There are several restricted food groups under the vegetarian umbrella, including:
- Lacto Vegetarian (no eggs, meat, seafood, and poultry)
- Ovo vegetarians (no poultry, fish, meat, or seafood)
- Vegan (no animal products)
- Pescatarian (no meat or poultry)
Typically, animal protein eaters following a ketogenic diet easily obtain sufficient protein. Regardless of the group of vegetarians you fall into, a persistent keto conundrum takes center stage: how can vegetarians or vegans on keto obtain sufficient protein and catch up to the meat eaters?
While vegetarian keto involves more effort and planning, it’s possible to stay on track with your nutrition when you start your keto adventure. In this article, we’ll bust some common myths surrounding a vegetarian keto diet, explore valuable tips to craft a well-rounded vegetarian keto diet, and navigate how keto trackers can be game changers.
A Few Golden Rules to Follow
Keto and vegetarianism align perfectly if you know how to do it right. Here are a few tips to get started:
Know the Foods to Eat
Non-starchy veggies, protein sources, and healthy fats are the holy grails of a well-rounded vegetarian keto diet, such as:
- Non-starchy veggies like spinach, mushroom, broccoli, and kale
- Nuts, including walnuts, pistachios, and cashews
- Nut butter like peanut, almond, and pecan butter
- Healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and coconut oil
- Seeds like hemp, chia, and pumpkin seeds
- Protein sources like tempeh, eggs, natto, paneer, and tofu
- Full-fat dairy products, including yogurt, cheese, and milk
- Low-carb fruits, such as lemons and berries
Know the Foods to Avoid
Knowing what not to eat is just as important as knowing what to eat. Here are the foods to avoid:
- Sugary beverages
- Starchy vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and beets
- Legumes like peas, beans, and lentils
- Processed foods
- Fruits like melons, apples, plums, and peaches
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sweeteners, such as white sugar, honey, and brown sugar
- Grains, including rice, bread, barley, oats, and rye
Constantly Track your Macronutrients
The best way to ensure you’re on the right track with your diet is by consistently calculating your macronutrients. Several keto trackers are available to help you determine how much you should eat based on your height, weight, activity level, and gender. A keto app offers a customized and comprehensive breakdown of protein, fats, and carbs based on your personal data.
When you track macronutrients, you learn the exact amount of fat, protein, and carbs you’re consuming, and whether it’s sufficient. This helps ensure your body enters ketosis in a healthy manner.
Bid Adieu to High-Carb Foods
A keto diet is all about low-carb, high-fat foods. Get maximum benefits from your diet by cutting out high-carb foods like:
- Starchy veggies
- Rolled oats
- Fruits (except for berries).
Replace these foods with their low-carb alternatives, such as:
- Zucchini noodles
- Low-starch veggies
- Cauliflower rice
- Almond flour crackers
- Chia seed pudding
Go for Healthy Fats
When it comes to keto meals, fats account for 70% to 80% of your calories, and they’re the main supply of your body’s energy. Fats can be both healthy and unhealthy. The following are just some of these healthy fats:
- Olives and olive oil
- Coconut oil and full-fat coconut milk
- Almond flour
- Flax seeds
Myths Surrounding a Vegan Keto Diet
Vegan keto might seem daunting without the right knowledge. Here are a few myths to discard before kickstarting your diet:
Myth #1: A Vegan Diet Cannot Provide Enough Protein.
It’s certainly possible to infuse a vegan diet with ample protein. Look for protein sources like tempeh and full-fat tofu. Avocados are an excellent source of vegan protein and don’t forget about ‘vegan dairy’: cashew cheese, coconut yogurt, vegan cream cheese, and vegan butter..
Myth #2: A Vegan Diet has Way Too Many Carbs
Vegan diets don’t necessarily have to be high in carbs. Several plant foods offer just the right balance between low carbs and high fat, such as:
- Cashew nuts
- Dark chocolate
- Macadamia nuts
Myth #3: You’ll Get Sick of Paneers
From protein shakes to nuts, seeds, and tofu — paneer can easily be replaced with a variety of proteins. Vegans have a whole world of vegan full-fat dairy (as discussed above) to choose from.
How Can Keto Trackers Help Vegans?
Generally speaking, most keto warriors extract 70% to 75% of their calories from fat and only 10% of their calories from carbs. The rest comes from protein. While math can seem challenging to crack, you can always rely on a keto calculator to stay on track with your macronutrients (also called macrons).
A great keto tracker will consider your height, weight, gender, and activity levels to provide a precise breakdown of the carbs, fats, and proteins you should be consuming. Some apps help you whip up awesome keto meals by offering several recipes based on your body’s needs. Keto trackers have quickly become a must for vegetarian (or other) keto diets to help:
- Track your progress
- Perform consistent net carb tracking
- Monitor your macronutrients
- Track via packaged foods
When choosing a keto app, take the following criteria into account:
- The overall approach must be science-based
- A combination of both tracking metrics and vegetarian (or vegan) recipes must be included
- There should be options to customize your diet plan
- Your overall health should be considered instead of just the regular calorie count
From numerous food options to explore to ultra-efficient apps that streamline your keto journey — following a vegetarian keto diet doesn’t have to be a bumpy ride.
As with everything, getting started is always the most challenging. Once your diet becomes a habit, you’re not far from achieving your weight loss and health goals. Remember, infusing keto into your lifestyle is never a matter of weeks or months. It’s not about switching back to your old habits once you reach your goals. The best results only arrive when you blend consistency with the proper knowledge.