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.
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).
Many dieters get so bored with bland “diet” foods they end up eating more of them to feel fulfilled. Instead of eating for quantity, focus on the quality of your food. “You may notice that the first few tastes of the food are the most satisfying—your taste buds are on high alert,” says Steinmetz. “Buying small quantities of high quality food and concentrating on taste will help you savor small bites. Stop after the first four bites so that your taste is not ‘saturated’, and then try a different food.”
As with any new diet, you should consult a professional before committing, as it might not necessarily apply to extenuating health circumstances. It's also helpful to hear an expert's opinion firsthand. As for Smith, she's not entirely sold on the keto diet in the first place. "Some principles of the keto diet can be helpful," she says, such as few refined carbs and sugars. "When done right (more plant-based that is) it can be a great way to get some healthy fats in, but I don't find, especially for women, that it contributes to significant weight loss if that's a goal." While we're on the topic, it's also possible that you might need supplementation to your diet to achieve utmost wellness. "this is case by case, but often, in general, vegans/vegetarians need iron, B complex, b12, extra protein, and potentially zinc and biotin as well," Smith tells us. This is just another reason consulting an expert can be so helpful.
Vegans have long known that they can’t get all the amino acids they need from one source of plant protein, so they make an effort to eat a diverse selection of them and often combine foods in the same meal to get a complimentary assortment of aminos. You don’t need to do this at every meal—your body can hold on to the aminos from one food a few hours until you eat another food with aminos that complement them and form a complete protein. But don’t get in the habit of basing your meals around only tofu or only hemp. Eat as broad a menu as you can to ensure the richest nutritional intake you can. (See more reasons to limit tofu under the vegan substitutes list below.)
As, yes, the age-old question: but where do you get your protein? If you’ve been plant-based for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard this asked in at least five different ways. At least here in North America, it seems as though people really struggle to wrap their heads around the idea that you can get enough protein without eating meat, dairy or eggs. This issue becomes especially pronounced when we talk about vegan keto diets.
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.
Janes, 28, can’t remember a time when she was ever small. “Not even in a baby picture,” she tells PEOPLE for the 2018 Half Their Size issue. “I was always overweight, and it continued through adulthood.” By then, Janes couldn’t fit on a normal scale. “I went to my friend’s family business where they weigh huge industrial tubs,” she recalls. “That’s how I found out I was 450 lbs.”
Making gluten free crackers is easy: substitute the wheat flour with almond flour and sunflower seed flower. You can buy almond flour almost everywhere now, but you will need to grind roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds in a coffee or spice grinder or use a food processor. The combination of the two gluten free nut flours gives the crackers a great consistency and the nutty roasted flavor of the sunflower seeds is so darn tasty.
If you are a petite woman who is five feet tall, a ten-pound weight loss may mean that you've lost up to ten percent of your body weight. That amount of weight loss will be very noticeable and can change her clothing size up to two sizes. But if you are a very tall athletic woman, a ten-pound loss probably won't even be noticeable and may not change your clothing size at all.
Depending on who you are, having fun can mean dancing naked while you cook or it can mean swapping out the ingredients you don't like for those you do. As always, making any substitutions will change the nutrition from the calorie guide we've provided you, but eating shouldn't be a chore, it should be fun! If adding a dash of cinnamon and sugar free maple syrup to your keto oatmeal or using a blue cheese dressing for your curry tofu nugget salad makes you enjoy your meals more, then run with it!
“I love to run. I like to say, after years of battling addiction and depression, I’m a better dog when I’m walked. So I just try to get out there as much as possible and run by feel. On days I feel great, I’ll go longer or do a tempo run. On days I feel like I need a break, I’ll back off and take it easy. On weekends I run long, usually at least 20 miles. I also try to strength train at least once a week.”
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.
If you follow our 5-step plan, eating good-quality vegetarian protein sources and plenty of very-low-carb vegetables, you should manage your micronutrient intake well on a keto vegetarian diet. If you want to be extra sure, eating a range of the following nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis will ensure that you provide your body with the range of micronutrients that keto vegetarians are most at risk of being deficient in.
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So I was inspired to make this Vegan Keto Walnut Chili from a Marilyn Denis segment I did for heart health. Walnuts are such a heart healthy ingredient, since they have about twice as many antioxidants as other nuts, and they pack both monounsaturated fats and omega 3s. I was brainstorming yummy easy ways to incorporate them in a recipe that was more than just a sprinkle on top and this recipe came to me. When crushed really fine, walnuts actually have a similar texture as ground beef but without the saturated fat. It also makes this recipe for Vegan Keto Walnut Chili totally safe for my plant-based friends, yet CRAZY satiating across the board.
Dr. Axe recommends getting no more than 20 percent of your daily calories from plant-based sources of proteins, since eating too much protein will interfere with ketosis. “Most beans and legumes will contribute too many carbs to your diet and too little protein,” he says. “The best sources of low-carb protein are plant-based protein powders (like hemp, brown rice, or pea protein) and fermented soy products like tempeh.” Other plant-based sources of protein in your diet can include nutritional yeast, nuts and seeds, and even vegetables.
Zucchini noodes (zoodles!) are a bit of a staple on the keto diet, when I first started cutting out carbs pasta was one of the biggest thing’s I missed. Pre-keto I would love making pasta as a quick and easy weeknight dinner, but actually the zucchini version is so much better, with more flavour and quicker too. This dish can be put together in under 10 minutes! #keto diet