The strategy can be a successful one: According to research published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, the keto diet may burn 10 times as much fat as other diets. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best option for everyone—including vegetarians. (Look at how the keto diet transformed Jen Widerstrom's body.)
The goal of a traditional keto diet is to speed up weight loss through fat burning. It's done by following a meal plan that's high in fat, very low in carbs, and moderate in terms of protein, says Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Those ratios mean your diet should break down to approximately 80 percent fat, less than 5 percent carbs, and 15 to 20 percent protein.
Vegetarians following the keto diet could also run the risk of becoming deficient in certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Three big ones: B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. "B12 is largely found in animal products; heme-iron, which is most readily absorbed, is only obtained in animal products; and fish is a great source of omega-3s," explains Sharp. Unfortunately, those aren't the only elements at risk of being deficient. Zinc, an important antioxidant, most often comes from meat and poultry; calcium and vitamin D—two nutrients that are crucial for bone health—are mostly found in dairy products; and magnesium, another important nutrient for bone health (and energy) is typically ingested via grains, which are on the no-no list for vegetarian keto followers.
In this study, each experiment that tested a sugar alcohol against glucose was collected and grouped in order to find an average consensus. Notice that glucose's glycemic index is 100, which makes for easy comparison (table sugar is about 63, for example). As an example of the comparison, look at the first line of the table. You can see that 4 studies compared erythritol with glucose, and the studies found that erythritol had a glycemic index response of zero, on average. This means that of all known studies up to 2003, erythritol did not cause any increase in blood sugar. Xylitol, however, did increase blood sugar, but only has a glycemic index of 13. It is clear that sugar alcohols have some effect on blood sugar, the extent to which is unclear.
Although fat makes a low-carb diet filling, studies show that protein is the most sating macronutrient by far. A common mistake for low-carbers is that they eat less protein in fear that they will go out of ketosis (as a result of gluconeogenesis). However, the truth is that you'd have to eat significantly more protein consistently to disrupt ketosis.
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