Vegetarianism and veganism – two variants of a meatless diet that seem quite restrictive in themselves – is it possible to combine them with an elimination diet, such as a low-carb ketogenic diet? Although theoretically the ketogenic diet seems hard to imagine without meat, in practice such a way of eating is entirely feasible. How to properly balance a vegetarian keto diet? What products to consume and which ones are better to avoid? Is there such a thing as vegetarian ketosis, and if so – what is it? Read our article and find the answers to all your questions about the vegetarian ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic diet and vegetarianism
The traditional ketogenic diet is based on consuming a large amount of healthy fats, a moderate amount of protein, a small amount of carbohydrates. While the main sources of healthy fats are meat and other animal products, there are ways to replace them with plant-based products. This makes the vegetarian ketogenic diet possible. There are the following variants of vegetarian keto diets:
- classic vegetarian ketogenic diet – giving up fish, meat, seafood and some animal-derived products such as gelatine. Consumption of eggs and dairy products is allowed;
- semi-vegetarian diet – meatless; consuming only fish and seafood;
- keto lacto vegetarianism – only consuming milk and its derivatives;
- vegan ketogenic diet – complete abstinence from consuming animal-derived products.
During the implementation of a wege type of ketogenic diet, vegetarian ketosis occurs, which works the same as regular ketosis. Since the amount of carbohydrates consumed is continuously decreasing and thus there is a lack of products rich in sugars, the body switches to drawing energy from fats instead of glucose.
Can vegetarians go on a keto diet? Will it work?
On a meatless ketogenic diet, you can achieve exactly the same effects as when consuming meat. Most ketogenic diet recipes contain animal products rich in healthy fats, and creating something like a vegetarian menu can pose some challenges. However, these are only apparent.
Among our recipes, you will find quick, tasty, and above all, healthy vegetarian dishes with a low glycemic index, which will be an ideal choice for all those who want to give up animal products. Be sure to try dishes such as cauliflower puree, zucchini baked with parmesan, or a bowl with cheese, avocado, and salsa.
What to eat on a keto veggie diet?
People following a veggie keto diet should avoid highly processed products, rich in carbohydrates and protein. Instead, it is definitely better if they opt for diverse, wholesome foods that will provide a sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins. Remember that during a ketogenic diet, about 60-80% of the daily portion of calories should come from various sources of healthy fat. A vegetarian diet does indeed eliminate meat, which is their main source, but there are many healthy, completely plant-based substitutes.
What groups of products should be included in a vegetarian ketogenic diet?
If you want to be sure that the vegetarian ketogenic diet you are following does not cause deficiencies, be sure to compose meals in such a way that they contain products from the following groups:
- plant oils – olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil, coconut oil;
- dark green leafy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables – spinach, zucchini, cauliflower, kale;
- nuts and seeds – walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios;
- full-fat dairy products – yogurt, milk, and cheeses;
- low-carb fruits – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bilberries.
What to replace meat with on keto?
How to start a vegetarian keto diet? What to replace meat with? First of all, reach for wholesome ingredients rich in vitamins D and B12, calcium, zinc, iron, and protein. These include tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Not only can they replace fish or meat, but they are also a rich source of protein and dietary fiber. An adequate amount of nutrients is crucial to ensure good health on all elimination diets, including the ketogenic diet.
Positive effects of the keto diet in a veggie version
A study conducted among people on a vegetarian keto diet showed that such a form of nutrition reduces the incidence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. Thanks to the low content of carbohydrates in the diet, the proper level of blood sugar is also maintained, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
So, if in addition to reducing unnecessary kilograms and achieving your dream figure, you care about general health benefits, and at the same time you want to limit the consumption of meat and animal products, then definitely keto vegetarianism will be a perfect fit for you.