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)
Nuts. Nuts are a fat-rich and healthy addition to any diet. I tend to favor macadamia nuts and cashews over any other nut because they have the highest amount of healthy monounsaturated fats and the lowest amount of inflammatory omega 6 fats. Make sure, however, that you know the carb content of these nuts. Consuming too many cashews, for example, can easily kick you out of ketosis.
Walking is great exercise for weight loss, but it seems to be even more effective when done just after eating. A 2011 Japanese study found that walking immediately after a meal was more effective for weight loss than waiting up to an hour afterwards. Subjects who went for a brisk, 30-minute walk just after lunch and dinner lost more weight than those who waited to walk. And because walking is a low impact form of exercise, it shouldn’t cause any digestive distress.
Using a flax seed egg is the perfect vegan substitution when a recipe calls for an egg. Simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit at room temperature for a least 15 minutes. For every egg a recipe calls for, you will need to use this ratio, so if you need 3 eggs, use 3 tablespoons of flax meal and 9 tablespoons of water.
Preliminary studies have also linked the keto diet to certain diseases, including diabetes. A study published in September 2016 in the Journal of Obesity and Eating Disorders, for instance, found the presence of ketones in the blood can lower HbA1c levels, potentially by way of ketone bodies decreasing glucose metabolism, and benefit people with type 2 diabetes.
You conscientiously check food labels, but do you pay attention to serving sizes? (You don't have to answer that.) Rachel Beller, M.S., R.D., and nutritionist on NBC's The Biggest Loser, calls for a "reality check" when it comes to reading serving sizes on packaging. "Many cereals have a serving size of half a cup or two-thirds of a cup, but no one sticks to a measly half a cup of cereal." She suggests limiting yourself to single-cup servings that don't exceed 200 calories. Make measuring cups your new BFFs, and resist the temptation to let em overflow.
Reaching for a bottle of water before you sit down to eat may help you shed those pounds faster. Research in the August 2015 Obesity journal found that obese patients who drank 500 milliliters (a 16-ounce bottle) of water 30 minutes before eating lost almost 3 pounds more than those who did not. Even more promising is that those who pre-loaded with water before each of the three main meals lost an average of 10 pounds over a 12-week period (compared to a 2-pound weight loss for those who preloaded before just one meal, or not at all).
For anyone following any vegan diet, and athletes especially, the question always comes up: “How do you get enough protein?” Nelson recommends about 0.7g of protein per pound of your goal body weight as a baseline daily intake for active people—and most nutritionists recommend up to one gram per pound if you’re weight training. (Goal body weight means the amount you want to weigh—not the number that currently comes up on the scale. So, if you weigh 205 pounds but remember looking and feeling your best when you weighed 175, eat 0.7g of protein x 175, or about 120 grams daily.)
Another challenge, Vizthum adds, is not falling into the trap of eating foods that may be compliant but aren’t actually healthy. “As with any diet, the label itself does not make it healthy. The labels of ‘vegan,’ ‘vegetarian,’ ‘keto,’ ‘gluten-free,’ and many others include a range of food choices that fit the standards of the diet but aren’t necessarily healthy,” she warns. This is especially true of processed foods that may carry these labels.
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.”
Don't think we forgot about those eggs we skipped out on at breakfast! We are putting them to good use at lunch with an Asparagus and Jalapeno Frittata! Not only is this recipe high protein and deliciously simple, but it makes for an easy prep and clean up! All you have to do is combine the ingredients in an oven safe pan and bake. When did meal prep get so easy?! #ketosis