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A vegan keto diet is a plant based version of the popular ketogenic diet. Vegan diets are free from animal products, which means that they tend to be relatively high in carbohydrates.
As a result, following a keto diet can be more challenging for vegans.
However, In this article we will find out how with some adjustments to their diet, vegans too can enjoy the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
A growing number of consumers nowadays are choosing to go vegan or opting for plant based diets and cutting out all meat and animal products from their diet.
But as you might have heard – vegans and ketogenic dieters don’t have a lot in common. One eats no meat and the other eats a lot of it.
Vegans don’t mind having some carbs while those on keto diet avoid them at all costs.
Can a person go keto as a vegan? Is it possible to combine these two approaches?
The short answer is – Yes, but with some careful planning.
Let’s find out how.
What Is the Vegan Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is low in carbs, high in fat and moderate in protein.
Carbs are typically reduced to less than 50 grams per day which is about 5% of their daily calories while keeping protein intake at around 20%.
This helps in reaching and maintaining ketosis — which is a metabolic process in which your body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose.
In a keto diet 75% of your calories should come from fat so the typical keto dieters often turn to high-fat animal products, such as meats, butter and full-fat dairy.
This doesn’t mean that those who eat plant-based diets, including vegans, can not follow a ketogenic diet.
People on a vegan diet can consume plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits and grains for their share of carbs and proteins while avoiding animal-based foods like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.
To reach ketosis – Vegans can rely on high-fat, plant-based products like coconut oil, avocados, seeds and nuts.
Health Benefits of Vegan and Ketogenic Diets
Following a vegan diet has been shown to lower the risk of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Also, vegans tend to weigh less than non-vegans, and those who adopt vegan diets are more successful at losing weight than people who eat animal products.
In a vegan keto diet getting enough protein is essential. Although protein from animals provides all the essential amino acids in amounts your body needs.
But combining different types of plants can also provide all the essential amino acids in the amounts required.
Though the keto diet cuts out many food groups that vegans rely on, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables, a keto diet can be followed with careful planning.
Vegan keto dieters should get their calories from whole, unprocessed foods while avoiding highly processed vegan foods.
What should you eat on a keto vegan diet?
For your proteins and carbs you can choose from the following.
#1. Beans and legumes
Legumes are loaded with health benefits. They have proteins and have zero cholesterol with almost the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk.
They also have Lysine, an essential amino acid and they also provide fiber, protein, carbohydrate and many other vitamins.
You can choose from a variety of Lupini beans, lentils, Black beans, Pinto beans or Chickpeas.
Eating soy is a great way to increase your plant protein. Research indicates that including more plant protein in your diet, as opposed to more carbohydrate, has clear cardiovascular benefits, such as lowering blood pressure.
You can have canned black soybeans, Tempeh, Edamame beans, Tofu.
#3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are very good sources of fat, fiber and protein.
Most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat.
Nuts also pack a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E.
Hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts are a great source of your daily intake of proteins and healthy fats.
#4. Nut butter
From almond to cashew and sesame to walnut, seed and nut butters contain great nutrients, and proteins.
Nut butters contain natural, healthy fats that are good for your heart, cholesterol, and help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
You can take your pick from peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter. They are all highly nutritious and a great source of protein on a vegan keto diet.
What vegetables can you have on a vegan keto diet?
There’s a simple rule:
Above-ground vegetables are generally lower in carbs and are usually the best keto options.
Whereas below-ground vegetables — also known as root vegetables — contain more carbs and aren’t a great choice, especially potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Non-starchy vegetables such as Leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms are some of the best veggies that you can load up on a vegan keto diet
What are the best fruits that you can have on a vegan keto diet? Fruits generally contain quite a lot of carbs mostly in the form of sugar.
On a vegan keto diet you can have most berries in moderate amounts. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries can be eaten in small amounts on a ketogenic low-carb diet, and you can eat them more freely if you’re on a more moderate low-carb diet.
You can also have plum, peach, cantaloupe and kiwis in moderate amounts.
When following a high-fat, very-low-carb ketogenic diet, it’s important to remember that not all fats are created equal.
Some sources of fat are better for you than others, and it’s critical that you fill your plate with the most wholesome options to successfully reach your weight loss goals.
Avocados and avocado oil, olives and olive oil, coconut and unrefined coconut oil, cocoa butter are a few healthy sources of fat you can enjoy on a vegan keto diet.
When following a keto diet, you must significantly reduce your carb intake and replace carbs with healthy fats and vegan sources of protein.
Animal products, including eggs, meat, poultry, dairy and seafood, are excluded on a vegan keto diet.
Foods To Avoid on a Vegan Keto Diet
#1. Grains and Starches
The key to a successful keto diet is simple—limit your carb intake and get the majority of your calories from fat.
The problem with grains is that they are filled with carbohydrates, which can hurt your keto progress. It’s best to avoid grains altogether if possible.
#2. Sugary Drinks
Drinking a sugary soft drink on a keto diet is never a good idea, but size truly matters. A large bottle has more carbs than almost an entire week’s keto allowance.
A can of soda can kick you out of ketosis for a day, but a large bottle may prevent ketosis for a number of days or even a week.
#3. Starchy Vegetables
Being on a keto diet means that you are consuming only 25 to 50 grams of net carbs per day.
To achieve this, you should avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, and squash.
Non-starchy vegetables, on the other hand, can be consumed freely and in large quantities.
#4. Highly processed foods
On a vegan keto diet, avoid processed foods as they have been compromised by the addition of hormones, additives, preservatives or other unnatural genetic material that alter or destroy the natural healthy enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
#5. Most Alcoholic Beverages
Unlike most diets, which usually forbid all alcohol, the keto diet allows moderate consumption of specific alcoholic beverages.
Dry red and white wine is fine in moderation but beer and sweetened cocktails should be avoided on a vegan ketogenic diet.
#6. Bread, Pasta, Rice and Cereal
Most breads and pastas are high in carbs and should be avoided as they can spike your blood sugar levels which can wreck ketosis happening in your body.
A vegan keto diet may offer some health benefits, such as rapid weight loss and a reduction in body fat.
Similar to a vegan diet, a vegan keto diet may provide some benefits to heart health.
It is vital to plan a vegan keto diet carefully and to take nutritional supplements to avoid deficiencies.
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