism and regulate blood sugar is one of the keto benefits. The body’s adiponectin can significantly rise because of the process of a keto diet. And adiponectin is associated with blood sugar. High levels of it mean a reduction of inflammation, a better blood sugar control, and a lower risk of obesity-related conditions. So, it has also power with heart health.
Being armed with all this knowledge, we can then assume that combining the two diets (keto and vegan) can both have a positive outcome for our health.
How to Do the Keto Diet the Vegan Way?
Food to Avoid
If you are decided to do a vegan keto diet, you have to reduce your carb intake and switch it with healthy plant-based fats. Any animal products such as eggs, poultry, meat, seafood, and dairy are all eliminated in your diet.
Thus, to fully accomplished vegan keto diet, the following sample list of food should be avoided:
- Eggs: both egg yolk and egg white
- Poultry: chicken and turkey
- Meat: beef and pork
- Seafood: clams, shrimp, mussels, and fish
- Dairy: yogurt, butter, and milk
- Animal-based ingredients: egg white protein, honey, whey protein
Food to Limit
There are so many food that should not really be eliminated, but decreasing the consumption of it is required. Some examples are:
- High processed food: packaged food intake should be limited; on the contrary, whole, unprocessed food should be increased
- High-carb sauces and condiments: marinades, sweetened salad dressings, and barbecue sauce
- Low-fat diet food: limiting your low-fat diet food is vital as it is high in sugar
- High-carb alcoholic beverage: wine, sweetened cocktails, beer
- Fruit: certain fruit such as berries are permissible, otherwise should be limited
- Beans and legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans
- Starchy vegetables: peas, beets, winter squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes
- Sweeteners: maple syrup, agave, white sugar, brown sugar
- Sugary drinks: chocolate milk, sports drinks, smoothies, juice, soda, sweet tea
- Grains and starches: grains, pasta, rice, baked goods, bread, cereal
When following a vegan keto diet, the carbohydrate level restriction varies on individual needs and health goals. However, consuming high-fat and high-protein vegan food should remain and be the priority of the diet.
Allowed Food in Vegan Keto Diet
Now, let’s discuss what to eat when doing a vegan keto diet. It is vital that you emphasize healthy high-fat and low-carbs vegan food.
Here are some examples of what to eat during the diet:
- Berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and moderate strawberries
- Avocados: guacamole, whole avocados
- Vegan full-fat dairy: vegan cream cheese, cashew cheese, vegan butter, coconut yogurt
- Condiments: spices, pepper, salt, lemon juice, fresh herbs, nutritional yeast
- Vegan protein sources: tempeh, full-fat tofu
- Non-starchy vegetables: mushrooms, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens
- Seed butter and nut: cashew butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, peanut butter
- Seeds and nuts: pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds
- Oils: avocado oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, nut oil, olive oil
- Coconut products: unsweetened coconut, coconut cream, full-fat coconut milk
As you may have noticed, many of the food groups where vegans rely on like starchy vegetables and whole grains are cut because of the keto diet. But following a vegan keto diet is still doable with careful planning.
The experts remind that vegan keto dieters’ calories should come from whole, unprocessed food.