Starting a new keto diet plan can be overwhelming, especially when you eliminate certain products. Such is the case of people following an animal-free diet. Beginning a new ketogenic lifestyle while being vegetarian can feel a little bit limiting. At first, you may not know what to eat, what not to eat, or how to balance all macronutrients.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about having a vegetarian meal plan for keto. You will learn which foods to avoid and which foods to incorporate, along with keto-friendly vegetarian alternatives. You’ll also see an entire day’s worth of meals and a shopping list. Finally, we’ll go over the most frequently asked questions.
A vegetarian ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein eating plan. It removes most animal products from the diet, such as meats and poultry. The only animal products included are eggs and dairy.
Can vegetarians do keto?
Sure, you can be a vegetarian and do keto at the same time as long as you do some careful planning. For example, you will have to be extra mindful of the amount of protein you have each day.
How much you should eat on a vegetarian keto diet will vary for each person. The calories and macros depend on each person’s weight, height, age, activity levels, and other conditions. It will also depend on the goals you have. If you are looking to lose some weight, you must be in a calorie deficit. On the other hand, if you want to gain weight, you must have a calorie surplus. You can calculate your unique macros here.
A vegetarian low-carb diet is not suitable for babies or children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with Type 1 Diabetes, or those with pancreatic problems. Make sure to check with a health professional before making changes to your diet.
Why all of a sudden are so many people looking to follow a ketogenic lifestyle? Weight loss is the main reason people switch to a keto diet, but there are many additional benefits to this eating plan. Here are some other reasons for switching to a no-carb vegetarian diet plan:
Following a vegetarian low-carb diet can be complicated if there is no structure.
There are some side effects of following a vegetarian keto diet. You must be careful you don’t develop any nutritional deficiencies when following a vegetarian diet. Planning all the meals will be essential to address these issues at the beginning to have optimum health.
To avoid having any nutritional deficiency, make sure to incorporate foods high in the nutrients stated above. Here is a list of keto-approved foods that are high in each nutrient.
If you cannot add any of these foods, you can always supplement with a keto multivitamin. It will have the right amount of nutrients your body needs to work correctly and avoid any deficiency.
Typically, a traditional ketogenic diet has a moderate meat intake to have optimal protein levels. So you might be wondering how to begin a keto diet being a vegetarian. Here you will find the steps to make that transition as simple as possible.
As a vegetarian, most animal products are limited. Depending on each person, you can consume eggs, dairy, and even small amounts of fish and seafood if you’re a pescatarian. On the ketogenic side of things, you’ll need to make sure to count every carb-containing food, so you don’t go over your carb limit.
Here is a list of protein foods to avoid when following a vegetarian ketogenic diet.
There are other foods you should consume in moderation because they are high in carbs. Here is a list of foods that have a high carb content. Remember to include them only in moderation and count them into your daily carb intake.
High-carb processed foods should be altogether avoided, such as:
Always make sure to check the number of carbs the product includes. Most people will need to eat between 20 and 50 g of net carbs per day to enter or maintain ketosis.
What to eat on a vegetarian keto diet
We already saw the restricted foods, so what can you eat? Here is a list of low-carb vegetarian options to incorporate.
Have a protein source in every meal to balance the protein intake throughout the day. Add eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, and soy-based products, ideally in every meal.
One of the main concerns when following this eating plan is where to obtain the protein you need.
To increase your amount of vegetarian keto protein, go for high-protein foods like:
Nuts and seeds will have both healthy fats and protein. They are an excellent food to include regularly.
There are some low-carb vegetarian meat substitutes you can include in your diet.
If you are not an egg or dairy person, here are some ketogenic replacements you can try. In the list, you will find the food you can replace and its replacement.
We can set up a vegetarian keto grocery list now that you know which foods to include and which ones to avoid. There are some carb-containing products such as legumes that you can eat in moderation. Quinoa, beans, edamame, chickpeas, and lentils, can be included in small portions. Just be careful with the portion size, and calculate how much you can eat to stay under your daily carb limit.
Highly processed and sugary foods and drinks should be avoided altogether, which means it would be best if you don’t have them in your house.
Here is a grocery list of vegetarian keto-friendly foods according to their food group.
Many stores now offer low-carb options such as keto bread or ketogenic cereal that you can include in the shopping list.
It’s time to start cooking! Here is an example of what one day of vegetarian keto-friendly meals could look like:
Calories: 1,509 | Total Macros: 39 g net carbs, 75.1 g protein, and 101.5 g fat.
If you are looking for something sweet after dinner, you can have keto vegetarian ice cream. You can use a coconut-based ice cream that will be both keto and vegetarian.
|BREAKFAST||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Eggs||3 eggs (150g)||214||1||18.9||14.3|
|Scrambled eggs with mushroom, spinach, and avocado||Mushrooms||1/4 cup (35g)||8||0.7||1||0.1|
|Spinach||1/3 cup (10g)||2||0.2||0.3||0|
|Avocado||1/3 avocado (100g)||120||2.2||2.2||10.1|
|MORNING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Chia seeds||1 oz (28g)||137||1.7||4.4||8.6|
|Chia pudding with blueberries||Almond milk||240 mL||36||0.7||1.3||2.9|
|Blueberries||1/2 cup (62g)||43||9||0.6||0.2|
|Vanilla||1 teaspoon (4.2g)||12||0.5||0||0|
|LUNCH||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Romaine lettuce||1 cup (72g)||72||0.1||0.9||0.2|
|Mediterranean keto bowl||Cucumber||1/4 cucumber (70g)||7||1||0.4||0.1|
|Tomato||1/2 tomato (55g)||9||1.3||0.6||0.1|
|Cauliflower rice||1/2 cup (54g)||13||1.6||1||0.1|
|Feta cheese||1 tablespoon (28.3g)||75||1.1||4||6.1|
|Mozzarella cheese||2 oz (56g)||156||0.9||26||9.6|
|Lemon juice||1 tablespoon (31g)||7||2.1||0.1||0|
|Olives||10 olives (50g)||58||2.2||0.4||5.4|
|Olive oil||1 teaspoon (4.5g)||40||0||0||4.5|
|EVENING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Coconut flour||1 tablespoon (7g)||28||1.9||0.9||0.9|
|Microwave keto bread||Butter||1 tablespoon (14.2g)||102||0||0.1||12|
|Egg||1 egg (50g)||71||0||6.3||4.8|
|Baking powder||1/2 teaspoon (2.3g)||0||0.6||0||0|
|Rosemary||1/2 teaspoon (0.6g)||1||0.1||0||0|
|DINNER||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Zucchini||1 medium (196g)||33||4.1||2.3||0.6|
|Loaded zucchini boats with tofu||Garlic powder||1/2 teaspoon (1.6g)||4||1.2||0.1||0|
|Onion powder||1/2 teaspoon (1.2g)||4||1||0.2||0.1|
|Tomato||1/2 tomato (55g)||9||1.3||0.6||0.1|
|Tofu||3 oz (84g)||52||2||5.8||2.3|
|Olive oil||2 teaspoons (9g)||80||0||0||9|
|Cheddar cheese||1 oz (28g)||115||0.5||6.7||9.4|
|DAILY TOTALS||1,509 cal||39g net carbs||75.1g protein||101.5g fat|
The plan above should give you a sample of a vegetarian ketogenic menu. Remember to plan your meals according to the calories you need and the macronutrients for your specific goals. You can adjust the serving size and add or remove ingredients to fit your needs.
Here you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions from people on your same path to healthy eating.
Yes, Indian cuisine is known for its delicious plant-based dishes, and many of them are naturally ketogenic.
These dishes are perfect for an Indian vegetarian keto diet plan:
Be mindful that not all Indian recipes are low-carb, so you’ll want to eliminate or decrease high-carb ingredients, like lentils, potatoes, or rice, and substitute with a low-carb veggie. For example, instead of basmati rice, have cauliflower rice.
Yes! If you follow an animal-free diet and don’t eat dairy, you can incorporate other protein sources.
Try adding more eggs to your diet to have high-quality protein. You can also include small amounts of legumes (such as quinoa or hummus) that won’t affect the ketogenic effect and provide a small amount of plant-based protein. Include more soy-based products as well to have that extra protein.
If you decide to carb up on certain days, choose carbs that are also a good source of plant-based protein. For example, add more beans, quinoa, chickpeas, edamame, or lentils to your diet. It will increase the number of carbs, but it will also increase proteins per day. Increasing the number of legumes you eat can decrease animal protein (eggs and dairy) per day.
The amount of weight you lose will depend on several factors. It will depend on your age, gender, sleep, physical activity levels, and additional conditions (hormone imbalances or other ailments). Usually, you can lose from 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you want sustainable weight loss, losing more than 1% of your body weight per week is not recommended. A higher percentage of weight loss could be from water and muscle mass.
Several factors are essential if you want to gain weight: exercise, food, and sleep. Make sure you are following the right training program to gain weight. Otherwise, the calorie increase could result in fat gain instead of muscle gain.
It would be best if you had more calories than your body needs to gain muscle mass. For example, if your maintenance calories are 2,000, then try eating 2,500 kcal. Make sure you are eating enough proteins (at least 1.6 g per kilogram of body weight). The most common vegetarian ketogenic sources are eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, soy-based products, and protein shakes.
Are you looking for additional information regarding the ketogenic diet for vegetarians? Check these references!