First things first: When you hear that the keto diet emphasizes consuming fats over carbs, that doesn't mean fats from drive-through fries or something of that sort (as sad as that may seem). It means consuming fats from things like avocado, eggs, nuts, seeds, ghee, and coconut oil. These healthy fats fuel your body's energy in replacement of carbohydrates, contributing to the aforementioned possible benefits of the diet. That's why these foods are a good place to start when talking about all things vegetarian and keto and can be considered as the building blocks of many healthy vegetarian/keto recipes.

Since successfully losing 100lbs by changing her relationship with food and her body, Sarah has taken her passion for food and balanced it between cucumbers and cupcakes. When she's not bustling her way around a kitchen, you can find her working out or winding down at home with her 3 kids and pug. Follow Sarah's journey on Instagram @TheBirdsPapaya.


If you were doing a more conventional ketogenic diet previously and relying on animal foods, you may have only counted the protein in those foods toward your allotment for the day because they are complete sources. In other words, the protein in animal products contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs from food and in substantial amounts. This is a rare find in plant foods, and the reason that bodybuilders have historically kept track of the protein they eat from chicken, beef, and fish, but don’t consider the amount they take in from vegetables, grains, and nuts. The thing is, though, while they may be less bioavailable than animal foods, plant proteins are still usable by your body and still count toward your total—and if you’re going to forgo animal products entirely, you’ll need to get them in to support muscle, performance, and general health. Otherwise, you’ll be protein deficient.
Another trick to encourage mindful eating is to focus on the taste of food instead of the activity you're doing while eating (like staring at a TV screen or reading emails). "Cultivate [your] taste buds by focusing on the first three to six bites of food," says Chere Bork, MS, RD, a speaker and wellness coach in Minneapolis. "Taste buds are chemical sensors that get tired very quickly, so unless you're very hungry, the first few bites of a food will taste better than the next few bites. After a larger amount, you may actually have very little taste experience left." By savoring the early bites, especially when it comes to rich foods like chocolate and cheese, you will satisfy hunger and cravings without eating large portions.
“I was supposed to be a leader of soldiers, and I could barely pass the Army physical test,” Cines — who weighed 200 lbs. at her highest — told PEOPLE. “I was embarrassed. My soldiers looked up to me and I had to counsel them when they couldn’t meet the standards, and yet I myself couldn’t meet the standards. I just felt like a hypocrite and a fake.”
The health benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets are well-documented; in fact, cutting meat out of your diet has been linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. (5) Plus, just like regular keto, vegan keto results in some pretty impressive benefits as well, ranging from increased weight loss to improved heart health. (6)

Reading ingredient labels is also important. You should know what’s in the food that you put into your body! Those following a vegan or vegetarian diet are used to checking ingredient labels to make sure that they’re not unknowingly consuming an animal product or byproduct. When on the keto diet, you have to look out for food that contains sugar and flours. They can interfere with ketosis. “Don’t consume any added sugar from desserts, juice or soft drinks, grains, beans or legumes. Instead of consuming sugar or even honey, try using stevia extract or monk fruit to sweeten meals,” says Dr. Axe. “Even starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and beets provide carbs that can interfere with ketosis. These should be avoided or [eaten] in very small amounts.”

Nuts and seeds - Most nuts and seeds are rich in protein. However, they usually don't contain all essential amino acids. That's why you will need to eat a variety of nuts and seeds to ensure you're meeting your protein needs. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, and chia seeds are great options on keto. Nut butters should also be on your keto food list.
With Samantha’s personal training, I feel freer than I’ve ever felt before. I’ve learned so much and I’ve become so self-sufficient that I will never again be a slave to bad eating habits or laziness. What’s even better is that, as my health has improved, I’ve found that I enjoy cycling more now than at any other time in my life. Thank you Samantha for your help and your support, I truly couldn’t have accomplished so much in so little time without you!"

These omega-3 fats provide building blocks for cellular structures throughout the body and aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Fish oil is the most common source of DHA and EPA, but a good vegan source—and one that, arguably, offers a better concentration of DHA—is algae (which is where those oily fish get their omega-3s from anyway). By supplementing with algae oil, you’re effectively cutting out the middle-fish. Aim for about 300mg/day.
When enjoyed in smaller portions, there’s such a low amount of net carbs that it can be a safe way to satisfy your sweet tooth, without kicking yourself out of your body’s state of ketosis. Enjoying a few here and there throughout your day is not as harmful as one would lead you to believe. In fact, with the amazing antioxidants and nutritional benefits of raspberries, I’d encourage it!
AcAc is the first ketone that is produced by fat when you haven’t consumed any glucose for a while. AcAc is then broken down into BHB, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier into your central nervous system. BHB is really the ketone body that gives you the most energy. The breakdown of AcAc also causes some trace amounts of acetone to disperse throughout the body, but the science is mixed on whether the human body can metabolize the ketone. Most acetone is exhaled through the lungs, which is what causes “keto breath.”
Hi Sarah, depending on your goals it may be useful to utilize our macro calculator which you can find here: https://perfectketo.com/keto-macro-calculator/. You’ll enter all of your info, set a goal, and it will give you a good starting point of how much protein, fat, and carbs you should be aiming for in a day. I would definitely start off with this and than adjust as you go. Hope this helps!
That said, a recurring mistake among vegetarians who go keto is incorporating too many vegetable-based carbohydrates, without even realizing. You’ve got to be quite vigilant of all your carb and protein sources following a vegetarian keto diet meal plan, as most vegetarians tend to source their protein from foods like legumes and grains, which aren’t supported on the vegetarian keto diet. If you’re following a diet that’s strictly plant-based, then you’ll have to be even more mindful.
When you’re restricting certain food groups from your diet, it’s even more important to take a multivitamin to fill in any nutritional gaps. “If symptoms like fatigue, aches, weakness, moodiness, and trouble sleeping persist for more than two weeks, consider ending the diet and consuming a larger variety of foods,” says Dr. Axe. “It’s usually recommended that the keto diet is followed short-term, for about three months at a time (up to six months). Although, it’s important to always listen to your body and make changes if you’re reacting negatively.”
For this reason, it is best to buy RSPO-certified or Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products. The companies that produce these products are approved by the RSPO (the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) for using sustainable practices that meet strict environmental and social criteria. By opting for RSPO-certified or CSPO products, you will be casting a vote for sustainable oil producers that are dedicated to protecting the environment.
Replace Dairy-Based Cheese with Vegan Cheese. There are plenty of vegan cheeses on the market right now. If you want to avoid soy (for the reasons we will discover later), then you can find coconut, cashew, and other tree-nut-based cheeses. My personal favorite vegan cheese-making companies are Treeline and Miyoko’s Kitchen. Their cheeses are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. In fact, many people think that they are better than traditional dairy cheese. If Treeline or Miyoko’s Kitchen doesn’t have the cheese you are looking for, then try Follow Your Heart’s vegan cheese. Follow Your Heart is another company that makes almost every type of vegan cheese you could ever want.
Following the ovo-lacto vegetarians are the ovo vegetarians. In keto diets, and especially in vegetarian keto diets, eggs are a superfood. They have plenty of protein, lots of fat, and almost zero carbs! Meanwhile, milk, while often rich in fats, also has quite a bit of sugar in the form of lactose, which makes it not as keto-friendly. Cheeses, however, are a fantastic keto food that lacto vegetarians have access to.

The examination on vegan keto diets is constrained, yet narratively, MacDowell says she saw a bunch of positive changes once she began following the diet. “I discovered that in addition to the fact that I lost weight rapidly [though in a solid measure of time], I additionally have seen things like joint agony was vanishing, my processing was normalizing, easily overlooked details that I didn’t at all expect,” MacDowell says.


One of the coolest things that intermittent fasting does is trigger a phenomenon in your body called autophagy. Autophagy is a process in which your body recycles and consumes its own cells and proteins in a healthy manner. Often it means that damaged cells are turned into energy for your body, which is the equivalent of cleaning out the depths of your kitchen cupboards. For more on this check out this article.

And it could be especially startling for vegetarians. Fort Lauderdale, Florida–based Jaime Mass, RDN, founder of Jaime Mass Nutritionals, LLC, says vegetarians commonly become “pasta-tarians.” Instead of replacing meat with healthy plant-based foods and whole grains, many load up on pasta, crackers, and other carb-heavy items. Transitioning to keto could be difficult for these pasta-tarians, but it could also be beneficial in helping them cut back on processed carbs.


Eggs and dairy — two of the main animal products you can eat on the vegetarian ketogenic diet — are nutrient dense, and their production has much less of an impact on the environment than lamb, beef, farmed salmon, poultry, turkey, and pork. You can even take the positive effects one step further by sourcing your eggs and dairy from local, pasture-raised chickens and cows. By supporting these healthy and sustainable animal rearing practices, you will be investing in the most humane and healthy animal products (more on this later).

“Understand that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Some days may not be great but don’t beat yourself up. Also understand what works for you—maybe only for you. Tracking my food and running have been my unlock, but everyone must figure out what’s best for them. It could be meal prep, cutting out certain foods, doing more cross training... Whatever it is, do what you can practically manage, and also enjoy.”

Next, you're likely to see changes in your clothing. Your actual size won't change right away, but you'll notice that your clothes start to fit more comfortably and hang a little bit looser. You're most likely to notice this change sooner if you typically wear more fitted (tighter) clothing. Eventually, if you stick to your weight loss program, the weight loss from your total body will result in a reduction in your clothing size.
Even though I added those into my diet, I may not have been getting enough, hence the leg cramps. I also may have had a few to many low carb cocktails that might have depleted said minerals. I have read other posts from vegans who went on the diet who had no problems. I don’t know if they were on it as long as I was, but it is something to watch out for.
Eggs are quite possibly the perfect food. They’re full of protein, easy to cook, simple to work with and they’re even easy to carry with you, thanks to their shell. A hardboiled egg might not be the most exciting breakfast, but if you’re on the go, it’s certainly a fast and filling way to get your protein. I like to cook a big batch of hardboiled eggs in my Instant Pot to use for snacks, fast breakfasts and meals all week long.
Takeaway: It’s possible to be vegan and do nutritional ketosis but you will need to do some research, planning/calculating, and self-experimentation to make sure you are meeting all of your requirements. You may also want to include a multivitamin containing vitamin B12 and a vegetarian omega-3 supplement (such as flaxseed oil or algal DHA such as ‘Neuromins’) to ensure you are meeting all of your nutrient needs!

But it wasn’t until she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and in so much pain she was unable to hug her children, that she decided to change her lifestyle. She started using Isagenix dietary supplements, going to high-intensity interval training workouts and adopted a “clean-eating” diet to reduce inflammation. McGinty now weighs 138 lbs., and her arthritis pain is “under control.”
aThese results were from a 56-week trial of adults with excess weight (BMI ≥27) with at least 1 weight-related condition, or obesity (BMI ≥30), not including patients with type 2 diabetes. On average, 27% of people on Saxenda® and 34% on placebo did not complete the study. In the study, 62% of patients on Saxenda® lost ≥5% of their body weight (vs 34% placebo) and 34% lost ≥10% body weight (vs 15% placebo). Significant weight loss was only evaluated at 56 weeks, as per study design.
If you have an understanding of the keto diet and how it works, you will realize that the whole essence of the diet does not tally with what an average vegetarian consumes. Keto diet is all for high-fat, moderate protein and low carbs, vegetarian diet, on the other hand, is packed with carbohydrates and the struggle of balancing protein intake. Therefore, it is not surprising that a number of vegetarians find it difficult reconciling both diets.
Because different plant foods contain different types of amino acids, in excluding all animal products, vegans come to rely on a combination of grains, legumes, and seeds to get all of the essential amino acids their bodies need. Many of these foods are too high in carbs to be included on a keto diet, which is usually restricted to 20 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day. However, those who want to avoid all animal products can follow a lower-carb, non-keto vegan diet, such as the “Eco-Atkins” diet.
Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to begin bicycling again. I was out of shape and had fond memories of my “fit” days in high school when I used to ride my bike everywhere (even after I bought my first car). Back then, my bicycle was not only a means of transportation, it was something fun to do to stay healthy. I went out to the local bike shop and purchased a new road bike, intent on restoring my body to the slim and fit self I remembered so well. Unfortunately, after several years of riding I had actually managed to gain weight and my cycling hadn’t really improved at all (still as slow as when I first started again).
Some do, and some don't. Similarly to sugar alcohols, different sweeteners have different glycemic indexes. Powdered versions of artificial sweeteners like splenda and even natural ones like stevia have added carbs that come from maltodextrin and other fillers, so stay away from those. Here are the best sweeteners to use while on vegetarian keto (all of them have a glycemic index of zero):
Traditionally you may know them as the “ch-ch-ch-chia” plants that made it look like hair growing from a terracotta head as a child. In your diet, chia seeds are used before they sprout, and they truly are an odd little seed. You’ll know that if you’ve ever had one stuck in your teeth, only to discover it’s turned into a gelatinous mass. You see, chia seeds have the ability to absorb liquid and multiply in size.
Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., one of the world’s foremost ketogenic diet researchers and founder of ketonutrition.org, agrees. “I generally avoid soy isolate and soy milk,” he says. “But I don’t think this is a major concern unless you are consuming large amounts of soy.” Note that fermented soy products—such as soy sauce and tempeh—don’t pose the same risk, and can, therefore, be eaten more liberally.

When you are following a vegetarian keto meal plan, though, Palmer recommends focusing mostly on whole foods. Not only will those help you hit your nutrient checkboxes, but they're also rich in slow-digesting carbs and help maintain energy levels longer. And as with any healthy diet, you should avoid processed foods and refined carbs and sugars, which are stripped of important nutrients that prevent sugar from being absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly. (Not sure which drinks are keto-approved? Check out this list.)
This keto cookie recipe is loaded with fat and protein but skips the baking process, for a recipe that's incredibly quick and easy. While the texture might be similar to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, there's not an oat in sight! With just 6 ingredients and 20 minutes of time, you can whip up these delicious healthy keto treat that also happens to be gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, paleo, and vegan!
Hello, I’m Abbey! I'm a Registered Dietitian (RD), an avid food and recipe writer, a TV nutrition expert and spokesperson, a YouTube host and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. Abbey's Kitchen is a multi- faceted food and nutrition media brand developed with the goal of celebrating the pleasurable eating experience. For more information about me, check out my bio here.
This chocolate treat recipe is delicious and also ridiculously simple to whip up. These almond haystacks only require 3 ingredients and 20 minutes to make. Easy peasy and the resulting flavor is delicious—sweet, salty, chocolaty, and (of course) crunchy. This is the perfect recipe if you're looking for a quick and easy chocolate treat that's just a little bit sweet.
“A completely vegan or plant-based keto diet would require the elimination of all animal-derived foods (including all meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and other animal fats and products, like bone broth or butter), plus nearly all sources of carbohydrates,” explains Josh Axe, D.N.M., D.C., C.N.S., doctor of natural medicine, chiropractor, clinical nutritionist, and author. “This results in a limited diet that’s going to be hard to follow and [will be] repetitive.”
This diet plan may not be suitable for everyone. You may have to make small adjustments. If you need to have less protein, reduce the portions of dairy and eggs. Don't worry about small excess of protein, it will not kick you out of ketosis. In fact, protein will keep hunger at bay. If you need to add more fat (or less), focus on added oils and fatty foods when making your adjustments. You can find your ideal macros using KetoDiet Buddy. If you need to add snacks and more food to serve with the meals, have a look at this list.
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