Can Vegetarians Do Keto?

Vegetarian Keto – Can Vegetarians Do Keto?

Keto diets have gotten a lot of attention before several years. Compared to other low-carb diets, the keto diet focuses primarily on attaining ketosis.
The health benefits it touts are extensive and well-researched. Likewise, plant-based diets are excellent health-wise, and good for the planet too.
But, can these two diets co-exist?

Vegetarian + Keto

The vegetarian keto diet is a plant-based diet that follows the keto macro ratio.
Many vegetarians are actually “octo-lavo vegetarians.” Meaning, they do eat some animal products like eggs and dairy but abstain from meat and fish.
Keto diets call for following a high-fat and moderate-protein approach.Specifically, aiming for a daily intake of 20% protein, 70% fat—leaving only 20% for carbs.
So, in this respect, it could be a successful diet for vegetarians to follow.
When participants stay within 20-50 grams of carbs per day, they will achieve ketosis.
Ketosis is the key for fat-burning, and why so many individuals enjoy weight loss as a direct effect of keto. And which is possible for vegetarians, too.

Why a Vegetarian Keto Diet Is Good for You

Both vegetarian and keto diets enable weight loss. This can be especially helpful for those with a substantial amount weight to lose. Many studies show that these diets promote greater weight loss than calorie restriction.
Just one benefit of a high-fat diet is that hunger is not a problem. The reduction of cravings enables people to stick to it longer. And as a result, they lose more weight.
Both diets reduce the danger of certain diseases, too. These include diabetes, memory disorders like Alzheimer’s, and cardiac disease. Lower risks for cancer have been reported, too!
Specifically, these diets help insulin resistance. Better control over blood sugar and its fluctuations help to ward off diabetes.

What Is Lacking?

The two of these diets restrict certain food groups. For that reason, nutritional deficiencies can become a problem. These include lowered consumption of B12, protein, calcium, and iron.
When combining these diets, consuming enough fruits and veggies can be problematic. Taking supplements and vitamins can mitigate some of these effects.
For some, getting off their normal way of eating to a keto/vegetarian diet generally is a rough transition. As your body approaches ketosis, flu-like symptoms can come on.
These include headaches, digestion upset, insomnia, nausea, muscle cramps, and dizziness. The great thing is that these side effects are temporary.
Once the body adjusts, a surge in energy and renewed mental focus is often reported!
Pregnant (or breastfeeding) women should consult their physician before trying this diet combo. That goes for children, high-level athletes, and type 1 diabetic, too. Athletes doing high-level training need to exercise caution while in ketosis.

What You Can Eat

In general, you will have to avoid starchy veggies. You should consume as much healthy fat as possible and go for plant protein sources.

As you know more about this diet, it will come more naturally.
But at the start, it’s helpful to keep a listing of approved foods handy:

  • Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower, mushroom, zucchini, and bell peppers
  • Dairy: full-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese
  • Fats: avocado, olive and coconut oil, avocados, and MCT oil
  • Protein: tofu, eggs, tempeh, nutritional yeast, natto, and spirulina
  • Nut butter: hazelnut, peanut, almond, and pecan butter
  • Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, hemp, chia, and flax
  • Nuts: walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia and Brazil nuts
  • Fruit (in moderation): berries, citrus (limes/lemons)
  • Herbs and seasonings: pepper and salt, paprika, basil, turmeric, oregano, thyme, and rosemary

What You Cannot Eat

Going vegetarian means avoiding all seafood, poultry, and meat. You can eat handful of plant protein, as described above. Any high-carb foods should be avoided or eaten in very small quantities.
Keep this list of foods to avoid handy while you know more about the diet:
  • Starchy veggies: yams, potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes
  • Beverages: sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, sport, and energy drinks, sweet tea, and juice
  • Legumes: peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Grains: bread, pasta, quinoa, rice, millet, oats, barley, rye, and buckwheat,
  • Fruit: bananas, apples, oranges, melon, berries, plums, peaches, and apricots
  • Processed foods: cereals, chips, cookies, granola, crackers, and baked goods
  • Condiments: honey mustard, BBQ sauce, marinades, ketchup, and most salad dressings
  • Sweeteners: sugar (brown, white) honey, maple and agave syrup, nectars
  • Alcoholic beverages: wine, beer, and most pre-made cocktails

The Takeaway

You’ll find loads of benefits to trying a keto diet. Likewise, a vegetarian diet delivers plenty of awesome healthy effects, too. Combine the two if we do diligence and you’ll probably be getting the best of both!
The biggest thing to keep close track of is your nutritional amounts. You’ll must make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals, for one. Maintaining ketosis by reducing carbs is another key factor.
Regardless, many vegetarians follow a keto diet without issue, and you’ll probably be one of these!

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