Now this recipe looks like exactly the type of meal you’ll be craving when following a plant-based keto diet, but appearances aside, it’s actually not only vegan and keto-friendly, but paleo-proof too! Those noodles aren’t, in fact, your usual wheat or rice variety. They’re the miraculously carb-free, fat-free, sugar-free shirataki noodles! Top with an almond butter sauce and your favorite veggies and you’ve got one of the yummiest quick and easy keto recipes.
Because different plant foods contain different types of amino acids, in excluding all animal products, vegans come to rely on a combination of grains, legumes, and seeds to get all of the essential amino acids their bodies need. Many of these foods are too high in carbs to be included on a keto diet, which is usually restricted to 20 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day. However, those who want to avoid all animal products can follow a lower-carb, non-keto vegan diet, such as the “Eco-Atkins” diet.
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.
Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., one of the world’s foremost ketogenic diet researchers and founder of ketonutrition.org, agrees. “I generally avoid soy isolate and soy milk,” he says. “But I don’t think this is a major concern unless you are consuming large amounts of soy.” Note that fermented soy products—such as soy sauce and tempeh—don’t pose the same risk, and can, therefore, be eaten more liberally.
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).
“The original keto diet is extremely high in fatty meats, which is not good for our cardiovascular system,” says Melissa Bailey, RD, creator of the Nourished Fork. “The vegetarian version eliminates these meats and allows for more plant-based options, such as avocado and nuts and seeds. In general, the population is going towards a more plant-based, whole-foods diet, which is why the ketotarian diet is emerging.” Luckily, you'll find that many of the best foods for weight loss are inexpensive, convenient, and easy to find in your local grocery store. When you learn how to plan and prepare meals in advance and fill your refrigerator with diet-friendly foods, you can even save time and money while you slim down.