In this article you will learn all about the vegan ketogenic diet, how it works, what foods you can eat and which you should avoid. They aren’t as many as you might expect. So, you want to know what I found out about “Vegan Keto Diet” and about my research?
Just keep reading.
First of all, I’d like to let you know that it’s possible to sway on a “Vegan Keto Diet”!
As vegan diets become more and more popular – whether to lose weight, improve health, spare our friends the Earthlings or just simply improve your carbon footprint. The reasons are many. The same is true of the keto diet.
But is both (vegan & keto) possible at the same time? And if so, how? Here are some facts.
• Ketogenic Diet: What is it?
• How many carbohydrates, proteins and fats?
• The science behind it: How does a ketogenic diet work?
• How does keto nutrition help you lose weight?
• The vegan ketogenic diet
• Protein sources for a vegan ketogenic diet
• Sources of fat for a vegan ketogenic diet
• Carbohydrates: What you should eat and what you should avoid
• Supplements for a vegan ketogenic diet
• Take Home Message
Ketogenic Diet: What is it?
The ketogenic diet first appeared in early 1900 as a treatment for epileptic children – but is now considered one of the most popular diets for weight loss.
It is based on very low carbohydrate and high fat intake with moderate protein intake to “ketose” the body – using fat as the primary source of energy.
How many carbohydrates, proteins and fats?
The most common distribution of macronutrients in a ketogenic diet (as well as vegan keto diet) is as follows:
- 10% of total carbohydrate energy.
- 30% of the total energy from protein.
- 60% of the total energy from fat.
Many find it most convenient to use a tracking app. It happens quickly that you are feeding more carbohydrates than you should without you realizing that you’re flying out of the ketosis – so it’s important that you track your food.
The ketogenic diet is not a permanent diet. For a few weeks to months, it is considered scientifically safe so far. Long-term studies in this field do not yet exist.
The science behind it: How does a ketogenic diet work?
A vegan ketogenic diet does not differ from the normal keto diet in this aspect. The only difference is in the absence of food of animal origin.
This happens in the body when you choose a ketogenic diet:
- After 3-4 days with very low carbohydrate intake (below 20g per day), the stored carbohydrates are no longer sufficient to meet the needs. From here, an alternative energy source is needed by the central nervous system.
- If the supply of carbohydrates stops, the body can use free fatty acids as an energy source – but not the brain. This requires so-called ketones as a by-product of an incomplete degradation of free fatty acids in the liver.
- When the brain starts to use these ketones as its primary source of energy, it is called the “ketosis” stage (not to be confused with ketoacidosis or diabetic ketosis, which can be harmful or fatal). The amount of ketone bodies in the blood serves as a marker for ketosis.
- Although the body uses fat as the primary source of energy, blood glucose remains stable. During the first few days of a ketogenic diet, the body mainly degrades amino acids from protein to provide glucose.
- In the future, the supply of glucose from fat increases, combined with a decrease in the supply of amino acids (depending on the body fat)
- In a calorie deficit, the ketogenic diet consumes more fat than a regular diet.
How does the ketogenic diet support weight loss?
When asked if the keto diet is more effective at losing weight than other diets, the results are contradictory.
A study comparing the keto diet with a low-fat diet found at least a 0.91 kg weight loss difference on the ketogenic diet.
Science still does not agree on exactly how ketogenic nutrition supports weight loss, but there are some theories:
- A loss of appetite occurs, since protein has a high saturation effect, the hormones responsible for the hungry feel better regulation and the ketone bodies act as an appetite suppressant.
- By a reduction in lipogenesis, as well as an increase in lipolysis.
- By a more efficient lipid metabolism.
- By a higher calorie consumption due to fat and protein as the main source of energy.
The vegan ketogenic diet
Can veganism be combined with a ketogenic diet? It can be complicated to find the right vegetable fat and protein sources. Similarly, many plant foods contain more carbohydrates than it is permitted in the keto diet.
However, a ketogenic diet does not have to be as restrictive as you might think. There are of course some prohibited foods, but there is still a great variety.
Here’s a list of good vegan protein and fat sources, as well as low-carbohydrate foods for a keto diet.
Protein sources for a vegan ketogenic diet
Protein is one of the most complicated nutrients in a vegan keto diet, as many plant protein sources are also very carbohydrate rich.
Avoid these carbohydrate rich protein sources:
- Baked beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Long beans
- Other legumes
The following foods are good low carb protein sources
- Chia seeds
- Mixed seeds
- Silken tofu
Vegetable protein powder
You can supplement your protein intake with vegetable protein powders, which are generally low in carbohydrates and inexpensive.
Common vegetable protein powder
- Vegan Blend
- Pea protein isolate
- Soy protein isolate
- Brown rice protein
- Hemp protein
Sources of fat for a vegan ketogenic diet
There are several sources of vegetable fat, which are often even healthier than animal sources.
These may e.g. Be the following:
• Coconut oil
• Cocoa butter
• Olive oil
• Sunflower oil
• Rapeseed oil
• Peanut oil
• Vegan soft cheese
• Vegan cheddar-style cheese
• Vegan Greek yogurt
• Chia seeds
• Mix seeds
Carbohydrates: What you should eat and what you should avoid
There are some foods that you should strictly avoid in a keto diet, such as:
- Breakfast cereals
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Syrups (except sugar-free syrups)
Low carbohydrate vegetables and fruits for a vegan ketogenic diet.
Many vegetables and fruits are very carbohydrate-rich, especially if they grow below ground level.
Avoid the following:
- Red beds
These are low in carbohydrates:
- Mixed salad
- Green beans
- Green paprika
- Bamboo Shoots
Many fruits are very rich in carbohydrates and should be avoided in a ketogenic diet. However, the following are suitable for this diet:
- Coconut meat
- Lemons, limes
Supplements for a vegan ketogenic diet
Even though a vegan diet is usually rich in vitamins and minerals, there are still certain nutrients that quickly become deficient.
These supplements can help:
- Vegetable protein powder
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B complex
- Vegan Vitamin D3
- Vegan omega 3 fatty acids
My take home message
With good planning, a vegan ketogenic diet does not have to be a big challenge. There are plenty of foods that you can continue to enjoy, yet you should be mindful of the right nutrients to keep your body running.
I will also share the “Vegan Keto Recipes” here on my website so you can get the inspiration you need for your vegan ketonic journey.
I would love to hear your take on “Vegan Keto”, please share your experiences and ask your questions in the comment box below.