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Pari Ghodsi, MD

How to be Vegan on a Ketogenic Diet

There are several things you can do to stay vegan and ketogenic at the same time: look for fatty plant foods, avoid starchy and sweet foods, and learn your sources of plant based protein.
vegan buddha bowl on grey background

At Fresh N Lean, we specialize in vegetarian and vegan meal plans. Recently, we’ve seen a growth in the interest for ketogenic diet.

Is it possible to follow both keto and vegan diets at the same time?

Since doing both gets too restrictive, we don’t recommend it. However, we understand that people are curious about how it could be done, so we are going to explore the best way to do it.

keto diet food list

Vegan Diet Refresher

Veganism is a subtype of vegetarianism.

While general vegetarians usually abstain from meat, chicken, fish, vegans abstain from any and all animal products. Vegans do not consume dairy products like yogurt, milk, or cheese. They don’t even eat honey that was made by bees. The vegan diet consists completely of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

People choose veganism for a variety of reasons- religion, health reasons, animal cruelty, and to better the environment. Others avoid animal products simply because they don’t like them.

No matter what your reason is for choosing veganism, it will lead to plenty of fruits, vegetables, antioxidants, and friends asking you about your protein intake.

vegan diet food list

Ketogenic Diet Refresher

Unlike most diets, the ketogenic diet focuses on changing the way your body normally turns food into energy. The idea behind the ketogenic diet is that instead of using carbohydrates as your main source of energy, fat becomes the preferred source. This will speed up the use of stored fat, making it a popular diet amongst those trying to slim down.

This is why the ketogenic diet is usually thought of as a low-carb, high-fat diet. The diet’s goal is to lower the amount of sugar in the blood by cutting out most carbohydrates in the diet, forcing the fat to release what are called ketone bodies which sort of replace the sugar.

The Vegan Ketogenic Diet

Knowing that vegans abstain from all animal products, and the ketogenic diet requires people to stay away from carbs in exchange for fat, it may seem like a vegan ketogenic diet is at odds with itself.

While it is a challenge, it is possible to stay vegan and ketogenic at the same time.

Look for fatty plant foods that are low in carbs – At first, this might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t. While you’re on the ketogenic vegan diet, nuts, seeds, and avocados will be your best friends.

Here are some options for those looking to follow a ketogenic vegan diet:

  • Vegan protein, such as tempeh, tofu, and seitan
  • Low carb vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens
  • High-fat “vegan milk” products, such as unsweetened coconut milk, yogurt, and cream; vegan cheeses; etc.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • High fat or low-carb fruit, such as Avocado and berries
  • Fermented foods
  • Seaweed
  • Low-calorie sweeteners, such as stevia and erythritol
  • Plant oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, etc.

If you love avocados, there are plenty of great ketogenic vegan recipes out there that use avocado like avocado hummus, greek bowls, and veggie sushi. Each of these recipes has plenty of delicious avocado in them, and the non-vegan ingredients can easily be replaced with tofu.

Another fatty foody source you should include in your diet is nuts. Nuts are great sources of fatty oils, and high-end nuts like macadamia nuts and almonds are relatively low in carbs as well. They make for great on-the-go snacks and they travel well.

Avoid starchy and sweet foods – While on a ketogenic vegan diet you’re looking to avoid animal products and carbs. In the world of veganism, carbs mean anything that is starchy or sweet because both of these types of food are high in carbs.

Fruit should be eaten in moderation since it contains sugar. Stick to berries and other low-carb fruits. Remember colorful meals usually indicate a varied diet. If you’re looking to get all of your vitamins and minerals, include a variety of vegetables to make sure you meet all of your nutritional requirements.

Starchy foods include things like potatoes, peas, and corn. These starchy foods convert straight into glucose which will mess up the ketogenic half of your diet. Replace these foods with non-starchy veggies such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, cucumbers, and squash.

Try and get some protein – Probably the worst thing about being vegan is answering the question, “Where do you get your protein,” over and over again. The fact is that if you’re trying the ketogenic vegan diet, your protein options are limited.

To get the proper amount of protein in your diet, include tofu, nuts, and seeds. Beans and whole grains may also be a vegan-friendly source but will need to be eaten in moderation.

Quinoa is also great because, although it is a carb, it’s low on the glycemic index and packed with protein. Don’t go too wild on the quinoa, just know that you can still have a serving with a meal and know that you aren’t destroying your vegan ketogenic diet.


The vegan ketogenic diet is admittedly a little tough than to stick with than some other diets but if you’re looking to burn fat, and avoid animal products, there is no better diet. At Fresh N Lean, we want to make it easier for you to continue your ketogenic vegan diet with our low carb meal delivery plans. We’ll just deliver ready-to-eat, low-carb meals directly to your front door or office so you don’t have to spend all of your extra time preparing food that fits your needs.

We guarantee that our meal plan is vegan-friendly, ketogenic friendly, and delicious. Take a look at our low-carb meal delivery menu today to see why our plans are probably easier and cheaper than spending all of the time cooking yourself

Let us help you keep your ketogenic vegan diet.

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