Vegetarian diets have been a mainstream fitness trend for many years. Recently, the keto or ketogenic diet has become popular for its weight-loss benefits. The keto diet involves eating foods high in fat, low in carbohydrates, and containing small amounts of protein. On the other hand, vegetarian diets are typically high in carbohydrates and low in fat.
Can one have the best of both worlds? Is it possible to find a balance between these two diets? The answer is yes. A keto diet designed for vegetarians could be the perfect solution for those looking to lose weight and achieve their body goals.
It is important to note that a Keto diet for vegetarians is different from a regular Keto diet. This version includes incorporating more plant-based proteins and healthy fats, as well as limiting the amount of carbohydrates consumed. With this diet, vegetarians can get the best of both worlds: weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
Planning a Nutritious Vegetarian Keto Diet
A common type of vegetarian diet in the US, Canada, and Europe is the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which includes eggs and dairy but excludes seafood, poultry, and meat. A vegetarian Keto meal plan involves cutting out all meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as greatly reducing carbohydrates from other plant-based foods.
The same macronutrient breakdown as a regular Keto diet is followed, with around 70–75% of calories coming from fat, 20–25% from proteins, and a mere 5–10% from carbohydrates.
A vegetarian diet is typically high in proteins, but this energy source is not as important as other sources in a keto diet. To adhere to the keto diet while following a vegetarian diet, you can include hard cheeses like Parmesan, Gruyere, and Cheddar, fatty cottage cheese, no-sugar Greek yogurt, eggs, and goat cheese.
If you prefer a stricter vegetarian-Keto diet, you can opt for plant-based proteins such as nut-based yogurt, tempeh, natto, and nutritional yeast.
For those following a vegetarian Keto diet, fats are the key component. Nuts and seeds like walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, coconut, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are great sources of healthy fats.
Non-dairy alternatives such as coconut cream, olives, avocados, and cocoa butter are also options for those avoiding dairy products.
Oils like flaxseed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, and olive oil can provide the necessary fats for a vegetarian Keto diet. To get the most benefits, it’s important to select cold-pressed varieties of these oils.
If you’re on a Keto diet as a vegetarian, it’s important to be aware of the carbohydrate content in the fruits and vegetables you’re consuming. To make things easier, it’s a good idea to have a list of carbohydrate contents handy.
Leafy greens, asparagus, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, eggplants, garlic, and tomatoes are all suitable vegetables that can be incorporated into a Keto diet.
When it comes to fruits, those with lower sugar and carbohydrate content are the safest options. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries all make great choices for a keto diet.
Tips to Ensure a Vegetarian Keto Diet is Successful
Maintaining a keto diet as a vegetarian can be challenging, as it severely restricts the types of food you can eat. To ensure success, it is essential to plan your meals and shop for the necessary ingredients in advance.
Doing this will help you stay in ketosis for the required time to meet your weight loss goals. If not, you may be tempted to stray from the diet when hunger strikes.
- Selecting a High-Quality Protein Source
On a vegetarian Keto diet, the recommended daily protein intake is 60–100 g.To get the most out of your protein sources, opt for high-quality items such as unsweetened Greek yogurt, hemp seeds, eggs, parmesan, and unsweetened peanut or almond butter.
Soft and semi-hard cheeses like Brie, feta, cheddar, provolone, Swiss, Camembert, and Gouda, as well as cottage cheese, are all excellent sources of protein. Additionally, firm tofu, tempeh, natto, and edamame beans are viable if you are not allergic to soy.
- Increase Vegetable Consumption with Low Carbohydrates
Some vegetables are especially suited for the keto diet due to their incredibly low carbohydrate content. Examples include spinach, zucchini, avocado, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Aside from being nutrient- and fiber-rich, these vegetables are great for helping you meet your keto goals.
- Steer clear of typical vegetarian protein sources.
Vegetarians have a variety of options to choose from, such as quinoa, legumes, pulses, and buckwheat. However, these are not suitable for a Keto diet, which eliminates low-fat dairy, vegetables with a high starch content, naturally sweet fruits, and milk.
- Season well
Add flavor to your vegetarian Keto diet by incorporating herbs like basil, cinnamon, and rosemary. These herbs are low in carbs and provide a delicious flavor to your meals.
Begin your journey.
For vegetarians, the keto diet is an achievable option. With careful planning and the inclusion of healthy fats, a keto diet can be tailored to fit the needs of vegetarians. When done correctly, this diet allows vegetarians to reach their fitness goals.