Several studies, for example, have shown that both vegetarians and vegans are prone to deficiencies in B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA & DHA, and fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, & K2. Vegans and vegetarians may also suffer from hormonal issues if their bodies aren’t producing enough cholesterol and if plant compounds called goitrogens are impairing their thyroid function.
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The goal of a traditional keto diet is to speed up weight loss through fat burning. It's done by following a meal plan that's high in fat, very low in carbs, and moderate in terms of protein, says Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Those ratios mean your diet should break down to approximately 80 percent fat, less than 5 percent carbs, and 15 to 20 percent protein.
And it could be especially startling for vegetarians. Fort Lauderdale, Florida–based Jaime Mass, RDN, founder of Jaime Mass Nutritionals, LLC, says vegetarians commonly become “pasta-tarians.” Instead of replacing meat with healthy plant-based foods and whole grains, many load up on pasta, crackers, and other carb-heavy items. Transitioning to keto could be difficult for these pasta-tarians, but it could also be beneficial in helping them cut back on processed carbs.
The percent in carbs that will put you into ketosis is different for each individual. I don’t think there is an established scientific maximum amount that allows ketosis for all. In addition, the 43% in calories of fat of this meal plan is a long way from the 70% fat of a strongly ketogenic diet. However, the 29% protein is in line with a moderate protein ketogenic diet. To sum up, this meal plan is on the border of ketogenic at best. You would have to see if you can actually pink a urine stick on this diet. It’s an oxymoron to have a diet that is low carb and high carb at the same time!
I’ll admit I’m much more of a savory breakfast person. I love getting the day off to a great start with a delicious, filling recipe. This avocado is one of my absolute favorites. I’ll eat it practically any time of day and for any meal or snack. It’s got a great combination of tanginess from the balsamic, savory smoky, salty bacon flavor and the rich, smooth and satisfying avocado. Give this combination a taste and I promise you’ll love it too!
Be wary of packaged vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes: While these might be good substitutes for meat in terms of fat and protein, they might also contain a high amount of carbs. Be sure to check the carb content per serving, and consider the ingredients. Is it full or preservatives and fillers? Better meat substitutes would be any of the proteins mentioned above as well as portobello mushrooms or eggplant.
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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.)
Is your fridge yawn-inducing? Meals are bound to get boring if we fall into the routine of eating the same fruits and vegetables. Amanda Carlson-Phillips, R.D., a Phoenix-based dietitian with Core Performance, recommends adding fruits and veggies of three different colors to every plate—you'll be chowing down on a mix of nutrient-dense, low-calorie, high-fiber foods to help keep you slim. Also, a heart-healthy salad will feel like much more like a satisfying indulgence when it's a visual feast and taste-bud party.
Although it’s just recently entered the limelight in the past few years, the ketogenic diet actually has a pretty extensive history that stretches back for centuries. Since at least 500 B.C., fasting has been used as a natural method to treat epilepsy. In the 1920s, the ketogenic diet was developed as a way to mimic the effects of fasting and aid in the treatment of seizures in children. (1)
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!
The following menu, courtesy of Dr. Nelson, will give you an idea of how a day of eating on a vegan keto diet could look (with a Mod Keto carb allowance). One thing’s for sure: you can eat a high volume of food without having to worry about taking in too many calories, so you’re unlikely to gain weight by accident with this style of eating. It’s easy to stay satiated due to the fat content and the abundance of fresh vegetables makes this diet rich in phytonutrients and fiber. On the downside, it’s very tough to get enough protein in. As you can see, aiming for the bare minimum amount—20% of calories—almost certainly requires supplementation.
If you were doing a more conventional ketogenic diet previously and relying on animal foods, you may have only counted the protein in those foods toward your allotment for the day because they are complete sources. In other words, the protein in animal products contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs from food and in substantial amounts. This is a rare find in plant foods, and the reason that bodybuilders have historically kept track of the protein they eat from chicken, beef, and fish, but don’t consider the amount they take in from vegetables, grains, and nuts. The thing is, though, while they may be less bioavailable than animal foods, plant proteins are still usable by your body and still count toward your total—and if you’re going to forgo animal products entirely, you’ll need to get them in to support muscle, performance, and general health. Otherwise, you’ll be protein deficient.
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