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.
Cutting out grains, rice, bread, and pasta will reduce your carb intake substantially, but you’ll also have to cut way back on nearly all fruits (exceptions are in the food list above, though even those should be eaten sparingly). Starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams are out, too. And the sugary dressings and sauces you may be so accustomed to that you don’t even question them anymore… well, start questioning them.

In addition to a plant-based keto diet being limited in nature, Dr. Axe explains that there’s also a high probability that someone on this diet would struggle to consume enough calories and essential fat-soluble vitamins. This could potentially lead to certain nutrient deficiencies and side effects, like fatigue, as a result. “If you’re at all open to the idea, I would highly recommend that you consider a vegetarian keto diet instead of a vegan keto diet. Include at least some animal products in your diet, such as pastured eggs or fermented cheeses or, even better, wild-caught fish like salmon,” he says. “These goods are great sources of protein, fat, choline and fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamins A and K) that are very difficult to get from plant foods alone.”
Several studies, for example, have shown that both vegetarians and vegans are prone to deficiencies in B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA & DHA, and fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, & K2. Vegans and vegetarians may also suffer from hormonal issues if their bodies aren’t producing enough cholesterol and if plant compounds called goitrogens are impairing their thyroid function.

In the long term, dietitians warn that you could experience deficiencies in nutrients. “When eating a very low-carbohydrate diet, it is possible to become nutrient deficient because many of the food groups from which vegetarians get their nutrients (whole grains, legumes, root vegetables) are eliminated,” Davis notes. “So by eating vegetarian and keto, you could be at risk for nutrient deficiencies.” Learn about 11 hidden dangers of the keto diet.
“I have had people I’ve known for years but haven’t seen in awhile not recognize me. I love that. I love the way I feel, the way clothes fit, and being able to shop in regular clothing stores. Mostly I stay motivated for the years, days, hours and minutes I’m hopefully putting on the end of my life. I’ve got two adult daughters and amazing wife, and I want to be here with them for as long as possible.”
MCT Oil. This oil is commonly derived from coconut oil and palm oil. It contains medium chain triglycerides, which are saturated fatty acids that skip normal fat digestion and go right to the liver where they are converted into ketones for fuel. Add it to your salad dressings, sauces, smoothies, fat bombs, and hot drinks like coffee or tea for a potent energy boost.
“I’ve been going to ‘get in shape’ for years now. Would start to, but never really saw any results. Samantha took this junk food junkie and showed me how eat healthy and so I would enjoy it! ** IN ONLY 16 WEEKS I'VE ALREADY LOST OVER 30" AND 30 lbs. OF FAT! ** I really can’t believe how easy the transformation has been. I only wish I had called Samantha sooner!” - Karen
Most of the studies about ACV have been done on animals—or in really small groups of people, explains Eliza Whetzel-Savage, R.D., a registered dietitian at Middleburg Nutrition in New York City. “There is one study of people that showed ACV may slow digestion of food and liquid, which may help stabilize blood sugar,” she says. “But overall, there is not much science to support many of the claims.”

Cutting out grains, rice, bread, and pasta will reduce your carb intake substantially, but you’ll also have to cut way back on nearly all fruits (exceptions are in the food list above, though even those should be eaten sparingly). Starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams are out, too. And the sugary dressings and sauces you may be so accustomed to that you don’t even question them anymore… well, start questioning them.


The first few days of switching to a ketogenic diet sucks. You'll feel hunger pangs, cravings, grumpy and probably suffer flu-like symptoms. You may even feel light-headed, sometimes. There are a number of reasons for this, including changes in gut biota, as various colonies are "screaming at you" for food, but mainly as your body initially will be looking for a quick glucose energy source, before switching metabolic states and preferring ketones, instead. This takes some patience and discipline.
That said, meat substitutes are easily the most expensive buys on vegetarian keto. Check your local superstore or health food market’s prices, compare to Amazon’s selections and prices, and make a decision that best fits your lifestyle. ALWAYS make sure to double check the carb count too - some of the substitutes have added sugars and carbs while others do not.
Andrew Heffernan, C.S.C.S., is an award-winning health and fitness journalist whose work appears regularly in Men’s Health and Experience Life. He is the co-author of two fitness books—The Exercise Cure and Your New Prime—and is a frequent top-five finisher as an age-group triathlete and competitive obstacle-course racer. Andrew lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Visit him at andrewheffernan.com.
“I’ve been going to ‘get in shape’ for years now. Would start to, but never really saw any results. Samantha took this junk food junkie and showed me how eat healthy and so I would enjoy it! ** IN ONLY 16 WEEKS I'VE ALREADY LOST OVER 30" AND 30 lbs. OF FAT! ** I really can’t believe how easy the transformation has been. I only wish I had called Samantha sooner!” - Karen

Vegetable-sourced iron, known as non-heme iron, is harder to absorb than heme iron, which is found in animal products. This is why iron levels can plummet even when a plant-based dieter eats iron-rich foods like Swiss chard, nuts, and seeds. It’s wise, then, for vegan keto eaters to add a vegan-based iron supplement to their diets. This goes double for women, who lose some iron every month through menstruation. For women 19–50, 18mg of iron per day is recommended.
The scale isn't always the best marker of your results given that it doesn't tell you what type of weight you're losing -- water, lean tissue or fat. If you weight train as part of your weight-loss plan, you may actually acquire lean muscle mass, which may show up on the scale as a gain. You will notice that your clothes fit differently, and your appearance is slimmer and more taut, despite what the scale says. The results of weight training may be apparent in the first few weeks after you start the program, but visible results will slow down as your body becomes more accustomed to the routine.

Processed soy-based meat substitutes (such as Boca Burgers) and protein powders are major go-to’s for people transitioning to vegan diets, but they come with a catch. A 2016 position paper published by Virginia State University explains that soy contains isoflavones, a kind of plant estrogen that can act like the female hormone in humans. While typical serving sizes (one to three of soy foods, or less than 25g of soy protein from non-concentrated sources like tofu) have not been shown to be problematic, amounts more than that (totaling around 100mg isoflavones or greater daily) could negatively impact testosterone. To our thinking, why take the risk? It may be best for a keto dieter to get the majority of his/her protein from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and supplements and less from soy products, apart from the occasional slice of tofu.


It’s hard to imagine breakfast without eggs and bacon, of course. For most of us, they’re a standard part of our morning repertoire. But frying bacon is messy and a challenge. The smell often lingers for hours, even days. Instead, try this easy, step-by-step method to show you how to cook bacon in the oven. Bake a big batch to crumble over vegetables enjoy in salads and of course, go alongside eggs in the morning.

Meat and dairy that comes from animals raised conventionally in controlled animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are not only nutritionally inferior, but they contribute to climate change and the abuse of animals and the local environment as well. Furthermore, if the meat you eat is predominantly packaged meat (e.g., bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausages, and salami), then you may be increasing your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Scott Leopold attempted his first diet at 19, when he weighed 438 lbs. He was in college and often drank alcohol and finished the night off with fatty foods such as chicken wings or sweets and chips. “I wouldn’t think twice about eating two whole pizzas,” he tells PEOPLE. After he lost his first 100 lbs., he and his friends “celebrated” at a buffet. 
Great question. Since a vegan diet is even more restricted in terms of low-carb foods, keto as a vegan is highly impractical and takes a lot more thought. However, you can still consume plenty of fats if you stick to healthy oils, nuts/nut butters, avocados, seeds/seed butters, and coconut as your sources while making sure you get enough protein too.
***Whether you go full or Mod Keto, supplementing with MCT oil can help support ketosis by providing a quick-burning fat for fuel, says D’Agostino. Other helpful strategies for making a keto diet more user-friendly, he says, include “eating in a time-restricted window [such as 16 hours of fasting followed by an eight-hour period in which you get all your food in], and breaking the fast with a ketone supplement. You can have a whole-food vegan keto meal a few hours later.”
For many vegetarians, beans and grains constitute a large portion of their daily protein consumption, so limiting them means you'll need to supplement your diet with something else. Smith suggests looking to "organic dairy or a low-carb protein powder that's plant-based" for meeting healthy protein consumption standards. Perhaps you could try incorporating low-carb Greek yogurt, nut butter, or whole eggs into your daily diet.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Even though MacDowell has stuck with it for so long, she admits this way of eating can be tough in social situations. “It’s not only the reaction of your family members who will tell you eating that much fat will kill you, but going out for appetizers and drinks with friends is challenging,” she says. “You learn to work around it, but there’s a learning curve for sure.”
Leanne Vogel has experienced success in using her recipes and keto-based diet. It works with her lifestyle but there are no assurances or representations of any kind made by Leanne Vogel or Healthful Pursuit Inc. that you will attain any success in using the same recipes or adopting a keto-based diet. Healthful Pursuit provides information in respect to healthy living, recipes, nutrition, and diet and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided by Healthful Pursuit reflects the most up-to-date medical research. Information is provided without any representations or warranties of any kind. Please consult a qualified physician for medical advice, and always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program.

Despite the fact that MacDowell has stayed with it for so long, she concedes along these lines of eating can be extreme in social circumstances. “It’s not just the response of your relatives who will reveal to you eating that much fat will execute you, yet going out for hors-d’oeuvres and drinks with companions is testing,” she says. “You figure out how to function around it, yet there’s an expectation to absorb information without a doubt.”
Most ketogenic diet plans emphasize the consumption of animal-based products such as grass-fed butter and unprocessed meats, which can make it hard if you’re trying to cut back on your intake of these foods or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fortunately, however, there are also plenty of other high-fat, plant-based choices available for you to choose from as well.

Are you looking for a good, go-to recipe for breakfast sausage? The problem with sausage in the store is all the additives, preservatives, sweeteners and other ingredients you can’t pronounce. Instead, I like to buy ground pork and create my own sausage using a blend of herbs and spices. The flavor is amazing, and you’ll feel much better about what you’re eating when you use natural, whole and healthy ingredients.


A better alternative is to eat before going out, bring your own meals to work, or suggest local restaurants that you know have options for you. In order to avoid being super awkward, don’t stuff yourself before you go out, just eat enough to feel fulfilled, then you can order some side dishes/vegetables/salad or a single veggie burger without the bun. Most places are starting to adapt to the veg crowd, so you should be able to find at least something to nibble on, but always have a list of good places ready that you can defer to if asked. Indian restaurants are great for veg keto, same for Middle Eastern restaurants.
Soy contains goitrogens, which are plant compounds that can impair thyroid function. If you experience fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, or unexplained weight gain as a result of upping your intake of soy-based products, then you should limit the amount of soy you consume (more on this and other vegan health concerns later in the article).

If you feel like everything is off limits, we're here to help. Yes, following a keto diet when you're vegan is difficult...but not impossible! You may not be living off bacon and eggs like some of your other keto friends, but with these avocado, almond butter, and coconut milk-filled recipes, your stomach will still be full and happy. And if you're vegan-ish, be sure to check out our vegetarian keto recipes too, for those times you want to slip in a little dairy.
Stevia: Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, which makes it perfect for a keto diet. Additionally, it's not actually an artificial sweetener, it is a natural one. The liquid version is extremely strong which means that you don't have to use much to add the sweetness you need. Steer clear of any powdered version so as not to add extra carbs. The biggest issue with liquid stevia is that it can't be used in baking. That’s where allulose comes in!

By eating the foods on the “Do Eat” list, you will be able to follow a vegan ketogenic diet and cover most of your nutritional bases. At first, however, it may be difficult to adapt to this new lifestyle with all of the low-carb and keto recipes that contain animal products. Luckily, there are some simple substitutions you can make that will allow you to “veganize” almost every keto recipe. #keto pancakes
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