If you were to ask the person sitting next to you what their primary health goal is, you would likely hear that they aim to lose ten pounds. This is easier said than done, however – stubborn weight tends to stick around. Now, if you’re aiming to get rid of any unwanted weight, you are likely to come across a cesspool of weight-loss fads. Most of them are wack diets that will have you losing weight initially, only to pick it right back up once you get back to your regular eating habits.
However, if you know where to look, you’ll find some diets that really can help you reach your health goals. The keto diet is one of these. The primary idea behind this diet is that you get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates.
In the keto diet, there is a low-carb and high-fat intake. The purpose of this is so that the body can enter a state of ketosis. This is a metabolic condition in the body where the body breaks down fat into ketones and, instead of the glucose from carbohydrates, it uses the ketones as a source of energy.
The preferred ratio for the keto diet is carbohydrates with 15 to 20%, protein with 35%, and the remaining percentage going to fats.
The keto diet for vegetarians
As the keto diet is high in fat and super low in carbs, a lot of people who adopt it end up consuming a lot of meat. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Many keto followers are borrowing the best of both worlds to create a vegetarian-ketogenic diet. This hybrid eating plan is healthier for humans, animals, and the environment.
A vegetarian ketogenic diet excludes meat, fish, and fowl flesh, all while making sure to also restrict carbohydrates. With that said, it’s important to have a plan in place before you embark on a hybrid eating plan.
Here are a few guidelines to begin with:
- Remember to limit your total carbohydrate consumption to 35 grams or fewer per day.
- Get at least 70% of your calories from fat.
- Use plant-based oils to replace all animal fats often used in cooking and baking – this will ensure that you’re getting enough fat in your diet. Avocado, coconut, MCT, and olive oil are all great options.
- Other great sources of fat include macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts. Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds also work.
- Protein should constitute just about 25% of calories on a keto diet.
- The main sources of protein will be eggs and high-fat dairy, such as hard and soft cheeses. We strongly suggest buying high-quality pasture-raised eggs and dairy. This will support sustainable animal rearing practices.
- You can also turn to meat substitutes for variety. If you agree with soy in your diet, two excellent low-carb options are tofu and tempeh.
- Keep in mind that some soy and wheat-based meat substitutes are packaged with added marinades. Be sure to read each product’s nutritional information carefully.
- If you’re coming close to your carb limit, but you’re short on protein, protein powder can be a good solution.
- The main plants you’ll want to stock up on are leafy greens like spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, kale, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, green beans, and cauliflower.
- Many large common fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges have way too many carbs to consume regularly. That said, blackberries and raspberries are low in carbohydrates, and they also contain fiber.
What to avoid in a vegetarian keto diet?
As mentioned, certain fruits and vegetables are often loaded with carbs. Therefore, it’s best to try to limit fruits to small servings of low-glycemic like blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Low-carb vegetables may be low in calories and carbohydrates, but they are also high in many nutrients. These vegetables include:
- Cauliflower and
Additionally, the most common carb culprits that you want to avoid include grains like wheat, corn, and rice; legumes like lentils, and beans, starchy fruits, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
What could someone eat with a vegetarian keto diet during the day?
- Breakfast could be fluffy keto buttermilk pancakes topped with plain whipped cream and a few berries and nuts. On the other hand, you could opt for a plate of scrambled eggs with cheese and spinach for lunch.
- A charred veggie and fried goat cheese salad incorporates lots of flavors and textures for a satisfying midday meal.
- At dinnertime, spiral zucchini noodles with avocado-walnut pesto are a delicious option.
- On chillier nights, warm up with a cup of red pepper cauliflower soup.
With so many great choices you’re unlikely to miss the meat. Just remember, without meat in your diet, you may want to begin taking supplements like vitamin d3, DHA, and EPA, iron, and zinc, to avoid common nutrient deficiencies. You can also try to include some fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and natto to help improve your digestion.
The bottom line
To be effective the ketogenic diet doesn’t have to include meat. Therefore, there’s no reason you can’t protect and promote your health by adopting it. Just remember to consult your doctor before starting any type of treatment, medicine, or ketogenic supplements.