"When I was really heavy, I felt like people were staring at me, so I didn't go into stores or restaurants by myself. I'd walk with my head down and avoid eye contact. My mom had a heart attack at age 41, when I was 19, and that was never far from my mind. On my 39th birthday in 2012, I hit 250 pounds and thought, I'm going to die if I don't do something. So I set a goal to get under 200 pounds by age 40."
Don't shy away from a handful of processed foods if they help you meet your macros. Normally, you'll hear that excluding processed food is the way to go on keto. And while that is a wise thing to do, it can cause trouble when you adopt a more restricted version of the ketogenic diet. Adding TVP, trans-free margarine, and canned goods can be a convenient way to get all the nutrients you need on your vegetarian ketogenic diet as long as it's low-carb and rich in healthy fats.
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.
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.
In order to get into ketosis and remain there, limit your net carb intake to 20 grams per day. This means you’ll need to avoid many popular vegetarian protein sources, such as quinoa, buckwheat, legumes, and pulses. These foods are simply too high in carbs to be included on a ketogenic lifestyle. Also be sure to steer clear of milk and low fat dairy products, starchy vegetables, and fruits, other than perhaps a few berries.
You tell yourself you're not going to order dessert, but the minute you see the fudgy chocolate cake delivered to the table next to you, all your good intentions go out the door. To help you ward off temptations, Abbey Sharp, RD, a nutrition consultant in Toronto, recommends having a treat waiting at home. "Before you go out to eat, put aside a portion-controlled sweet for yourself at home, like a small cookie or a square of melted dark chocolate with fresh berries," says Sharp. Or try whipping up a dessert for the entire family, like a light angel food cake with fresh berries, that will give everyone something to look forward to.
If you want to add a little variety of breakfast so it’s not always about eggs and you’re in the mood for some texture, this low-carb cinnamon cereal is the ideal keto breakfast to dig into. There’s something about plunging that round spoon into a cold, creamy bowl of milk and picking up crisp little squares that’ll transport you straight back to childhood. Make a big batch and store it in an air-tight jar so that the rest of the week’s breakfasts are a breeze. It’ll stay crunchy for about as long as a regular breakfast cereal.
You may have noticed that glycerin and HSH are both absent from this chart. In one 1990 study, researchers found that HSH corresponded to a glycemic increase that was 71% as strong as pure glucose. According to this website, the glycemic index for glycerin is only 5, which is significantly smaller than glucose's 100. Although the site doesn't cite a source, the table is a good guide for most sugars and sugar alcohols.
Just like on a standard keto diet, the key is to trade in your starchy veggies for low-carb vegetarian options and also be sure to get in a hearty dose of healthy fats and protein. By cutting down on your intake of carbohydrates, your body is forced to start burning up fats to use for fuel instead of sugar, putting you into a metabolic state known as ketosis and allowing the health benefits to start racking up.
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.
The biggest thing to watch out for (aside from keto flu, which you should read about just above this section) when it comes to vegetarian keto is vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies. This is something that vegetarians and vegans are all too familiar with. Before getting any kind of vitamin supplement, make sure you consult with a doctor and have them check the vitamin levels in your bloodstream.
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):
Some diets are set up to include an initial phase where you lose more weight. Atkins, South Beach and many other popular programs include a jump start for a week or two when food restriction is more intense and you lose more weight. You can lose five pounds or more per week during this initial phase. As a result, the weight loss will be noticeable sooner.
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?
Add a few drops of oil to your hands and spread the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a large rectangle. When the dough is about 80% spread, sprinkle the everything bagel seasoning on top and continue to roll out the dough until it takes up the entire width of parchment paper, the thinner the better.
Confused about a lot of the popular vegetarian options like tofu (which I love despite not -yet- being a vegetarian) and tempeh or seitan all of which are highly processed foods. One of the arguments in this article recommends staying away from highly processed foods. How do these processed foods make the cut then? Not trying to be snarky. Actually want to know.
A challenge that you may face is keeping your carbohydrates below 30 grams per day because by nature, these plant-based protein products contain 2-10 grams of carb per serving. But these products are also higher in dietary fiber (aka low-digestible carbs) which has a reduced effect on blood glucose levels (Grabitske, 2008). This may give you a little more flexibility with the number of carbs you can eat while still maintaining ketosis (e.g. up to 50 grams per day), but this will require tracking to be sure.
I know others of you are probably like, “Finally! A keto vegan/vegetarian post is just what I’ve been waiting for!” If that’s you, I am so excited to be able to help you out. I know limited food options can lead to a bit of a monotonous and dreary existence, and can eventually result in a horrendous bout of binge eating and crushing guilt later on. My mission is to help you avoid that vicious cycle and discover the wonderful opportunities that are out there in the small, but vivacious, world of vegan and vegetarian ketogenic living! #keto diet tracker