Plant-Based Keto Diet Plan

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of Plant-Based Keto Diet Plan



The keto diet has proven benefits when it comes to weight loss. No wonder many people are looking to turn it into their new lifestyle.

However, if you follow a plant-based diet, you probably wonder if you can also get the benefits of ketosis. The answer is yes. You can follow a plant-based ketogenic diet.

In this article, you will learn all about doing a plant-based keto diet plan, including advantages and drawbacks of a plant-based keto plan, how to start this new meal plan, and which foods to eat and to avoid. You’ll also see a one-day meal plan sample and a shopping list to use.


What is the plant-based keto diet plan?

First, it is important to define what we mean by “plant-based.” This term describes an eating pattern that focuses on vegetables, with little to no animal products. 

There’s a lot of flexibility within the plan. Some people continue to eat meat occasionally but stick to vegetarian or vegan options most of the time, others follow a vegetarian approach (eating dairy and eggs but no meat), while vegans eat no animal products at all.

A plant-based keto diet is a low-carb, moderate fat, and high-fat eating plan. Most of the foods it includes are vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, or other natural plant food. It has the following macronutrient breakdown:

  • Carbs: 5-10%
  • Protein: 20%
  • Fats: 70-80%

Like any ketogenic approach, this eating plan is unsuitable for pregnant or lactating women, or people with type 1 diabetes.


Benefits of a plant-based keto diet plan

There are several benefits you can get from a ketogenic diet, and if you base your food choices on plant-based options, you can have greater results. Here are some of the benefits you might experience when doing this type of eating plan.

  • Weight loss
  • Possible improvements in insulin sensitivity
  • May help stabilize sugar levels
  • Increased satiety levels
  • More energy 
  • Could result in better blood work (reduced triglycerides and cholesterol levels)
  • Can reduce inflammation

Following a plant-based diet while doing keto can help overcome one of the common drawbacks of traditional keto, which is constipation. Plant-based foods are high in fiber, which helps keep you regular.

Additionally, it has benefits towards the environment since following a plant-based diet reduces your carbon footprint.


Drawbacks of a plant-based keto diet plan

Although there are several advantages of embracing this type of eating plan, there are some possible drawbacks for you to consider. Here are the most common ones that you might experience.

  • Keto flu. During the first days, while your body adapts to ketones, you may notice fatigue, headaches, nausea, and a foggy brain.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. Although vegetables are very nutrient dense, by eliminating an entire food group (animal products), you might have nutritional deficiencies. The most common you need to be aware of are vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, zinc, and iron. Thus, if you are following a strictly plant-based approach you might want to consider taking a multivitamin.
  • Reduced performance. During the first days you might not experience the same energy levels. Thus, your mental and physical performance might decrease during these days.


How to start the plant-based keto diet plan

Before you make any lifestyle changes, it is important for you to talk with your primary healthcare provider to ensure that you are suitable for following this type of eating plan. Once you get the ok from them, you can start with the basics of a ketogenic plan.

  1. Calculate your calories. First, you need to determine the caloric intake your body needs to maintain, based on your personal characteristics and how active you are.
  2. Determine your goal. It can be weight loss, maintenance, or weight gain.
  3. Add or subtract calories. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit (subtract calories), while if you are looking to gain weight, you need to be in a caloric surplus (add calories). If you are looking to maintain your weight, they remain the same.
  4. Determine your macros. Calculate the percentage of each macros based on the recommendations for keto (5-10% carbs, 20% protein, and 70-80% fats).
  5. Plan ahead. Make a daily and weekly menu so you can buy and prepare meals in advance.



Foods to eat and avoid

Once you have calculated your calories and macros, you need to set up which foods you are going to include and which ones to avoid in your meal plan. Let’s start with which foods to avoid.

Animal products are limited in a plant-based keto diet. This includes chicken, fish, seafood, beef, pork, eggs, and dairy. You can decide whether you want to consume these in small amounts or avoid them completely.

If you are not eating any animal products, it is advised for you to supplement with a plant-based protein powder. That way you don’t rely on legumes to provide protein, which are also a source of carbs. You can also include tofu and soy-based products.

Simple carbohydrates are also avoided since they can increase your carb intake, affecting your ketosis. Thus products like sugars, honey, pastries, candies, cakes, and cookies are eliminated.

Fats are the primary energy source when it comes to a ketogenic diet. They need to be eaten in large quantities. In this case, we are going to focus on the ones that come from vegetable sources since they are healthier and more attuned to the lifestyle we are trying to adopt. 

Here is a list of plant-based fat sources for you to include:

  • Avocado
  • Avocado oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Olives
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Nut butters

Fresh produce, like fruits and vegetables, are encouraged to have to provide nutrients and fiber to the diet. As long as they are non-starchy vegetables, you can have any one of your choice. When it comes to fruits, be sure to consider the carbohydrates and measure your portion size accordingly.

Grains and starchy vegetables can be included as long as you don’t go over your total carb intake.


Shopping list

This is my favorite time when it comes to creating a new meal plan: grocery shopping! To help you ease into this new way of eating, here is a shopping list to use the next time that you go to the grocery store.


  • Avocado
  • Avocado oil or olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts
  • Seeds: flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds
  • Nut butter
  • Coconut milk


  • Leafy greens
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Bamboo shoots


  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines


  • Protein powder
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Soy-based products (aka meat analogs)
  • Seitan


  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, edamame)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potato
  • Corn


1-day sample meal plan

Now that we know which foods to add, let's talk about creating a menu. Here you can find a one-day eating plan of the plant-based keto diet.

  • Breakfast: Vegan keto porridge
  • Morning snack: Protein smoothie
  • Lunch: Zucchini noodles with mozzarella cheese and pesto
  • Evening snack: Celery sticks and cashew butter
  • Dinner: Marinated tofu with cauliflower and broccoli

Calories: 1,632 | Macros: 49.9 g net carbs, 84.5 g protein, and 109.3 g fats

BREAKFAST Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Vegan breakfast porridge Chia seeds 1 oz 138 2.2 4.7 8.7
  Sunflower seeds 20 g 131 1.4 4.2 11.2
  Almond milk 1 cup 39 2.9 1 2.5
  Raspberries 1 cup 64 6.6 1.5 0.8
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
372 13.1 g 11.4 g 23.2 g            
MORNING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Protein smoothie Silk coconut beverage 1 cup 76 7.1 0.5 5.1
  Vegan protein powder 1 scoop 130 4 18 3
  Vanilla 1 teaspoon 12 0.5 0 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
218 11.6 g 18.5 g 8.1 g            
LUNCH Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Zucchini noodles with mozzarella cheese and pesto Zucchini 1 medium 33 4.1 2.4 0.6
  Olive oil 1 tablespoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Mozzarella 3 oz 235 2.4 23.1 14.4
  Cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup 14 1.6 0.4 0
  Onion powder 1/2 teaspoon 4 0.8 0.1 0
   Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
   Pesto 1/8 cup 130 1.4 1.5 13
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
540 11.3 g 27.7 g 41.6 g            
EVENING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Celery sticks and cashew butter Celery sticks 1 cup 14 1.4 0.7 0.2
  Cashew butter 1 oz 166 7.2 5 14
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
180 8.6 g 5.7 g 14.2 g            
DINNER Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Marinated tofu with broccoli and cauliflower Tofu 3 oz 108 0 17.4 3.7
  Sesame seed oil 1 teaspoon 40 0 0 4.5
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
  Soy sauce 1 teaspoon 4 0.3 0.6 0
  Ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon 3 0.5 0 0
  Olive oil 1 tablespoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Cauliflower 1/2 cup 13 1.6 1 0.1
  Broccoli 1 cup 30 1.9 2 0.3
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
322 5.3 g 21.2 g 22.2 g            
DAILY TOTALS   1,632 cal 49.9 g net carbs 84.5 g protein 109.3 g fat



Plant-based ketogenic diet plan FAQ

If you still have some questions regarding keto and a plant-based diet. Here are the most frequently asked questions about these topics.

Although they are very similar, you don’t necessarily have to exclude all animal products from a plant-based diet. You might follow a vegetarian approach where you include only eggs and dairy. You can even have some other animal products once in a while.

On the other hand, a vegan diet eliminates all animal products.

Yes, you can have legumes to help you reach your total protein intake during the day.

However, keep in mind that they contain carbs. This means that you need to carefully measure the portion size and deduct the carbs from your total daily intake to ensure you are not exceeding it.

You can have soy-based products like protein shakes or tofu. These are excellent sources of protein that won’t add carbs into your diet.

You can also include legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) and quinoa. They are excellent protein sources, but they also give you some carbs. Thus, be careful about the amount that you eat.

Yes, as long as you are in a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than your body needs), you are going to lose weight.

Additionally, keep a thorough count of your total carbohydrate intake during the day to ensure that you are within your carb budget to stay in ketosis.

Yes, almond milk or coconut milk are perfect plant-based options to replace dairy. You can also opt for hemp milk, which offers healthy fats and protein. If you are not having any other calcium sources, try your best to opt for calcium fortified plant-based milks in order to meet your needs. 

The Beyond Burger patty has 5 g of net carbs per serving. Additionally, it offers 20 g of protein and 14 g of fats. This is a good option for people on a keto plant-based diet since it doesn’t provide a lot of carbs.

However, it is high in sodium (390 mg), so you need to eat it in moderation.


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