As I'm sure you've heard time and time again, a keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. On a vegetarian keto diet, hitting your macros, especially protein, can be more of a challenge than for those who eat meat. Maybe you're not a fan of protein powders or the vegetarian meat substitutes you like are high in carbs. So, what options do you have?
In summary, it is both safe and reasonable to consume sugar alcohols. If you're looking to buy sugar alcohols, try to prioritize finding ones that have a low glycemic index so that you don’t get kicked out of ketosis. Erythritol is available from multiple suppliers on Amazon. The next in the pecking order would be mannitol, but it's not widely available. Xylitol is another option on Amazon. Do some research on them and find the one that works best for you!
“I have met the most amazing and supportive runners over the past year from all over the world who have become life long friends of mine. They helped me out and answered all the questions I had when I first started running. The highlight and most rewarding part of running for me is getting to run with my daughter Amanda. I have always supported her in her running over the years, but I never thought we would ever get to run together. Now, we run occasionally in the mornings, and do long runs together on weekends. The biggest highlight was running the Hershey Half together in October in 2:29 the day before my 56th birthday.”
People say ACV can act as an appetite suppressant, so I tried to drink it before eating anything—but that was hard. Sometimes I finished my ACV drink while also throwing back coffee or nibbling on breakfast. Even if the ACV didn't directly slash my appetite, I hoped the extra hydration would make me a little less hungry. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t notice any difference in my hunger levels or how much food I was eating. Oh, well.
You might be wondering why we calculate net carbs instead of total carbs. The reason is simply because our bodies don't transform fiber into sugar the way they do for other carbs. In actuality, some keto experts say that even having too many carbs from fiber can knock you out of ketosis. In order to get around the carb rules, some companies make keto food using sugar alcohols, which don't fall under the sugar or the dietary fiber categories.
“After four years of running, I feel great. I run two to three times during the week from three to six miles per day, unless I am specifically training for a longer distance race. On the weekends, I like to trail run on unpaved paths near my home and, up until 2017, I was racing at least once a month. This year, because of finances, it has been once every couple of months, if that. I do everything from 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and obstacle course races. I am working toward completing a full marathon eventually.”
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.”
If you’re already a keto eater used to animal products, the list below will give you ideas on how to switch to zero-cruelty food options while keeping carbs low. (Likewise, it will help vegans find lower-carb alternatives to their starchy or sugary favorites.) As always, be extra sure you’re staying faithful to the diet by checking labels for the presence of added sugar, carbs, and hydrogenated oils (harmful, processed fats that have no place in any healthy diet).
As far as calories are concerned, you will come to find that many of the high-carb foods you are cutting out were the same foods that contributed so many calories to your diet. A restriction in food groups naturally leads to a reduction in calories. Ketosis also suppresses appetite, however, so you really need to make sure you're bringing in enough calories to keep your body happy and healthy.
The beauty of a ketogenic diet is that you often don’t need to be too exact with your calories. You can just keep carbs low, fat high, and everything works itself out over time. If you want to figure out how much you should be eating(it’s worth knowing), then try our Keto Macro Calculator. It takes about 3 minutes to calculate and there is a how-to video explaining how to come up with an accurate calculation.
While it hasn’t been formally studied, “it is generally observed that, if you are keto-adapted,” says D’Agostino, “it is easy to fast for prolonged periods of time. This has practical benefits for occupations where stopping to eat would be an inconvenience—such as for military personnel—and jobs where you do not want to lose the flow of productivity.” If you do get hungry during a fast, D’Agostino recommends taking a supplement that provides ketones (known as exogenous ketones), which will help sustain ketosis and energy. “I typically take a ketone supplement late afternoon and follow up with a whole-food meal in the evening,” he says.
When it comes to buying keto-friendly vegan dairy products, make sure you are not getting any extra added sugar, hidden carbs, or unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils. Some of these products may also have “gums” in them like agar agar or guar gum. These compounds are used to make the product creamier, and they are safe for most people. However, some people may get gastrointestinal discomfort from eating them, so look out for gums when switching to vegan dairy products.
I’m trying a new(ish) tactic, where I build in cheat days, trying to keep my metabolism guessing a little. On those cheat days, I eat whatever I want without overstuffing myself and I drink soda, too if I want to. That helps me feel like I’m not totally depriving myself the whole time. I can already tell that I do eat so much healthier as an overall whole, than I used to. I was getting into some seriously bad habits of snacking on sweets, carbs and soda any time I wanted to, without thinking of the consequences. The only problem was that those wants were getting more and more frequent. The desire for sugar seemed to be growing, the more I gave myself sugar.
The pumpkin pie spice in this keto cookie recipe offers a delicious fall twist. This yummy chocolate chip recipe comes together with 9 ingredients in about 30 minutes. Kyndra also offers some handy tips and tricks if you need help with ingredient substitutions, prepping your cookies so that they turn out perfectly, and even how to store them if you're planning on enjoying them later.