Note: we at Fat Fit Go are not Vegan. However, our products are and we understand that many who are Vegan want the benefits of a high fat diet. This post is for you.
The main benefits of a vegan keto diet are reducing animal consumption, burning fat and having more energy, and protecting brain health.
You might’ve heard that the vegan keto diet is hard to stay on. But, it’s not as hard as you think. For example, a great trick is to keep high protein nuts on hand to keep your energy levels high throughout your busy schedule.
To learn more, keep reading this ultimate guide to starting a vegan keto diet.
What is Vegan Keto?
The best way to understand a vegan keto diet is to break the two terms apart. A vegan diet is much more common, meaning you don’t derive any of your nutrients from animal-based products.
So no meat, fish, poultry, or dairy is allowed on a vegan diet.
A ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that turns your body into a ketonic state, meaning your body takes energy from fat sources instead of carbohydrates.
To get your body to a ketonic state, you must cut out carbohydrates, limit protein, and increase healthy fats.
Many people have a hard time sticking with the keto diet because it feels a little backward to eat mostly fat. Carbohydrates make up 50% of the typical American diet, so for many, cutting out carbs is a huge change.
What are the Rules?
On a vegan keto diet, carbs are out (mostly). Fats and proteins from plant-based sources are in.
Those who are vegan wanting to switch to a ketogenic diet may be wondering how they are going to achieve a ketonic state without eating meat and eggs. It’s easy once you find plant-based protein substitutes.
Here are the main guidelines for maintaining a vegan keto diet:
- You must consume less than 35 grams of carbohydrates per day
- No meat, fish, or animal products are allowed
- Your diet must consist of mostly low carb vegetables (Think greens like spinach, asparagus, broccoli, celery)
- 70% of calories from plant-based fats
- 25% of calories from plant-based proteins
Some may need to supplement their diet with extra nutrients not gained from food sources such as D3, B12, B6, DHA, EPA, iron, zinc, and taurine.
Although most people go on the vegan keto diet to lose weight, there are several other health benefits associated.
People have found weight loss to be much faster once in a ketonic state, yet, as with most diets you will find a stasis point.
More importantly, there are several neuroprotective benefits to the vegan keto diet.
Doctors have been using the keto diet for over 100 years to manage children with epilepsy. This protective neural health benefit has led doctors to believe there may be hope for other brain-related illnesses such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, autism and sleep disorders.
It also helps control high blood sugar for those with diabetes. Since you are removing sugars from your blood and restricting carbohydrates, you inevitably are lowering your blood sugar.
A keto diet is perfect for those with Type 2 diabetes, blood sugars may even be lowered enough to be taken off of insulin medication.
How Do I Start?
The most important part of beginning and maintaining your vegan keto diet (or any diet for that matter), is proper planning.
Having an arsenal of great vegan recipes that you can cross reference and modify for high fats and a dedicated meal plan is important. This is a part of the process you can do at any time and will ensure your success.
Before starting your vegan keto diet, it’s important to get well-stocked on your vitamins and supplements. Especially when you are participating in a diet that is a drastic change from your normal lifestyle, it is vital to replace some of those vitamins you’ll be using.
What Can I Eat?
As we mentioned earlier, a huge part of making the ketogenic diet vegan is choosing your plant-based proteins and fats. There are tons of options out there that many people overlook.
Mushrooms such as shitaki, lions mane, and King’s Oyster.
Low carb vegetables are also a must. Always remember greens!
Leafy greens are ideal such as spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage. Also above ground vegetables like cauliflower, zucchini, celery are great.
Sea vegetables like kelp, seaweed, and dulse are a great way to keep it interesting. Also, fermented vegetables are a hit among the vegan keto communities.
Get yourself a jar of kim chi, sauerkraut, or natto and you are all set!
For plant-based fats, nuts and seeds will go a long way. It’s always a great idea to keep a stash of a high-fat nut medley nearby. Nuts are a crucial part of this diet because of their high fat content.
Also, they travel easily. Pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are ideal for snacking throughout the day.
Avocados and berries are a flavorful way to maintain your ketonic state. Avocados are the perfect high-fat snack. Berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries should be kept in the fridge at all times!
High-fat dairy substitutes such as coconut-based yogurt, vegan cheeses, and coconut cream are a great way to maintain your high-fat calorie count.
Have a sweet tooth? No problem!
There are many options for low-carb sweeteners. Stevia is probably the most popular, but erythritol and monk fruit are worth checking out as well.
You’ll want to substitute animal-based fats such as butter or margarine for products such as coconut, almond, avocado, or olive oil.
What Foods Should I Stay Away From?
There are five main groups of foods to stay away from specifically for a ketogenic diet. This is in addition to removing meat, fish, poultry, and dairy as part of a vegan diet. You want to completely cut out foods that are high in carbohydrates.
This includes Ggains such as oats and corn. Also (this might be a tough one), all white bread, rice, and pasta.
Tubers are vegetables that are high in starches. Think of anything in the potato family like brown baking potatoes, red potatoes, sweet potatoes should be cut out of your diet. That means no more french fries (all the time – winky face).
You also want to remove sugars from your diet. This is white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and yes even agave.
Fruits that have high starch and sugars such as apples, oranges, and bananas should also get crossed off your grocery list.
There is one more food group that is usually a huge staple in the vegan diet: legumes.
No Soy (for many reasons).
While high in protein, they also have a high carb level and therefore are not part of the ketogenic diet. Legumes are basically beans, but also include lentils and peas.
Vegan Cheat Sheet
Here are a few easy vegan cheats to substitute for your favorites. Using these substitutions in your kitchen will greatly ease the loss of not being able to eat some of your favorite foods.
Take a look at some of your non-vegan recipes and we bet you’ll find an easy (and delicious) substitution from this list!
- Milk – Replace with: Coconut or Almond Milk
- Heavy Cream – Replace with: Coconut Cream
- Butter – Replace with: Coconut Oil or Vegan Butter
- Cheese – Replace with: Vegan Cheese
- Cream Cheese – Replace with: Vegan Soft Cheese
- Yogurt – Replace with: Coconut or Nut-Based Yogurt