If you feel like everything is off limits, we're here to help. Yes, following a keto diet when you're vegan is difficult...but not impossible! You may not be living off bacon and eggs like some of your other keto friends, but with these avocado, almond butter, and coconut milk-filled recipes, your stomach will still be full and happy. And if you're vegan-ish, be sure to check out our vegetarian keto recipes too, for those times you want to slip in a little dairy.
Hey Emma, I would definitely recommend consulting with your doctor and doing some more research on your own. However, keto isn’t high in protein, it’s high in fat and moderate in protein. So as long as you are keeping that protein intake moderate and fats higher, I don’t see why not. But again, talk with your doctor and definitely reach out to others who may have more experience in that area. Good luck!
This is where it gets a little more complicated, and where a list can come in very handy. It’s important to add healthy low-carb veggies to your meals while on the keto diet, so you still receive enough healthy fiber to keep you feeling full. Fruit can also be incorporated into your meal plan, but you have to be selective as the fructose content in a lot of fruit can easily tip you over your daily carbohydrate ration and kick you out of ketosis. Make these veggies and fruits your friends:
In our sandwich-with-a-side-of-bread culture, cutting carbs down to the wire trips many people up. “Exact numbers vary person to person, but in general, strict keto dieters need to consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day,” says exercise physiologist Michael T. Nelson, Ph.D. (miketnelson.com). “Some people need to go as low as 30 grams.” The Mod Keto approach allows two to three times as many, but it’s still very low-carb compared to the diet of the average American. (For reference, one banana, one apple, or a single slice of bread would put you over your daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet.) #ketones
“If you look at people who lose a lot of weight through diet alone and compare them to those who do it through diet and exercise, the latter group has better gains,” Sharp says. “That’s because exercise increases lean tissue mass, preserves your metabolism, increases energy, reduces stress and decreases cortisol, which we know is key to weight loss.”
Many dieters get so bored with bland “diet” foods they end up eating more of them to feel fulfilled. Instead of eating for quantity, focus on the quality of your food. “You may notice that the first few tastes of the food are the most satisfying—your taste buds are on high alert,” says Steinmetz. “Buying small quantities of high quality food and concentrating on taste will help you savor small bites. Stop after the first four bites so that your taste is not ‘saturated’, and then try a different food.”
Those who are doing the vegetarian keto diet will have to pay extra attention to what they are putting in their mouths, says Davis. “It can be harder to manage your diet because you might have to spend more time calculating your carbohydrate intake and spend a lot of time planning meals and considering the foods you are eating. Many plant foods contain carbs, so it could be challenging to stay balanced, satisfied, and achieve ketosis,” she says.
Zucchini noodes (zoodles!) are a bit of a staple on the keto diet, when I first started cutting out carbs pasta was one of the biggest thing’s I missed. Pre-keto I would love making pasta as a quick and easy weeknight dinner, but actually the zucchini version is so much better, with more flavour and quicker too. This dish can be put together in under 10 minutes!
Zucchini noodes (zoodles!) are a bit of a staple on the keto diet, when I first started cutting out carbs pasta was one of the biggest thing’s I missed. Pre-keto I would love making pasta as a quick and easy weeknight dinner, but actually the zucchini version is so much better, with more flavour and quicker too. This dish can be put together in under 10 minutes! #keto diet
Vitamin B12 - B12 is a vitamin required for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, so it is pretty important. Unfortunately, it is almost exclusively comes from animal products, so vegetarians might not get as much of it as they need. Vegans definitely will not. Interestingly, vitamin B12 is actually made by animals’ gut bacteria, so you can find vegan-friendly sources. Also interestingly, your body can store B12 for as long as 3 to 5 years before you become deficient, so it may take a while before symptoms show up.
"When I was really heavy, I felt like people were staring at me, so I didn't go into stores or restaurants by myself. I'd walk with my head down and avoid eye contact. My mom had a heart attack at age 41, when I was 19, and that was never far from my mind. On my 39th birthday in 2012, I hit 250 pounds and thought, I'm going to die if I don't do something. So I set a goal to get under 200 pounds by age 40."
Vitamin D - Vitamin D is another essential vitamin for the body, which uses it for many tasks. Vitamin D is required to move your muscles, fire your neurons, and fight off foreign pathogens. It also helps the body absorb calcium, aiding in the strengthening of bones. Vitamin D might also help combat depression. Unfortunately, it is also nearly exclusively derived from animal products.
One of the coolest things that intermittent fasting does is trigger a phenomenon in your body called autophagy. Autophagy is a process in which your body recycles and consumes its own cells and proteins in a healthy manner. Often it means that damaged cells are turned into energy for your body, which is the equivalent of cleaning out the depths of your kitchen cupboards. For more on this check out this article.
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.
If you want to add a little variety of breakfast so it’s not always about eggs and you’re in the mood for some texture, this low-carb cinnamon cereal is the ideal keto breakfast to dig into. There’s something about plunging that round spoon into a cold, creamy bowl of milk and picking up crisp little squares that’ll transport you straight back to childhood. Make a big batch and store it in an air-tight jar so that the rest of the week’s breakfasts are a breeze. It’ll stay crunchy for about as long as a regular breakfast cereal.
Reading ingredient labels is also important. You should know what’s in the food that you put into your body! Those following a vegan or vegetarian diet are used to checking ingredient labels to make sure that they’re not unknowingly consuming an animal product or byproduct. When on the keto diet, you have to look out for food that contains sugar and flours. They can interfere with ketosis. “Don’t consume any added sugar from desserts, juice or soft drinks, grains, beans or legumes. Instead of consuming sugar or even honey, try using stevia extract or monk fruit to sweeten meals,” says Dr. Axe. “Even starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and beets provide carbs that can interfere with ketosis. These should be avoided or [eaten] in very small amounts.”
"I am amazed at how much I was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time when I had the right tools with Samantha's program and I got really focused. I was really motivated in this private studio of all women and I was inspired to do my absolute best. I FEEL AMAZING! And at 54, I am in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE! Thank you for this great program, Samantha!" Ann
Meat and dairy that comes from animals raised conventionally in controlled animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are not only nutritionally inferior, but they contribute to climate change and the abuse of animals and the local environment as well. Furthermore, if the meat you eat is predominantly packaged meat (e.g., bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausages, and salami), then you may be increasing your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Spaghetti squash is a smart addition to your keto diet because it strings apart and mimics true spaghetti so easily. Sliced in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and drizzle a healthy oil onto its open-faced side. Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice, and place face-down into a roasting pan to roast until it’s soft when pricked, and pulls apart into spaghetti-like strings when a fork is taken to it.
I tipped the scale as a 238-pound diabetic in 2009, thanks to bouts of emotional eating. My doctor warned me that if I didn't lose weight, I'd need to take insulin injections, so I joined a nearby gym. I dropped the first 30 pounds by walking on the treadmill, but when my weight started to plateau, I knew I needed to up the intensity. I signed up for Zumba, Spinning and weight-training group classes and was immediately hooked. The sessions felt more like a social get-together than exercise. Best of all, the added activity helped me reach my goal weight in 2012.
In the vein of not being afraid to ask: connect with someone (a friend, neighbor, family member, coworker, etc.) that has a vehicle and ask to tag along on their grocery trips. They get to have a friend with you while you shop and you get a ride to the store, so it’s a win-win all around. People are eager and willing to help out, they just need to know how first!
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.
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Processed soy-based meat substitutes (such as Boca Burgers) and protein powders are major go-to’s for people transitioning to vegan diets, but they come with a catch. A 2016 position paper published by Virginia State University explains that soy contains isoflavones, a kind of plant estrogen that can act like the female hormone in humans. While typical serving sizes (one to three of soy foods, or less than 25g of soy protein from non-concentrated sources like tofu) have not been shown to be problematic, amounts more than that (totaling around 100mg isoflavones or greater daily) could negatively impact testosterone. To our thinking, why take the risk? It may be best for a keto dieter to get the majority of his/her protein from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and supplements and less from soy products, apart from the occasional slice of tofu.
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.
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Meat is a cornerstone of the ketogenic weight-reduction plan, however that doesn’t suggest the weight loss plan is off-limits for the vegetarian population. As the excessive-fats, low-carb approach has grown in recognition, many vegetarians have desired in on the hype and feature located a manner to make it work for them, tweaking the typical keto diet menu and food list to in shape inside their meat-loose existence.
Most people are already getting enough omega-6 fatty acids since these are fairly common. But omega-3 fats are harder to obtain. The best vegetarian source of omega-3s include walnuts, olive oil, flaxseed, and chia seeds. However, studies show that your body needs fairly large amounts of plant omega-3s to convert it into its usable for . Keep that in mind when planning a vegan diet.
By being aware of the things you might be deficient in, you could (and should) load up on foods that are rich in those nutrients, such as cheese for vitamin B12, eggs for vitamin D, and leafy greens like kale for calcium. If you are interested in trying keto without eating meat, Mass also recommends easing up on how strict of a vegetarian you are and eating fish if you don’t already since it’s a great source of omega-3s and protein.
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.”
Still, Mass is hesitant to endorse this way of consuming. “I don’t see many blessings to going keto vegetarian,” she says. The main challenge is dietary deficiencies. As Medline Plus notes, vegetarians already are liable to being deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Keto then puts extra regulations in vicinity, further growing the probability of being deficient in a number of those vitamins. For instance, breakfast cereals, which are commonly rich in vitamin B12, aren’t allowed on keto.
“It’s been a real confidence builder to realize that I can set goals and accomplish them. I was never athletic as a kid, and now as a person eligible for Social Security, I’m signed up for two 10 mile races and a half marathon in 2017—and I know I’ll finish them. As a matter of fact, running has improved my mental health as much or more as my physical health. Running is the one thing that I do just for me, which is needed in a life full of stress.”
Give this comforting keto bowl a try — it’ll not only satisfy cravings for something hearty but also has a lovely added pop of flavor from the charred veggies. Pre-coat the goat’s cheese and store it in the fridge for even quicker meal prep. You can also apply some of our handy tips here to other keto meals you make. Incorporating grilled veggies to salads is an easy way to upgrade what could otherwise be a rather sober meal.