Vegan Keto Diet: Introduction

At first sight, it seems that ketogenic dieters and vegans have nothing in common. While the first ones consume no animal products, the latter eat lots of them. One approach implies eating lots of carbs; according to the second one they should be avoided. It looks like the two diets are the opposite due to different eating habits.

It is still possible to combine them, although it is not an easy thing to do. But what are the advantages? Are there any risks? Let`s find out if the vegan keto diet is a worthy one.

What is the keto diet for vegans?

In the first place, it is necessary to understand what terms “keto” and “vegan” imply. Vegans do not intake any animal products. Similarly, vegetarians never consume meat, fish, eggs or dairy and the rest of food which has even the slightest amount of the mentioned ingredients. The majority of vegetarians avoid not only casein, gelatin and fish oil supplements, but they even refuse refined sugar. The reason is that some companies utilize cow bones to whiten it.

People who keep ketogenic diet are allowed to intake approximately 5% of carbohydrate every day. At the same time protein should make up around 20% and fats – 75% of their daily calories.

So, the point is that vegan keto diet combines both of the approaches. As a result, we have a plan due to which people have a menu with low carbohydrates and high fats where they are not to consume animal products. Theoretically, it seems to be easy to do but in reality, everything is not so easy. The approaches contradict each other.

Carbs are significantly restricted by vegan keto diet and plant-based meal is allowed only. This means that there must be lots of fat, reasonable protein amount and animal product free. The approximate macronutrient diet ratio must include:

  • 55 to 60 percent of fat;
  • 30 to 35 percent of protein;
  • 5 to 10 percent of carbs.

For dieters who normally intake 2,000 calories every day this is equal to around 25 grams of carbohydrate. When the body does not get enough of these macronutrients, it starts to burn fat for energy. This is why there are lots of people who keep vegan keto diet to put off some weight as the total body fat is reduced.

This diet plan has benefits and risks as well, so it is better to be aware of them before you decide to follow it.

Benefits Of Vegan Keto Diet

There are several advantages that are associated with vegan keto diet. According to the studies, it lowers chronic health conditions, cancer and diabetes risks. For instance, dieters are 75% less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and around 78% from type 2 diabetes.

They also tend to lose weight but if comparing to a simple vegan diet, the process is less stressful as the micronutrients are well-balanced. Moreover, they carried out a study in 60 obese teens and children, the results of which showed that the participants put off more fat mass and weight. This outcome would never come from a low-calorie diet. Furthermore, vegan keto dieters are less likely to gain weight as they get older.

Vegan keto diet increases the level of adiponectin that is a protein regulating fat metabolism and blood sugar as well. Higher adiponectin levels result in reduced inflammation and decreases the risk of diseases related to obesity such as heart disease. In fact, this food plan allows people to avoid several major factors for heart problems risk that involve:

  • LDL cholesterol;
  • Hypertension;
  • Triglyceride levels.

Another benefit that makes people opt for this diet plan is energy. When human beings do not consume enough carbohydrates, insulin levels decrease. As blood sugar under control of this hormone, they tend to experience energy crashes in the afternoon. Unlike ordinary ketogenic diet, this one still includes copious amounts of this element; consequently, this will never happen to vegan keto dieters. This is because the plan controls blood sugar in a more effective way rather than standard diet with low levels of calories but high in carbs. Blood sugar becomes stable and people feel more energetic and happier.

Combining both keto and vegan approaches, this diet may improve people`s health significantly without putting them under pressure.

Risks Of Vegan Keto Diet

Notably, this diet plan is more restrictive than ordinary vegan and keto diets as people have to plan their meals more carefully. They may face the risks associated with both of them. This means that they are advised to meet their nutritional needs. The researchers state that, currently, it is not possible to identify long-term health outcomes because there is lack of information on the subject.

Another drawback is that it can be difficult for some dieters to sustain this low carbs intake. There are still several risks of the food plan that involve:

  • low blood pressure;
  • kidney stones;
  • constipation which can be caused by fiber deficiency;
  • lack of nutrients;
  • heart disease caused by saturated fat excess.

In addition, vegan keto diet will not work for several groups such as breastfeeding, pregnant or those who obtain diabetes, liver problems, a disordered eating history, pancreas problems and gallbladder conditions.

Even if there are no mentioned above issues, the dieters are to consider that they will have to go through the following side effects:

  • dizziness;
  • low energy;
  • headaches;
  • muscle cramps;
  • mood swings;
  • sleep problems;
  • weakness;
  • difficulties when trying to concentrate;
  • stomach problems (diarrhoea and nausea).

Although the listed above symptoms are temporary in case of doing everything right, they are still not pleasant.

When keeping vegan keto diet, people can get some health benefits, but they should not forget to plan it well. Otherwise, there would be a lack of several vital nutrients like:

  • Iron;
  • Calcium;
  • Vitamin B-12;
  • Zinc;
  • Omega-3.

For this reason, it is advised to take extra vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid their deficiency. Furthermore, people should consult a doctor before they start the diet.

What To Eat When Keeping Vegan Keto Diet

As it was mentioned above, it is extremely important to make a proper vegan keto diet plan. The meals should be healthy, low in carbohydrates and high in fat.

Here is the list of what is allowed due to this diet:

  • Oils: avocado, coconut, olive, nut and MTC oils;
  • Coconut products: unsweetened coconut, full-fat coconut milk, coconut cream;
  • Berries: all the variety of them such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and etc;
  • Seed and nut butter: cashew, sunflower, almond and peanut butters;
  • Seeds and nuts: pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hemp and chia seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds;
  • Vegan protein sources: tempeh and full-fat tofu;
  • Non-starchy vegetables including peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, Brussels sprouts and leafy greens.
  • Avocados: guacamole and whole avocados;
  • Vegan full-fat “dairy”: vegan cream and cashew cheese, coconut yoghurt and vegan butter;
  • Condiments: fresh herbs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and any spices.

Unlike vegan diet, this food plan does not exclude many food groups, for example, starchy vegetables and whole grains. Vegan keto dieters can receive the necessary calories from whole, unprocessed products but they have to avoid highly processed vegan meals. So, again they need to plan meals very carefully.

What To Avoid Due To This Diet Plan

When people decide to follow vegan keto diet, they have to ready to consume less carbohydrates and more healthy fats and protein. It is forbidden to intake dairy, meat, eggs, seafood and poultry.

This means they cannot have any of such foods as:

  • Dairy: butter, yogurt, milk;
  • Eggs: egg yolks and egg whites;
  • Meat and poultry: pork, chicken, beef, turkey, etc;
  • Ingredients that are animal-based: egg white protein, honey, whey protein;
  • Seafood: shrimp, clams, fish, mussels, etc.

The amount of some products is to be lowered, so the dieters are to intake less:

  • Sugary drinks: chocolate milk, sports drinks, soda, juice, smoothies and sweet tea;
  • Grains and starches: grains, rice, pasta, baked goods, bread and cereal;
  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, winter squash, beets, sweet potatoes and peas;
  • Sweeteners: maple syrup, agave, brown and white sugar;
  • Fruits: the dieters are to limit all fruits. Small portions of berries are allowed, though;
  • Beans and legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans;
  • Low-fat diet food: this type of food is likely to have too much sugar;
  • Alcoholic beverages with high carbohydrates: wine, sweetened cocktails, beer;
  • Highly processed foods: packaged meal is to be limited and replaced by whole, unprocessed meals;
  • Condiments and high-carb sauces: marinades, sweetened salad dressings, barbecue sauce.

Summary

A vegan keto diet is the approach that combines two food plans and avoids animal products consumption. The level of carbs is very low while the levels of protein and fats are much higher. People can enjoy several health benefits like quick weight loss and body fact reduction. Heart health improvement is one of the strongest advantages of this approach. On the other hand, this diet plan cannot be applied by everyone due to some restrictions. Consequently, people should consider advantages and disadvantages of vegan keto diet as well as consult a doctor before they start it.

FAQ

What can you eat on vegan keto?

Vegan keto diet comprises of the following foods: avocados, berries, non-starchy vegetables, seeds, nuts, healthy oils and coconut. The amount of fruits should be reduced to some berries intake. They are also allowed to intake vegan full fat “dairy” such as vegan cream cheese, cashew cheese and etc. They must remember to balance the foods properly, though.

How do vegans get keto?

As vegans consume plant-based products, they can follow this diet as well. This is because they avoid animal-based foods, and vegan keto diet includes none of meat, eggs, dairy or poultry. In this case, vegans will have to rely on high-fat food like avocados, coconut oil nuts and seeds.

Is keto or vegan healthier?

These two approaches are popular, but they are quite opposite. Each of them has some benefits and drawbacks. People should not expect results unless any of them is long-term. Although vegans tend to lose weight quickly, keeping diet alone is not always a guarantee of weight loss. People are different, so they should choose the one that is best for them.

Can you be a low carb vegan?

Yes, it is not hard to cut back on carbs. Dieters just need to consume more products like broccoli, onions, avocados, strawberries, soy, chia seeds, eggplant and more. In fact, if they start keeping vegan keto diet, they automatically become low carb vegans.