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Vegetarian and vegan diets are gaining popularity. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, there’s been a 600 percent increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S. in the last three years alone, so plant-based lifestyles are clearly catching on. Another diet that’s quickly climbing the popularity charts is the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet. This eating plan calls for the restriction of carbs by following the LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) principle. Essentially, by reducing carbs, the body’s forced to break down and use fat for fuel instead, a process called ketosis.
“When I started running for real, my choice was validated that first time I was able to run an entire 5K without feeling like I was going to die. I experienced joy through the physical pain, and the freedom that comes with moving on your own. I was hooked to the point of obsession, reading every book I could find on running, watching documentaries, tweaking my training program, and signing up for every race that would fit my schedule.”
That depends. Mass says if going keto motivates an unhealthy vegetarian to clean up his or her carb game, it could be beneficial and lead to better blood sugar control. Plus, transitioning from a pasta-heavy diet to one that’s rich in veggies and healthy fats should help someone drop unwanted pounds, she says. But for vegetarians who eat relatively clean already and rely on healthy carbs like quinoa and oats — which are limited on the keto diet — to help them feel full, adopting low-carb keto might be overly restrictive.
Cutting out grains, rice, bread, and pasta will reduce your carb intake substantially, but you’ll also have to cut way back on nearly all fruits (exceptions are in the food list above, though even those should be eaten sparingly). Starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams are out, too. And the sugary dressings and sauces you may be so accustomed to that you don’t even question them anymore… well, start questioning them.
My Weight-Loss Secret: "I was too embarrassed to go to the gym, so I committed to walking three times a day for 10 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes I'd just walk in place in front of the TV. After a year, I'd lost about 40 pounds through a combo of diet and exercise. Then I got pregnant with my son. I kept walking, and eight months after he was born, I'd lost 63 more pounds. I've kept off the weight for nine years, and today, I still walk about two miles, three days a week."
Meat is a cornerstone of the ketogenic diet, but that doesn’t mean the diet is off-limits for the vegetarian population. As the high-fat, low-carb approach has grown in popularity, many vegetarians have wanted in on the hype and have found a way to make it work for them, tweaking the typical keto diet menu and food list to fit within their meat-free lifestyles.
You guys have been asking for more low carb snack recipes, so Dessi came up with a homemade cracker that could be the best keto snack yet! These crackers take no time at all to make, are gluten free and vegan, and they are so much cheaper than buying specialty crackers at the store. I got so tried of buying Simple Mills crackers at the store, a 4-ounce bag was $5! This recipe costs a fraction of that and the crackers are gluten free. Make sure to check out some of Dessi’s other snack recipes like her keto biscotti and low carb gluten free bagels.
When it comes to buying keto-friendly vegan dairy products, make sure you are not getting any extra added sugar, hidden carbs, or unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils. Some of these products may also have “gums” in them like agar agar or guar gum. These compounds are used to make the product creamier, and they are safe for most people. However, some people may get gastrointestinal discomfort from eating them, so look out for gums when switching to vegan dairy products.
Scott Leopold attempted his first diet at 19, when he weighed 438 lbs. He was in college and often drank alcohol and finished the night off with fatty foods such as chicken wings or sweets and chips. “I wouldn’t think twice about eating two whole pizzas,” he tells PEOPLE. After he lost his first 100 lbs., he and his friends “celebrated” at a buffet.
This diet plan may not be suitable for everyone. You may have to make small adjustments. If you need to have less protein, reduce the portions of dairy and eggs. Don't worry about small excess of protein, it will not kick you out of ketosis. In fact, protein will keep hunger at bay. If you need to add more fat (or less), focus on added oils and fatty foods when making your adjustments. You can find your ideal macros using KetoDiet Buddy. If you need to add snacks and more food to serve with the meals, have a look at this list.
To get an idea of what that entails, consider that an average-sized person who eats about 2,000 calories a day will need 100–200g protein daily (on the lower end for strict keto dieters, and on the higher side for those going the Mod Keto route). A three-quarter cup serving of sunflower seeds nets you 25–30g protein, but also costs you 10g of carbs. Almonds have a similar protein-to-carb ratio at 30g to 15g per cup. The key is to accumulate enough protein from vegan sources without letting your carbs creep up too high.
How it works: Intermittent fasting requires you to eat within a certain window of time and fast during the rest. There are several different methods for intermittent fasting, some of which are more restrictive than others. The 16:8 method, for example, requires you to eat within an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. You would only eat two meals a day, for example, your first meal starting at noon and your last around 8 p.m.
**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.
When you eat carbs, your body ingests them and converts them into an energy form that it's able to use - glucose. Glucose is at the top of the pecking order for your body to use for energy, if available. Insulin is the hormone that carries glucose around the bloodstream. The more carbs you eat, the more glucose your body produces, and the more insulin your body produces.
Although many people avoid eating meat due to concerns about animal welfare or the environment, others choose vegetarianism because they believe it is healthier. However, vegetarian diets are typically high in grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, which aren’t appropriate for individuals with diabetes, who want to control their blood sugar without medication. Additionally, many people find that they are constantly hungry when following a low-fat, high-carb vegetarian way of eating.
“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.”
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