Ever wondered which diet is best to achieve your goal of weight loss?
Known for its promising effects on weight loss and improved overall health is the ketogenic diet.
This diet, in conjunction with plant-based meal plans, gives rise to the vegan keto diet.
Haven’t heard of such? Is there really a ketogenic diet combined with a vegan diet?
So how do you do a vegan keto diet?
The vegan keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet that mainly obtains its calorie sources from plants.
In a vegan keto diet, the body utilizes and metabolizes fat instead of glucose as a source of fuel for the body’s energy needs.
This state of the body’s metabolic process is known as ketosis.
To achieve this, vegans must rely on fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products such as coconut oil and nuts, and must steer clear of the intake of animal products.
This may be a difficult shift in diet, especially due to a lot of restrictions on food intake, but do not worry!
This article will include meal plans and recipes that may be used as a guide in shifting to a vegan keto diet.
Do note, however, that this diet may not be suitable for every individual.
Due to restrictions on food intake, this may lead to certain nutritional deficiencies.
Thus, it is always better to consult with a doctor first before shifting from one form of diet to another.
How is a vegan keto diet beneficial?
To date, there is still no research on the benefits of the conjunction of a vegan keto diet.
However, several studies showed that there are benefits that arise from the vegan diet and the keto diet, separately.
- Following a vegan diet showed a decreased risk of developing certain chronic health conditions. A study from the year 2014 on vegan diets showed that vegans had a decreased risk of having high blood pressure, acquiring Type II Diabetes Mellitus, and cancer.
- A review of 12 studies showed that those following vegan diets were able to lose an average of 2.52kg more than the participants that were on non-vegan diets.
- A keto diet is known for its promising effect on weight reduction. In a study done in the year 2012 among children and adolescents with obesity, the benefits of the ketogenic diet include a reduction in the amount of body fat and waist circumference.
- A keto diet was also shown to have increased levels of adiponectin which allows better control of blood sugar, and a lower risk of diseases arising from obesity. Moreover, a systematic review found that it is able to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels which are known to be risk factors for heart disease.
In addition above mentioned effects of a vegan keto diet, here are a few vegan keto diets before and after effects from some individuals who have tried switching to this diet:
- 4kg of weight loss after two weeks of diet and 5.7kg weight loss after 7 weeks (as shared by Romy London)
- 15kg of weight loss in 91 days of the vegan keto diet (as shared by Euny)
- From 156 to 142 lbs in one month of vegan keto (as shared by Tasha)
- From 250 to 160 lbs after 6-7 months of the vegan keto diet (as shared by Krystal)
First, the following are food items that may be included in a vegan keto diet meal plan:
- Bell peppers
- Macadamia nuts
- Flax seed
- Healthy oils
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Avocado oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Olive oil
- Chili sauce
- Hot sauce
- Nutritional yeast
- Soy sauce
- Tomato sauce
The following food items must be avoided in following a vegan keto diet meal plan:
- Meat and fish
- Poultry, dairy, eggs
- Other animal products
- High-carb nuts
- Grains and starches, such as:
- Bread and oats
- Pasta and rice
- baked goods
- breakfast cereals
- Corn syrup
- Maple syrup
- Starchy vegetables, such as
- Sweet potatoes
- Legumes, such as:
- Other food and drinks that are high in sugar, such as:
- Juice and others ports beverages
- Barbecue sauce
- Dairy, such as:
A vegan keto diet may be strict with its do’s and don’ts, but do not worry! One can still be creative in mixing and matching food items in order to form a meal plan. The following are sample vegan keto diet meal plans to serve as a guide in at least the first week of the diet. Don’t be afraid to customize your own!
Breakfast: Tofu with vegan cheese and avocadoLunch: Vegan cream with vegetable soupDinner: Cauliflower fried rice
Breakfast: Chia seed puddingLunch: Vegan caesar saladDinner: Zucchini pesto with creamy avocado pesto
Breakfast: Vanilla Keto protein shakeLunch: Low carbohydrate vegan bibimbapDinner: Broccoli crust pizza
Breakfast: Keto overnight oatsLunch: Vegan cauliflower fried riceDinner: Vegan sesame tofu eggplant
Breakfast: Full fat coconut yogurtLunch: Large green salad with non-starchy vegetablesDinner: Eggplant Lasagna with vegan cheese
Breakfast: Cauliflower porridgeLunch: Salad of spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, cucumber, and tomatoDinner: Roasted butternut squash apple soup
Breakfast: Creamy keto cinnamon smoothieLunch: Portobello Mushroom TacosDinner: Vegan Shepherd’s pie
In addition to the three meal plan, the following snacks may also be added for more flavor:
- Crispy avocado fries
- Vegan peanut butter eggs
- Spinach avocado dip
- Vegetable fritters
- Vegan chocolate hazelnut cookies
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- Coconut cream with berries
Need a hand with how to start with a vegan keto diet meal?
A sample recipe may be found below to serve as a guide.
You may also opt to purchase your very first vegan keto diet recipe book for more recipes!
This recipe is the Creamy Broccoli Almond Soup which is creamy, but the dairy-free vegan soup that can be served within 30 minutes or less.
This dish is definitely easy to make in just one bowl, but is nutritionally complete!
It is perfect to feel the warmth on cold weather days, or even when just craving a hot creamy soup!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons almonds with skin on, toasted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
The procedure is as follows:
- First, the coconut oil must be melted in a soup pot.
- Onion must be added and cooked for about 3-5 minutes until softened. Garlic is then added and cooked for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Almonds are added and cooked until it turns light brown. Next is to add the broccoli. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or more while stirring occasionally.
- Prepare and add the curry powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the water, and reduce the heat. Allow simmering for 8 minutes until the broccoli becomes tender, but still bright green.
- Proceed to the preparation of the topping by removing and chopping a few broccoli florets.
- Mix with chopped almonds, cilantro, and chili pepper. Set aside.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. If not available, transfer to a stand blender.
- Serve. Top the soup with broccoli, almond, cilantro, and chili pepper mixture.
Another recipe to try is the Vegan Keto Mac and Cheese which is a creamy vegan keto version dish of the well-known mac and cheese.
Note, however, that the macaroni must be replaced with zero-carbohydrate noodles.
- 1 pack of zero-carbohydrate noodles (macaroni-style)
- For the cheese sauce:
- 1 cup soy milk (250 ml)
- 1-2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
The procedure is as follows:
- Follow packaging instructions in preparing the pasta.
- Add the ingredients (except for the coconut oil) into a saucepan. Use medium heat while whisking.
- As the dish starts to bubble and thicken, remove the sauce from the heat.
- Pour in the coconut oil.
- Heat until it thickens again, then reduce heat to a minimum. Continue to stir the pasta.
- Serve. The dish may also be topped with some salt & pepper.
- You can also opt to transfer the vegan keto Mac and Cheese to an oven-proof container. Bake the dish in the oven until the crust becomes crispy.
Can you now do a vegan keto diet meal? Definitely!
Despite all the benefits of a vegan keto diet, one must still not forget to be cautious in strictly following this diet.
As previously mentioned, food restrictions in a vegan keto diet may lead to certain nutritional deficiencies.
The following are the most common nutrient deficiencies:
Dietary calcium intake is decreased due to the avoidance of high calcium products such as dairy and enriched grains. Moreover, the increased intake of fats leads to increased acid production in the body. As the body tries to compensate, there is a loss of calcium in the urine and a decrease in bone mineral density.
Increased intake of fat may also lead to decreased absorption of iron, thus causing iron deficiency if prolonged. To address this, one can supplement with Vitamin C or increase intake of food rich in Vitamin C which increases absorption of iron.
Sodium absorption is normally increased by insulin. However, insulin levels are decreased in a keto diet, thus decreasing sodium absorption. This may cause symptoms such as headache, diarrhea, body malaise, and other flu-like symptoms. To address this, one can increase one intake of salt.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 is absent in plants, thus a strict vegan diet puts an individual at risk for Cobalamin deficiency.
Aside from nutritional deficiencies, the following are other health risks from a vegan keto diet:
- Lack of fiber may cause constipation
- Increased intake of saturated fat may cause heart problems
- Decreased sodium may cause a decrease in blood pressure
- Kidney stones
- “Keto flu” (headaches, muscle cramps, diarrhea, nausea, poor concentration, irritability, and body malaise)
A vegan keto diet follows a high fat and low carbohydrate diet with the avoidance of animal products.
The benefits of following a vegan and keto diet include a desirable weight loss, and a decreased risk of developing obesity-related diseases and other chronic health conditions such as heart diseases, and diabetes.
However, there are still certain risks that may be encountered in this diet.
Therefore, there must be supplementation of vitamins and minerals in order to achieve a nutritionally adequate diet.
Overall, the benefits do outweigh the risks of this diet.
However, it is important to remember that not all diets may be suitable for everyone.
It is a must to always consult with the doctor first before shifting from one diet plan to another.