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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In one study, eating a high-fiber, higher protein dinner (30% of total calories from fiber and 17% of total calories from protein) and less saturated fat helped adults fall asleep faster than those who ate meals that were lower in fiber and higher in saturated fat and sugar. The researchers found eating a high-fiber, higher protein meal was also associated with more time in slow wave, deep sleep, which is essential for memory consolidation and immune function. Eating more saturated fat, in contrast, led to less restful sleep and more nighttime arousals.
The keto diet works well for vegetarians. Sometimes a vegetarian diet ends up being high in carbohydrates if it’s lacking in protein. A lack of protein can cause you to crave carbs to feel full, resulting in weight gain and low energy. On the flip side, a low carb vegetarian diet can help you get back on track with your weight and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle overall. It can curb your cravings and help you get into the habit of eating healthy foods that will fill you up, without going overboard.
“I lost most of my weight (200 lbs.) in about 18 months so I have had to stay busy to keep it off,” he says. “I am extremely competitive and have an amazing network of friends and the From Fat To Finish Line (FFTFL) community. I like to join training groups and training clubs because of the friendships and accountability it creates. It would be easy for me to blow off a 10-mile run at 5:30 on a Friday morning, but I know I have two friends meeting me, who I would never let down.”
Eggs and dairy — two of the main animal products you can eat on the vegetarian ketogenic diet — are nutrient dense, and their production has much less of an impact on the environment than lamb, beef, farmed salmon, poultry, turkey, and pork. You can even take the positive effects one step further by sourcing your eggs and dairy from local, pasture-raised chickens and cows. By supporting these healthy and sustainable animal rearing practices, you will be investing in the most humane and healthy animal products (more on this later).