At Fresh N Lean, we specialize in vegetarian and vegan meals plans. But we also know that there is a lot of interest in ketogenic diets. We wanted to spend some time explaining how you can be both vegan and ketogenic at the same time so you can reach your health goals without consuming animal products.
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. Some are vegan for religious reasons. Some choose veganism to minimize harm to animals. Others believe veganism is the environmentally friendly option. And others still avoid animal products simply because they don’t like them.
No matter what your reason for choosing veganism, it will lead to plenty of fruits, vegetables, antioxidants, and friends asking you about your protein intake.
Ketogenic Diet Refresher
Unlike most diets, the ketogenic diet is less about what you eat and more about why you eat it. The idea behind the ketogenic diet is that your body converts carbs into blood sugar which gives you the energy to go throughout your day, but these carbs also prevent you from using your body’s fat stores as energy. According to ketogenic diet proponents, as long as you continue to consume carbs your fat stores will remain untapped, and any unnecessary carbs you consume will only be added to them.
To lose weight, you have to restrict your carbohydrate intake and force your body to use its fat stores for energy. This is why the ketogenic diet is usually thought of as a low-carb, high-fat diet. You’re trying to create as little blood sugar as you can with the carbohydrates found in your diet and instead, force your body into a state of ketogenesis.
Ketogenesis is when your body breaks down fat into substances called ketones. Ketones act as a substitute for blood sugar in the body, giving you energy.
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.
That’s not true.
There are several things you can do to stay vegan and ketogenic at the same time.
Here are some recommendations for those looking to follow a ketogenic vegan diet:
Look for fatty plant foods – At first this might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t. While you’re on the ketogenic vegan diet, avocados are going to be your best friend. Avocados are high in fat and low in carbs especially when you take into consideration that they’re vegetables.
Add them to any meal to up your fat intake without adding a bunch of carbs. 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 makes the top of the list here. Fruit is packed with sugar which can spike your blood sugar immediately. The best way to avoid fruits is to stick to veggies and nuts. 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 that it may be difficult to get all of the protein you’re looking for, but it is far from impossible.
To get the proper amount of protein in your diet think of beans and quinoa. Beans are a great source of protein and they’re vegan-friendly. Just make sure to avoid baked beans which have a bunch of added sugar. Soybeans are especially helpful as they have the highest protein content compared to all beans. Soybeans are basically vegan meat.
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 but you can still have a serving with a meal and know that you aren’t destroying your ketogenic diet and still keeping vegan.
As a side note, the aforementioned nuts are a great source of protein as well, especially almonds.
The 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.