Do you want to experience the many advantages of a ketogenic diet as a vegetarian? Or maybe you already follow a ketogenic diet but have been debating skipping meat.
The good news is that adopting a vegetarian keto lifestyle is undoubtedly possible. You should be warned that there could be some negative health effects.
Learn how to adopt a vegetarian ketogenic diet in this video for a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
Table of contents
- Are vegetarians on the keto diet at risk for any health issues?
- What different types of vegetarians are there?
- What vegetarian diets complement keto the best?
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Are vegetarians on the keto diet at risk for any health issues?
Despite the fact that some people abstain from eating meat out of concern for the environment or animal welfare, others might choose vegetarianism because they think it is healthier. However, vegetarian diets are frequently high in grains and legumes, so they might not be the greatest option for people who prefer to manage their diabetes through diet as opposed to medicine.
Additionally, a low-fat, high-carb vegetarian diet frequently results in people feeling hungry all the time and making it difficult to lose weight.
As a result, many people who want to forego meat while still reaping the benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle may find the idea of a keto vegetarian diet to be tempting.
However, you should be aware that a vegetarian ketogenic diet might lead to protein, some important fats, and various vitamin and mineral deficiencies. However, the type of vegetarian diet you follow and the range of foods you eat will determine your risk for vitamin deficiencies. You are more likely to become deficient if your diet is more restrictive.
What different types of vegetarians are there?
The various vegetarian classifications are as follows, from the strictest to the most lenient:
Vegans abstain from honey as well as dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, meat, and other animal products.
Dairy is consumed by lacto vegetarians, who forego eggs, seafood, poultry, and meat. The majority of vegetarians in India consume food in this way.
Vegetarians who follow the lacto-ovo diet consume dairy and eggs but forego meat, poultry, and shellfish. In the US, Europe, and other western nations, this type of vegetarianism is the most prevalent.
Pescatarians forego red meat and poultry in favor of seafood, dairy products, and eggs. As a semi-vegetarian diet, this one doesn’t have a higher risk of nutrient deficiencies than meat-based diets do.
What vegetarian diets complement keto the best?
The majority of vegetarian lifestyles can include keto. Naturally, the more liberal varieties of vegetarianism permit a larger variety of dietary options, which can enhance the enjoyment of meals.
It’s even feasible to follow a vegan-keto diet, but it’s considerably more difficult. All nine of the essential amino acids must be present in the protein we eat as humans in order to be healthy. The majority of plants lack one or more necessary amino acids, whereas animal protein has all of them in the quantities we require.
Vegans often eat a variety of grains, legumes, and seeds to satisfy their necessary amino acid requirements because they abstain from all animal products.
One choice for individuals who want to stay away from any animal products is the “Eco-Atkins.” Compared to most vegan diets, Eco-Atkins is fully plant-based and has fewer carbohydrates. But because it contains grains and has more than 50 grams of daily net carbs, it isn’t regarded as keto.
A 5 step plan for following a vegetarian ketogenic diet :
Here is a 5 step plan of action for following a well planned keto vegetarian diet :
1 – Reduce carbohydrates
It’s important to keep your daily net carb consumption to 20 grams in order to enter and stay in ketosis. As a result, you must stay away from a number of common vegetarian protein sources, including quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, and pulses. For the majority of people, these items contain too many carbohydrates to be a component of a ketogenic diet. Be sure to avoid milk, starchy vegetables, and fruits, with the possible exception of a few berries.
2 – Include a high-quality protein source at every meal
As was previously mentioned, with very few exceptions, only animal products’ protein includes all nine of the essential amino acids in the quantities required by your body.
The protein content of a vegetarian diet can be improved by incorporating keto-friendly, low-carb plant proteins like nuts and seeds with sources of animal protein like dairy and eggs.
The majority of people should strive for 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilo of reference body weight, according to Diet Doctor’s recommendations. Depending on health conditions, body composition, amount of activity, and age, that normally equates to at least 70 grams of protein per day while following a ketogenic diet.
What quantity do you need? Based on your height, use this straightforward tool to determine what your daily protein minimum aim should be.
The target amount of protein falls in the middle of the range that is advised. desired amount of protein per day :
Height Women Men
Under < 163 cm 90 grams 105 grams
163 to 170 cm 100 grams 110 grams
171 to 178 cm 110 grams 120 grams
179 to 188 cm 120 grams 130 grams
188 cm + 130 grams 140 grams
3 – Eat 1 to 3 servings of vegetables at least twice a day
There are many delicious, high-fiber vegetables that are also keto-friendly that can help you reach your daily micronutrient requirements.
5 top keto vegetables :
Spinach: rich in potassium, magnesium, and iron, with only one gram of net carbs per serving.
Zucchini: a great option for noodles and an excellent supply of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 with only 3 grams of net carbohydrates per serving.
Avocado: good source of fiber, magnesium, and potassium, and each serving contains 2 grams of net carbohydrates.
Brussels sprouts: contains 5 grams of net carbohydrates per serving, high in vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
Cauliflower: only 4 grams of net carbs per serving, it is the ideal keto-friendly substitute for mashed potatoes and rice and a fantastic source of fiber and vitamin C.
4 – Use healthy oils for cooking and when making salad dressings
Natural fats give food a better texture and might prolong your feeling of satiety. They are also required for the effective absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
As the majority of your calories on a ketogenic diet come from fats, it’s critical to use natural, nutritious keto fats and condiments for meal preparation and consumption, such as butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.
As a general rule, we advise concentrating on less processed foods that are closer to their original source, despite the fact that the facts about vegetable and seed oils and their health effects are inconclusive.
5 – Season your food with different herbs and spices
A vegetarian diet might benefit from more diversity by using herbs and spices when cooking. Furthermore, they contain very little net carbohydrates and are a further source of micronutrients. Try some you haven’t used before in addition to the more popular ones like basil, rosemary, and cinnamon. You could discover a few new favorites.
3 top vegetarian proteins :
Egg : high-quality, easily digestible protein; choline, which has been linked to improved brain function; incredibly adaptable and affordable. Two big eggs have 1 gram of carb and 14 grams of protein.
Greek yogurt : Rich in protein, a great source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and a source of probiotics that may improve immunity and digestive health. Per 6 ounces, there are 4 to 7 grams of carbohydrates and 15 to 20 grams of protein.
Hemp seeds : High in protein, soluble fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids; excellent source of magnesium and potassium. Per ounce, there are 1 gram of net carb and 9 grams of protein. (28 grams)
Keto vegetarian protein sources :
Cottage cheese: 6 ounces include 20 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrates.
Parmesan and Romano cheese: 1 gram of carbohydrate and 9 to 10 grams of protein per ounce.
Hard and semi-hard cheese (cheddar, gouda, provolone, Swiss, etc.): Per ounce, there are 0.5 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrates and 7 to 8 grams of protein.
Soft cheese (Brie, Camembert, feta, blue cheese, queso blanco, etc.): Per ounce, there are 0 to 1 gram of carbs and 4 to 6 grams of protein.
Peanut or almond butter: 2 tablespoons provide 7 to 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of net carbohydrates.
Remember that vegetables can contain small amounts of protein. The majority of vegetables offer 2 grams of protein per cup.
Instead of using protein powders, bars, or shakes, we advise getting the majority of your protein from minimally processed foods. Whole foods are more likely to have the necessary micronutrients and to be devoid of unnecessary fillers.
How about soybeans?
Tofu is a great example of a soy food that is a great source of plant-based protein. On the basis of primarily animal and test-tube investigations, worries have previously been expressed concerning soy isoflavones’ potential negative consequences. However, the majority of the study on soy consumption by people is favorable in terms of safety and illness risk.
For those with healthy thyroid function, soy does not appear to have any negative effects on the thyroid gland. However, there is conflicting data regarding the likelihood that soy consumption would cause subclinical hypothyroidism in persons to evolve to more overt hypothyroidism. The danger seems to be modest, and consuming enough iodine in your diet should further lower this already low risk. The finest low-carb vegetarian sources of iodine are seaweed, yogurt, and iodized salt.
People with hypothyroidism should take their thyroid medication separately from a soy-heavy meal since larger doses of soy may interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormones. Most hypothyroid patients will find this guidance simple to follow since levothyroxine is often administered 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. However, the continual presence of soy in those who take it numerous times daily could bind to levothyroxine and significantly hinder its total absorption since some of the absorbed levothyroxine flows back and forth between the intestines and liver.
Additionally, studies have looked into whether soy affects sex hormones in both men and women. Although preliminary research on animals and in test tubes raised alarm, most human investigations have found either negligible or no impact on sex hormones and reproductive health. This includes contradictory information on early female puberty, lower male and female fertility, and other issues.
The advantages of soy appear to exceed the risks if you’re on a ketogenic or low-carb diet and wish to stay away from animal products.
Proteins made from soy :
Tofu (extra firm): 8 ounces of tofu include 3 grams of net carbohydrates and 24 grams of protein.
Edamame (green soybeans): 19 grams of protein and 6 grams of net carbohydrates are found in 5.5 ounces of edamame.
Tempeh: Tempeh has 7 grams of net carbohydrates and 18 to 20 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces.
Natto: Natto has 7 grams of net carbohydrates and 18 to 20 grams of protein every 3.5 ounces.
On a vegetarian keto diet, how to prevent nutrient deficits?
For their daily nutritional requirements, vegetarians frequently rely on grains and legumes. Make careful to acquire enough omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, potassium, and magnesium when following a vegetarian ketogenic diet, which forbids the use of these foods. If you can’t receive an adequate intake from your food sources, make sure to take the proper supplements.
You should be able to meet these requirements if you adhere to the 5-step plan, which calls for eating lots of very-low-carb veggies and high-quality vegetarian protein sources. If you want to be absolutely certain that your body is getting the micronutrients it needs, add these items frequently in your diet:
Nuts & seeds :
100% dark chocolate
Plain greek yogurt
You may benefit from paying attention to the nutrients you may be weak in if you follow these instructions but still don’t feel your best. By frequently monitoring specific blood tests, such as B12 levels, you can also prevent any potential shortfalls. To decide which tests are best for you, speak with your healthcare professional.
How to Go a Healthy Vegetarian Keto Diet ?
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