Keto is one of the most popular diets in the world. Everyone who tries to get rid of several kilos or more searches for effective nutrition plans and usually finds a keto one. People who have lost over 50 kilos on it share their results on the Internet. Their followers check the diet and agree that it is efficient. That is why others also try to join successful individuals who managed to become slim on keto.
The only problem that people face is that the fastest weight loss is promised by egg and cheese-eating. What about the keto diet for vegetarians? Does it exist, or should vegetarians refuse the dream of becoming slim? Actually, a vegan keto diet exists. What does it include? How do people get fats without meat and dairy? How does ketosis occur without animal products that are rich in fats and almost without carbs?
What Is Ketosis And How to Reach It?
How do people get their daily energy? They consume carbs, and the organism transforms them into vital energy. If a person eats too many carb-rich foods, the body will store it in problem body areas (abdominal, hips, etc.) and turn it into body fat. Is there any way to burn it without exhausting training and starving? Yes. This process is called ketosis.
Most diets exclude bacon, egg yolk, and fatty cheese from regular meals. That is why a traditional keto diet perfectly suits Americans who are big meat-eaters. They consume approximately 100 kg of meat yearly! Besides, they are fans of eggs, cheese, and milk, so one can find them in almost all fridges in America. The keto diet allows all these products, so US citizens do not have to refuse their favorite products.
If the organism stops receiving carbs, it will start investigating different body parts trying to get it. Having no other ways available, the liver (in some keto-followed time) will use body fat to produce energy. Consequently, a person loses weight and gets rid of excessive amounts of fat in problem areas without hours spent in the gym and constant hunger.
To start ketosis, a person should eat fatty meals that consist of eggs, red meat, seafood, oil, and dairy, especially cheese. As far as one can see, the only vegetarian product here is oil. How to develop ketosis without animal food? The ketosis period must last from three to five days. It is essential to find food that does include animal derivatives and carbs but prevails in fat. The task seems to be hard, but keto specialists managed to find vegan products that fit a keto diet.
Keto Diet for Vegetarians: a Healthy Alternative to Eggs and Cheese
An average keto daily plan must include up to 80% of fat calories, up to 30% – protein, and only 5% of carb calories.
Everything sounds OK until a person looks through the list of available products for the vegetarian keto diet. As a rule, vegans eat all vegetables and fruit to remain healthy and get the required amount of carbs, fats, and proteins. The keto plan changes their world upside down.
First of all, there is little information about the keto diet vegetarian. Not everyone agrees to follow one of the strictest diet plans that exclude not only animal-derived foods but also almost all fruits and pretty many vegetables and cereals. So, the food variety is primitive. Nevertheless, there are many recipes and menu plans to guarantee the required amount of useful fats.
The indisputable advantage for a keto vegetarian is the absence of harmful carbs and fats. The organism does not suffer from grease and ingredients that provoke heart, kidney, and liver problems. Vegetarianism is followed by people in different countries, so an opportunity to lose weight and remain healthy is the reason #1 for keto vegans.
Why Do People Select a Vegan Keto Meal Plan?
The reason to follow a vegan keto diet may be different. There are three most common reasons.
- A person has an allergy to animal products.
- Products made of animals contradict an individual’s beliefs and morality.
- People believe that animal products hurt a human organism.
Another reason for vegetarianism is usual low-calorie meals. Greenery, gluten-free vegetables, and no fruits delete almost all harmful carbs and trans fats from daily intake. Consequently, a person can eat a lot but remain slim. When a body derives the energy from plant and vegetable fats, the organism will face the following health improvements:
- bad cholesterol drops while good rises;
- blood sugar level drops and insulin sensitivity improves;
- lower chances to experience meal-provoked inflammations and allergies;
- improved digestion;
- skin, hair, and nails become healthier;
- well-planned meals supply the body with vitamins and minerals;
- proper body weight does not provoke health disorders and pressure on joints and the skeleton.
Children, who eat many carbs before bedtime, usually have nightmares and face sleeping problems. Doctors recommend avoiding meals 3 hours before sleep and do not include sweets, including natural sweeteners, into dinners because they negatively affect the nervous system. So, fewer carbs but more healthy fat and protein are good for human organisms.
Such diets like keto prevent diabetes 2 and even such horrible diseases as cancer, hypertension, PCOS, and neurological disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, Alzheimer’s diseases, and epilepsy thanks to the low amount of carbs in daily ration.
What Facts Can Prove a Positive Effect of Keto Vegan Lifestyle?
People often like to compare diets, their alternatives, and possible pros and cons. The keto diet has two variants – traditional and vegetarian. It has been said a lot about the traditional diet. What about its vegan alternative? Is it better? What do scientists and researchers say?
Unfortunately, there are no official testings and experiments concerning the comparison of vegetarian and non-vegetarian keto plans. The only research was about two groups of people who ate veggie products but their carbs were different. Forty-seven volunteers who wanted to lose extra pounds decided to join the test and either eat more or fewer carbs.
That study cannot be called 100% vegetarian keto because it had eggs and dairy on daily menus. Nevertheless, both groups managed to lose the desired weight, though the low-carb followers manifested better health and weight results in half a year. It means that carbs are harmful while keto food is healthy if consumed correctly.
Besides, the high-carb group ate over 100 grams of net carbs that did not initiate ketosis in the bodies of volunteers. The allowed dose on a traditional keto is not more than 30 grams a day. Perhaps, they could get better results due to the correct portion of daily carbs.
How to Get Ready for a Vegan Keto?
It is a bad idea to change one’s eating habits abruptly. The organism might negatively react to an exceeding amount of fats in the daily menu. Besides, some people start consuming products they have never eaten before or consume only small portions of them. So, experts recommend first devoting several days to the experiment. For example, a person has never eaten avocados and some nuts before. It will be necessary to try small portions to see if the organism accepts them positively or reacts with an allergy or other side effects.
The next step is to prepare smart eating plans. It has been already said that the diet prevails in whole foods. It is very important to create a well-balanced plan that will include the required macro- and microelements. Due to that, a person will not hurt the health condition. One of the essential details is to cook meals that will guarantee satiety. Otherwise, a person will feel constant hunger, and that will cause breakdowns.
Keto specialists recommend following a 5-step before-diet plan. It will prepare the organism for changes and let a person get the desired results.
Step 1. Learn about Macronutrients and What Vegan Products Have Them
Almost all existing diets deal with the three terms – proteins, carbohydrates (or carbs for short), and fats. Some diets highlight the importance of proteins combined with useful carbs (vegetables, greenery) while others stress the value of fats. Keto plans base daily meals on fats and exclude carbs (not more than 30 grams per day). Consequently, a person should search for products that provide these three macronutrients in the required dose.
Today, developers of various apps have simplified this task. A person should just mention the product and the amount. Besides, one should pay attention to the processing. A few people know that the boiled corn has more calories than canned one or that a carrot gets more gluten after boiling and, consequently, more calories and carbs. So, a person should type boiled, fried, stewed, steamed, or baked before the main ingredient.
Another useful piece of advice is not to use the ready calorie count for dishes. Why? Let’s compare two variants of salads. One person takes one avocado, adds a handful of nuts, and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Another person can do the same but instead of one avocado she will take two and add three tbsp of sunflower oil. Nuts might also be different – peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, etc. As a result, calories and the number of macronutrients will be different.
When a person uses calculators, it will be necessary to add all ingredients. Due to that, an individual will see the value of each product. Eventually, it will be easier to add those products that have more fats and fewer carbs and proteins.
Step 2. Start to Reduce the Number of Carbs from the Menu Gradually
As a rule, vegetarians consume a lot of carbs daily. They can eat only fruits and vegetables, and, of course, their derivatives such as pop-corn, bakery, pasta, etc. That is why it is hard to adjust to the new vegan keto meal plan. Not to stress the body, experts recommend reducing carbs gradually. First, a person should consume 50 grams of carbs daily and then limit them to 20.
What are taboo high-carb products on a vegan keto?
- wheat products (bread, pastry, cookies, pasta);
- vegetables that contain much starch (beans, potatoes, peas)
- almost all fruits.
If a keto vegan wants to eat some fries or pasta, it will be necessary to weigh the dish and check up the table or apply an app to count the carbs. The best option is to prefer durum wheat products that are more useful and slow-digested compared to soft wheat flour. Beans and rolled oats are usually associated with the best protein suppliers, though their carb levels are also high. That is why keto followers are to limit or delete them from their menus.
How to survive on a vegan keto diet if almost all products are prohibited? Below, one can check the list of foods with the lowest portion of carbs per 100 grams.
- Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, arugula, Brussel sprouts;
- Rice made of cauliflower;
- Crackers made of almond flour;
- Chia seeds and products based on them;
- Zucchini noodles;
- Some berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries;
- Only selected fruit types like starfruit, casaba melon, honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
It is necessary to visit web stores that sell snacks and products to suit a vegan keto diet. They are tasty and prevent strong cravings for traditional foods. Their carb level is reduced to the minimum. Due to that, a person does not feel hungry and keeps to the most important keto rule – NO CARBS.
Step 3. Fats Can Be Different. Only Healthy Ones Guarantee the Expected Results
It is hard to find unhealthy fats on a vegan keto meal plan. To be honest, it is hard to find fatty products for the vegan keto diet in general. Vegetarians who want to follow the vegan keto independently always break their heads trying to find vegetables that have enough fats. Besides, monotonous diets are not good for human health. To reach ketosis, one should plan their meals the following way – 80% of fats, 15% of proteins, and only 5% of carbs!
Fats on keto are the only source of energy. So, a person should either investigate the Internet and various sites to create a suitable menu or hire an expert who will do that instead of them.
This is the list of the high-fat vegetarian products one can rely on.
They do not belong to low-calorie foods because 100 grams have over 160 calories. Despite that, the same amount has over 15% of the so-required fat and 8,5% of carbs. So, the menu should not consist only of avocados because of carbs, though it is hard to get the needed fats without it. Except for fats, this vegetable has potassium that people usually take from bananas, sweet potatoes, oranges, grapefruit, and other prohibited vegan keto products. This element stabilizes the nervous system and fluid balance.
Olive Oil (only cold-pressed) and Olives
Perhaps, the easiest way to get 80% of fats is to add olive oil whenever possible. This product is healthier than other natural oil alternatives. Besides healthy fats, it has vitamin E and elements that reduce chances to get inflammation, cancer, digestive problems, and cardiovascular diseases.
Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that heating increases the level of PUFAs that cause cancer, thrombosis, and heart diseases. So, experts recommend processing it as little as possible. For example, people usually add it to salads or sprinkle steamed or boiled vegetables with fresh olive oil. Olives have the same health components and are perfect for raw eating, though most people got used to consuming canned olives.
This product is manufactured especially for vegans and keto vegans. The butter does not include animal milk and creams. The main components are oils made of plants and water. The most typical fat sources here are avocados, coconuts, olives, seldom sunflower oil, and palm kernel oil. Some manufacturers either mix some of them or make one type of butter such as avocado or coconut oil butter.
This butter is not sweet, and a person can add it when processing meals (boiling, frying, stewing, baking). Just like in the case of olive oil, vegan butter is healthier when consumed raw. 100 grams of such butter has 100 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 120 mg of sodium. This butter does not cause heart diseases, obesity, and high blood sugar levels. That is why it is better than an average animal-derived butter.
Coconuts have a lot of fat. It makes 33 grams per 100 grams of coconut meat! The only disadvantage is a high amount of carbs (almost 15 grams in raw coconut and 25 grams in dried one). That is why dieticians and vegan keto experts suggest using coconut oil as the source of healthy fats. It has medium-chain triglycerides that the body can quickly transform into vital energy without storing it in problem body areas.
This product is a must in the initial keto stage because it helps the organism enter ketosis and result in quick weight loss.
This is a vegan type of butter that has 9.5 grams of fats per 100 grams. This product is rich in vitamin E, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, biotin, and calcium. These essential micronutrients help to prevent the creation of plaques, keep hemoglobin in the norm, improve metabolism, and take care of bone health, the central nervous system, and beauty in general.
Nuts and Chia Seeds
Both products are low in carbs and high in fats. The best variant is to eat walnuts because they have 65.21 grams of fats and only 13.71 grams of carbs per 100 grams. Other types of nuts have a bit higher amount of carbs, so it is necessary to be careful when planning meals with them. Besides, they have many calories. A handful of macadamia can add up to 500 kcal!!!
The disadvantage of nuts is their antinutrients and toxic substances that are not dangerous in small amounts but threaten a health condition when overconsumed. Chia seeds have more carbs than fats, though a person cannot consume them too much.
Except for water, people also like other drinks and cocktails. Vegan milk makes it possible. The most popular milk is coconut milk that has almost 17 grams of fat and only 3 grams of carbs. One can add some berries, for example, strawberry, and make a delicious cocktail. The only disadvantage of nut kinds of milk is their high-calorie nature that does not guarantee satiety. So, it can be a holiday drink but not the regular one, unless the calorie limit allows such a treat.
Step 4. Protein Must Be of High Quality
Protein has many amino acids. Animal protein is more useful because it has all of them. There is no fixed amount of protein that a person should eat per day. Everything depends on an individual’s activity and weight. As a rule, a vegan keto diet includes 1-2 grams of protein per 1 kilo and makes up to 25% of daily calories. Protein is a must because it is the main element for muscle construction, especially for people who go in for sports and want to have attractive shapes.
This is a list of healthy protein vegan products:
- extra firm tofu;
- lupini beans;
- nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia);
- sunflower seeds;
- canned black soybeans;
- sacha inchi seeds.
Step 5. Plan Your Keto Diet Thoroughly
It is essential to vary food and include all micronutrients and macronutrients into daily meals. This task might be challenging because the vegan keto diet deprives its followers of many products. This problem concerns not only keto but other diets as well. So, it is essential to supply the body with all vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.
First off, one should spend enough time in the sun because it is the main source of vitamin D. It is easier to find it in animal products. The only vegan product that has it is a mushroom that people grow under ultraviolet lights. If a person lives in regions with lots of rain and gloomy weather, it will be necessary to take this vitamin in pills.
Again, people usually associate it with animal products like milk, cheese, eggs. Fortunately, some plants have them, but their amount is lower. Vegan products with calcium are broccoli, almonds, tofu, kale, pumpkin seeds, arugula, macadamia, and no-sugar almond milk.
The disadvantage of plant-derived vitamin B2 is that they are heavy for the body to absorb. That is why vegetarians usually take B2 pharmacological pills or specific supplements. Broccoli, almonds, kale, and some seeds have B2, though it is not enough.
There are only four plants that have Zinc. These are two types of nuts (macadamia and almonds) and two types of seeds (pumpkin and hemp). Nevertheless, it is never enough, and supplements are a must.
One will never provide the body with the required level of Iodine on a vegan keto. The only way out is to add iodized salt to dishes and buy related supplements.
Only almond milk without sugar, tofu, and nutritional yeast have some vitamin B12. So, just like in other cases, a vegan keto follower should buy it in capsules.
Broccoli, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms, and white cabbage can provide some selenium. These products can be found in the supermarket, though a person cannot consume them a lot because of carbs. So, again, only artificial supplements will help to fulfill the body.
Unfortunately, plants and vegetables have acids that prevent the proper absorption of Iron in humans. A person should add almonds, olives, spinach, macadamia, and raspberries to daily meals to prevent Iron deficit.
As far as one can see, a person who keeps to keto vegan should buy vitamin and mineral complexes to stay healthy. Those who are against artificial supplements should either follow a traditional keto diet or prefer another diet that allows a combination of different products that have all vitamins and minerals.
Pros and Cons of a Vegan Keto Diet
All diets have their positive and negative aspects. This one is not an exception. It has been said a lot about it, and now it is time to sum it up.
- a good, healthy, and more effective way to lose weight compared to the non-vegan meal plan;
- it does not cause chronic diseases;
- it is beneficial for people with diabetes and high blood pressure
- it guarantees high metabolism of fat and better metabolism in general;
- zero risks for obesity and inflammation;
- decrease in the level of bad cholesterol.
- It is the strictest low-carb and high-fat diet.
- It is hard to vary food and supply the body with the required macro- and micronutrients.
- It is expensive because it is picky, and a person needs to order many products online.
- It is hard to find cafes that provide such dishes.
- A vegan keto follower can experience the so-called keto-flu that is characterized by exhaustion, muscle pain, sickness, digestive problems, vertigo, insomnia, and headaches.
Keto experts recommend having enough sleep, drinking water, and taking vitamins to recover from this flu. One needs to do the following calculation to find out the required amount of water per day:
weight: 30, so if one weighs 90 kilos, it will be 3 liters of water daily.
Before a person decides to start dieting, it will be necessary to consult a health specialist. There is a category of people who should not follow a vegan keto diet:
- eating disorders
- diabetes mellitus
- thyroid dysfunction
- liver dysfunction
- pancreas problems
- gallbladder disorders
Daily Meal Plan on a Vegan Keto
The hardest task for beginners is to create a daily meal plan. The variety of ingredients is not impressive, so one should surf the Internet trying to find some menus or recipes of various dishes. One can turn to a dietician, who will create a meal plan that will vary and include all the necessary macronutrients. Below, one can find an approximate vegan keto meal plan for a week.
Breakfast: a pudding made of chia seeds with berries and nuts
Lunch: Tacos made of tofu and that have little carbs
Dinner: Courgette spaghetti with avocado sauce
Snack: vegan butter plus celery
Breakfast: Smoothie made of coconut milk (full-fat) and a protein powder with little carbs
Lunch: Salad (a mixture of tempeh, arugula, nuts, and tomatoes)
Dinner: Courgette spaghetti with olives, nutritional yeast, and vegetarian cheese
Snack: Mousse (chocolate + avocado)
Breakfast: Scramble (tofu, mushrooms, and olive oil)
Lunch: Salad (kale + hemp seed pesto + berries)
Dinner: Vegetarian Mac and cheese cauliflower
Snack: Crackers made of almond flour with guacamole
Breakfast: Eggs (flaxseed + water) with pancakes made of almond flour
Lunch: Curry made of coconut and tofu
Dinner: Fried asparagus on vegan butter and cauliflower (mashed ones + garlic)
Snack: Bell pepper with guacamole
Breakfast: Yogurt made of coconut milk with berries and vegan butter
Lunch: Salad (avocado, spinach, vegetarian cheese, pumpkin seeds)
Dinner: Tofu and rice made of cauliflower
Snack: a handful of nuts and seeds
Saturday and Sunday: repeat meal plans from Monday to Friday; for a snack, one can try energy balls made of nuts and maple syrup or honey.
Vegan keto is strict because it limits the variety of products which makes it hard to create tasty and fatty meals. Besides, one should learn how many calories to get and not exceed. The best effect is achieved due to higher physical activity and proper hydration. To prevent keto flu and avitaminosis, a person needs to take a complex of microelements, sleep not less than eight hours, and eat five times a day not to feel hungry.
Various websites provide different calculators and meal planners. Besides, one can find vegan keto snacks that are tasty and useful. A person can eat them for a snack. It is easy to calculate protein, fats, and carbs because manufacturers mention this data on a package. So, one should plan everything well to enjoy a healthy keto diet without side effects and breakdowns. Satisfaction guarantees long-lasting dieting and minus many kilos.