Starchy veggies, such as potatoes and corn, are carb-heavy, which is a no-no on the keto diet. Still, as a vegetarian, you’re likely going to consume veggies for every meal. Aim for variety. Include leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, etc. “Sea vegetables are also great additions to your diet since they provide iodine and other key minerals,” says Dr. Axe. “For help with digestion and gut health, also try to include fermented veggies in your diet every day, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.”

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):
You might be wondering why we calculate net carbs instead of total carbs. The reason is simply because our bodies don't transform fiber into sugar the way they do for other carbs. In actuality, some keto experts say that even having too many carbs from fiber can knock you out of ketosis. In order to get around the carb rules, some companies make keto food using sugar alcohols, which don't fall under the sugar or the dietary fiber categories.
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):
You thought since you were dieting that you were already doing this, but nope. Far too often I have seen people make all their dinners and foods assuming that they need a plate full of sides of vegetables and colors and things like that. I don’t really think this is a great use of your calories or nutrients. While it is important to have a varied diet, you can survive without having asparagus as a side for your meal, only using pink Himalayan sea salt, or without squeezing fresh lime juice onto your fajitas. These small things add a pretty large amount to your shopping bill over the long term. Would it be ideal to have a highly diverse diet? Of course! If you have the means, go for it, but just be aware of your shopping expenses and how they might be adding up.
Better brain health – Ketones are your body's natural nootropics. They're a more powerful source of energy than carbs and protein, providing a constant influx of energy to the brain. Carbs, on the other hand, lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can lead to brain fog. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action of ketones also helps protect the brain against free radical damage.
**Even though they’re not derived from animals and are high in fat, oils such as canola, corn, rapeseed, and margarine are highly processed and have a poor ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. They promote inflammation in the body. Because they have low smoke points, these oils are also terrible choices for cooking. High heat will turn the fats in the oil rancid, and make it even more unhealthy, causing damage to your heart, neurological problems, and other health woes. Always cook with saturated fats, such as those found in coconut and red palm oil.

Savoring each bite of food, and paying attention to the taste, texture, and temperature, helps you eat less because you’ll be more in tune with your hunger and satiety levels. "Simply putting down your utensil between bites of food could prevent you from mindlessly 'shoveling in' more than you need," says Sara Haas, RD, and chef. Haas suggests that you take a bite and then let your fork relax next to your plate while you chew. Mindful eating gives the body time to signal that you're full and aids in digestion.


This one's kind of sneaky and a little difficult too, depending on your current dietary preference. If you're vegetarian, it's likely that a large portion of your diet is attributed to grains and beans like quinoa, rice, and lentils. According to Smith, these foods contain too many carbohydrates and not enough protein to make them foundational foods for following a keto diet. So instead of eating a quinoa bowl or a stir-fry on a bed of white rice, try making a keto-friendly vegetarian lasagna (head to our sister site MyDomaine for the recipe).
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.
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.
You don't have to join an expensive health club or spend hours in the gym to get in shape. Simply adding some strength-training exercises, like biceps curls and pushups, to your routine can have a big impact on how you look and feel. "A few weeks in, even before you start seeing results, you're going to feel stronger," says Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, a nutrition consultant in Los Angeles. "It will be easier to carry groceries, or you'll finally be able to throw that heavy suitcase into the overhead bin like a pro." These exercises are easy to perform, can be done in the comfort of your own home, and can be squeezed into your schedule whenever you have a few extra minutes. As you build muscle, become more toned, and lose inches, these physical changes will keep you motivated.
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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!
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.”
The strategy can be a successful one: According to research published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, the keto diet may burn 10 times as much fat as other diets. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best option for everyone—including vegetarians. (Look at how the keto diet transformed Jen Widerstrom's body.)
There was one person who I watched on youtube who was on a raw vegan keto diet who showed what she ate in a day. That might be the way to go if you want to avoid processed and cooked foods. For all I know it might be a good way to avoid the side effects of leg cramps because you are eating whole plant based foods and getting high quality nutrients.
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Feeling positive about the future, rather than focusing on the past or present, is more likely to lead you toward a healthier snack, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research. Instead of rewarding your happiness with a candy bar in the moment (or eating one for comfort), focus on the future outcome (like a healthier, lighter you) so you’ll make better choices in the present.


Despite the vegetarian diet's links to weight loss, it is possible for vegetarians to be overweight. That's because vegetarian diets, with their focus on fruits and vegetables, tend to be more carb-heavy and fat-deficient than other diets. Science has shown that overloading on carbs and sugars can lead to weight gain, and considering protein's positive effects on satiety and metabolism, skimping on the nutrient can also cause pounds to pile on.
There are other side effects as well when your body is first adjusting, like difficulty focusing, flu-like symptoms (keto flu), drowsiness, frequent urination, constipation, diarrhea, and reduced strength and physical performance. Most of these symptoms occur mainly in the first few days, while others can come and go depending upon how many electrolytes you are getting and your macronutrient intake.
I am a 59-year-old wife and mother of two grown children.  I love your idea of fixing a lot of meals ahead of time and then pulling one out, put it in the crockpot, and you have dinner when you get home.  I hate feeling rushed when I cook so Monday - Friday I use those crockpot meals and make enough that we have lunch the next day.  I take Sunday afternoon, fix up what I need for the week (I don't have a lot of freezer space so I do a week's worth at a time) and I'm done with it!  Saturdays I like to try new recipes from some of my cookbooks which I am finding I can freeze as well!  So you have shown me a whole new way to organize my time and still put a healthy meal on the table.  Thanks so much and I look forward to future blogs.

Another trick to encourage mindful eating is to focus on the taste of food instead of the activity you're doing while eating (like staring at a TV screen or reading emails). "Cultivate [your] taste buds by focusing on the first three to six bites of food," says Chere Bork, MS, RD, a speaker and wellness coach in Minneapolis. "Taste buds are chemical sensors that get tired very quickly, so unless you're very hungry, the first few bites of a food will taste better than the next few bites. After a larger amount, you may actually have very little taste experience left." By savoring the early bites, especially when it comes to rich foods like chocolate and cheese, you will satisfy hunger and cravings without eating large portions.

“You will likely lose weight on this diet, and if that’s your only goal, then great,” says Bailey. “However, this diet is extremely hard to achieve and maintain. It eliminates a lot of really beneficial foods, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables. Based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, one would need to consume 165 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of protein. This is unrealistic and also very unhealthy for our bodies,” she says.

While the jury is out on the diet’s long-term benefits, dietitians told Reader’s Digest that one of the most beneficial things about the vegetarian keto diet is that it incorporates fresh foods and eliminates many processed foods. “I encourage people to eat a whole-foods-based diet,” Vizthum says. “The parameters of a ketogenic diet are simply grams of macronutrients—protein, fat, carbs. The vegetarian ketogenic diet tries to also focus on the quality of foods eaten, increasing the micronutrient content of the diet.” Read more about 10 surprising health benefits of the keto diet.


How can I print off a copy of this to take to grocery store so I don’t have to hand write every item? Seeking healthier form of Keto that the Cardio Dr will allow with stents in place…does NOT WANT many saturated fats so thinking that vegetarian or even vegan may be the way to achieve compliance and wt loss. I have lost 30 since stent placement 2 years ago but have stalled out and asked about KETO – met a lot of resistance but agreement if I can get sat.fats down in my choice of foods.

Keto protein bars - Normally I wouldn’t recommend these, since many protein bars are really not as low carb as they need to be for an intensive vegetarian low carb diet. However, Quest bars and ONE bars are both pretty good for this, with Quest bars generally hovering below 5g net carbs and ONE bars being below 10g net carbs. These add up very quickly though, so use sparingly!
If your starting weight falls into the obese range on the body mass index, it is not impossible for your weight to change up to 20 pounds in a single day. But that amount of weight loss may not be very noticeable on a larger frame. However, if you are a petite woman and you lose 20 pounds that amount of weight loss can be the difference between several clothing sizes. It would be nearly impossible (and terribly unsafe), however, for a tiny woman to lose that much weight in a day. If you are smaller, you are likely to have less weight to lose and it will come off a little bit slower. When your starting body size is larger, you are likely to lose more weight at a faster rate—especially in the early days of in your program. You should include flax seed oil in smoothies or fruit juices if you are working out to lose quick fat. The omega 3-rich element is high in fiber content, and it can decrease irregularity and water retention. It also helps in growing metabolism rate.
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