Is there such a thing as keto for vegans?
Absolutely! There are plenty of people who follow a plant-based keto diet. When you think about it, these two approaches to eating actually have a lot in common:
Although ketogenic eating and veganism are aligned, there are certain things you must keep in mind to combine them in a healthy way.
Mostly, this means ensuring that you are getting enough of the right types of nutrients even as you restrict certain ingredients.
For example, many of the plant-based protein sources vegans typically rely on, like lentils and quinoa, do not work with keto. So you may have to switch to keto-friendly vegan alternatives.
This guide will help you learn the benefits of this diet, which foods to eat and avoid, how to get essential nutrients, plant-based keto meal ideas, and more.
This is a fusion of two different types of eating:
This high-fat, low-carb vegan diet plan allows you to enjoy the benefits of a typical ketogenic diet without eating meat, fish, milk, eggs, or cheese.
Before you get started, please be aware that a keto vegan diet is not safe for everyone. People with a history of disordered eating, medical issues involving the liver, kidneys, or pancreas, or who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding should not follow this diet without approval from a medical doctor.
In fact, everyone should speak with a healthcare professional before making changes to their diet.
A ketoer and a vegan walk into a fast-food restaurant. The first person can order a bunless hamburger, and the second person can order fries.
But a vegan ketoer? Nope, they can’t order either of these unhealthy choices.
One of the advantages of a ketogenic vegan diet is that it helps you stay away from highly processed foods and the added sugars, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and artificial colors they often contain.
Eating highly processed foods has been linked to weight gain, overeating, higher rates of cancer, high risk of heart disease, and early death.
Furthermore, as you may know if you’re already a vegan, eating meat can have a negative impact on animals, the environment, and your health. For example, consuming certain meats (like red meats and processed meats) has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, certain types of cancer, and early death.
Aside from the benefits that come from what you’re NOT eating, what are the positive benefits of following a keto vegan lifestyle?
Ketogenic eating has been linked to:
While it is possible to be a healthy ketogenic vegan, lack of careful planning can put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies.
Specifically, following a vegan diet can lead to low levels of iron, calcium, iodine, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B2, B12, and D.
That’s why it’s so important to organize a proper vegan keto meal plan. You’ve got to make a conscious effort to include foods that are rich in these nutrients. (Find a list in the foods section below.)
In addition to eating certain foods, many keto vegans also get a nutrient boost from supplements and multivitamins.
On the ketogenic side of things, you should also be aware that some people feel symptoms of the so-called “keto flu” as they begin this new way of eating.
These can include headache, irritability, muscle cramps or soreness, sugar cravings, and digestive/stomach issues.
Once the body gets used to running on fat and ketones instead of carbs and sugar, these unpleasant side effects usually go away on their own.
The best ways to prevent or reduce negative side effects during the transition period are to drink enough water, replace electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium), get adequate sleep, and avoid heavy exercise.
Thinking about switching to a new healthy way of eating but not sure where to start?
Here are the steps to take:
1. Calculate your macro percentages as a keto vegan.
2. Put together a healthy keto diet meal plan.
3. Follow the plan and reap the benefits.
When you adopt this eating style, you will
Say good-bye to foods like:
Low-carb vegan keto foods to eat include:
Make sure to eat keto-friendly vegan protein sources, like:
Low-carb substitutes for vegans going keto:
Animal-free alternatives for ketoers going vegan:
Another advantage of planning your keto vegan meals ahead of time is being able to take just one weekly trip to the grocery store. You’ll already know all the ingredients you need, instead of improvising as you go!
While you’re at the store, take advantage of vegetables that are in season and products that are on sale.
You can fit them into next week’s plan, or store them (freezing if necessary) until you need them.
Here are some good staples to include in your vegan keto shopping list:
Nuts, seeds, spices
If you’re familiar with the layout of the supermarket, it’s best to group the items that are located near each other together on your list. That way you won’t have to circle back to where you’ve already been, and you will be less likely to forget any items.
Looking for delicious ways to put these healthy ingredients together?
Here’s a day’s worth of vegan keto meals:
Calories: 1,452 | Total Macros: 47.2 g net carbs, 55.5 g protein, and 107.2 g fat.
|BREAKFAST||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Tofu||1/4 cup (81g)||117||0.3||14||7|
|Crumbled tofu scramble with spinach, mushroom, and vegan cheddar cheese||Spinach||100g||23||1.4||2.9||0.4|
|White mushrooms||1 cup (96g)||21||2||3||0|
|Vegan cheddar cheese||1/4 cup (28g)||90||6||0||6|
|MORNING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Handful of almonds||Almonds||1/4 cup (36g)||207||3.3||7.6||17.9|
|LUNCH||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Zucchini||1 medium (196g)||31||4.4||2.4||0.4|
|Fresh basil leaves||1/2 cup (12g)||3||0.1||0.4||0.1|
|Zucchini noodles with vegan pesto||Garlic||1 clove (3g)||5||0.9||0.2||0|
|Lemon juice||from 1 wedge (5.9g)||1||0.4||0||0|
|Extra virgin olive oil||1 tablespoon (14g)||119||0||0||13.5|
|Nutritional yeast||1 tablespoon||34||1||5||0|
|EVENING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Carrot, cut into sticks||1 medium carrot||25||4.1||0.6||0.1|
|Carrot sticks with avocado and chia seeds||Avocado, mashed||1/2 avocado (100g)||161||3.6||2||14.8|
|Chia seeds||1 tablespoon (12g)||60||1||2||3.5|
|DINNER||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Extra virgin olive oil||1 tablespoon||119||0||0||13.5|
|Coconut curry with veggies and seitan over cauliflower rice||Garlic||1 clove (3g)||5||0.9||0.2||0|
|Ginger root, chopped||1 teaspoon (2g)||2||0.4||0||0|
|Coconut, cooking type||2/3 cup (160mL)||240||4||0||24|
|Curry powder||1 tablespoon (6.3g)||21||0.2||0.9||0.9|
|Lime juice||from 1/4 lime (11g)||3||0.9||0||0|
|Eggplant||1 cup, cubed (82g)||21||2.4||0.8||0.1|
|Asparagus||1 cup (134g)||27||2.4||3||0.2|
|Cauliflower rice||1 cup||27||3||2||0|
|Seitan||42g (1/2 serving)||45||3.5||7.5||0.3|
|DAILY TOTALS||1,744 cal||28.8g net carbs||79.4g protein||140.6g fat|
Keep in mind that the ideal daily amounts of calories, fat, protein, and carbs are different for each person. This means you should tweak recipes and serving sizes depending on your individual needs.
To make this easier, you can consider signing up for a professional meal planning service. PlanKetogenic’s personalized meal plans are available for vegans. You fill in a short quiz so we can calculate your ideal daily macros, then we build your meal plan accordingly.
Got questions about this way of eating? You’re not alone! Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about keto for vegans below.
People who follow vegan diets are often able to lose more weight than those who eat animal products. With an omnivorous ketogenic diet, many people lose 2 to 10 pounds the first week and 4 to 10 pounds per month after that. Weight loss varies from person to person and depends on a number of factors, including your starting weight and how much you exercise.
One common mistake people make when wanting to shed pounds is limiting their fat intake. Remember that keto is a high-fat diet! Your body will be running on fat instead of carbs, so you need to eat enough high-fat plant-based foods to enter ketosis.
Here are some ideas of what to order from a restaurant for your low-carb vegan diet plan:
It’s helpful to check out the menu online before you go to a restaurant. That way, you go in with a game plan and you already know what questions you might need to ask your server.
You can also make things easier by going to a vegan restaurant. That way, you can focus on looking for keto options from dishes you already know are animal-free.
Yes, this way of eating can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Careful meal planning will help you ensure that you are getting all of the calories and nutrients you need. Sometimes taking vitamins or supplements, such as B12, can help.
It is possible, but this combination of three different types of restrictive diets is too limiting for most people to stick with. However, there is no reason not to do it, as long as you are getting enough nutrients and calories, especially from healthy fats. Chat to your doctor before deciding to do such a restrictive diet.
Separately, it has been shown that both vegan and keto diets can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, at this time there have not been scientific studies on combining the two diets. If you have diabetes, it is important to speak with your doctor directly before you consider changing your diet.
As a general rule, it is recommended that you drink half your bodyweight in ounces. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day. That’s equal to 10 cups, 0.6 gallons, or 2.4 liters.
Drinking water is a good way to avoid the keto flu and reduce appetite.
Not sure if keto veganism is for you? Why not explore your options? Check out these similar plans to find the best fit.