The ketogenic or a keto diet is a diet that includes high-fat and low-carb. This diet has gained a lot of popularity in recent times. Although it includes animal products, such as fish, meat, as well as poultry, vegetarians can adopt this as well. A vegetarian keto diet is very much possible.
Keto-friendly foods have gained such popularity in the last few years, maybe because some celebrities have encouraged following keto diets. It helps in achieving the state of ketosis, which means that your body will burn fat instead of carbohydrates for the source of energy.
If being a vegetarian, you wish to indulge yourself in a keto diet, then, you have come to the right place. This article explains everything about a vegetarian keto diet from the best keto supplements and benefits to foods to eat and avoid.
What Is Vegetarian Keto Diet?
The vegetarian keto diet plan combines both aspects of vegetarianism and keto dieting. We notice that most vegetarians eat dairy products, and some of them eat eggs as well, but they usually avoid eating meats and fish.
A traditional ketogenic diet contains low-carb and high-fat intake per day. The carb-intake must be around 20-50 grams per day, and due to the ultra-low-carb intake, the body’s metabolic state starts burning fat for energy.
It is important to be aware that due to the vegetarian ketogenic diet, your body could experience deficiency in proteins, some essential fats, vitamins, as well as minerals.
Health Benefits of the Diet
There is no specific study on the benefits of the vegetarian keto diet, but there are several pieces of research that exist.
Promotes Weight Loss:
Both vegetarian and keto diets are associated with weight loss. The keto meal plan containing a good amount of fats along with the healthy vegetarian foods may keep you fuller for a longer period and restrict your hunger as well as appetite.
Protects Against Chronic Disease:
Studies have shown that vegetarian foods have considerably reduced the risk of several chronic diseases. Studies have seen that vegetarian food, along with keto foods, has notably reduced the growth of malignant tumors. Both diets have also led to the reduction of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and many more such diseases.
Potential Downsides of the Diet
May Increase Your Nutritional Deficiencies:
Vegetarian keto diet foods require a proper plan to ensure that you meet your nutritional needs. Studies have shown that proper nutrients have low importance in the case of these diets. This one has even more restrictions because of the limitations of different nutrient-dense foods. A solution for this may be taking nutrients, especially for nutrients such as vitamin B12.
Can Cause Flu-Like Symptoms:
Changing to a keto diet suddenly can have numerous side effects, which is often referred to as the keto flu. Some common symptoms of this are headaches, constipation, fatigue, muscle cramps, mood changes, difficulty in sleeping, dizziness, nausea.
Not Suitable for Certain Population:
Since the vegetarian keto diet has so many restrictions, the diet is not suitable for a certain group of people, particularly children, as well as pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding because several nutrients that are important for development are restricted. The diet is not proper for athletes or people who have eating disorders or type 1 diabetes.
Foods to Eat
Vegetarian keto diet for beginners is difficult because they do not know what the things are that they must combine in their diet. This section discusses the important foods that must be included in your meal:
- Non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, avocados, cauliflower, kale, zucchini, bell peppers.
- Healthy oils like avocado oil, coconut and MCT oil, olive oil.
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachio, etc.
- Chia seed, pumpkin seeds, flax, and hemp seeds.
- Fruits with low-carb such as berries, lemons, and limes.
- Cheese: Parmesan, Cottage cheese, Romano cheese, Soft cheese like brie, feta, blue cheese, and hard as well as Semi-hard cheese such as Cheddar, Swiss, etc.
- Peanut or almond butter.
Foods to Avoid
As mentioned earlier, maintaining a vegetarian keto diet is very difficult, as several foods need to be avoided. Some of them are:
- Starchy vegetables: Vegetarian, along with keto, is great for keto weight loss, and vegetables like yam, potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes must be avoided.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sweet tea, juice, sports drinks.
- Fruits such as orange, apples, bananas, apricots, plums, peaches.
- Alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, as well as sweetened cocktails.
- Sweeteners must be kept way away from you like brown sugars, honey, white sugar, maple syrup.
- If you are an ardent fan of condiments like barbecue sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, marinades, the time has come to bid you goodbye to them.
Vegetarian Keto Snacks
Following a keto diet does not mean that you have to sacrifice gorging into snacks. There are several keto diet snacks that you can enjoy. Some of them are zucchini chips, mixed nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, celery with peanut butter, carrots with guacamole, whipped cream along with blackberries, full-fat Greek yogurt and some walnuts to go with it, as well as chia seed pudding partnered with unsweetened coconut.
Staying Keto Vegetarian for a Long Term
While following easy keto meals is something that you start enjoying, you think of committing to a vegetarian keto diet forever. You may follow this diet for a longer period, but the only problem is that there is a lack of variety, and it is difficult to meet with the regular nutrition required by your body. However, choosing your meals and experimentation with your choice of vegetables and proteins along with the different herbs and spices can help you in leading a healthy vegetarian keto lifestyle.
Before committing permanently or even for some time, you must take professional advice. It surely helps you in planning your diet and having a healthy lifestyle. When keto is done perfectly, it can help in getting some healthy fats.
Author’s bio: Catherine Wiley is a healthy food enthusiast and fitness instructor from Dorking, UK. She’s been a lifelong student of health and enjoys staying active with her husband, 2 young children, and dog Bentley in the beautiful Surrey Hills countryside.