Vegan keto diet
|Tags:||Gluten free, Paleo, Soy free|
Previously I discussed how low in carbs you can go on a vegan diet. Since almost all vegan products contain at least some amount of carbohydrate, it can be a real challenge to go very low. For many plant-based eaters a medium carb diet is therefore the best choice. However, some people need to eat a truly ketogenic very low carb diet for medical reasons, for instance to control epileptic seizures. This too can be done vegan style, but it will take quite a lot of dedication to do it right.*
Achieving ketosis is all about getting enough healthy fat, since this is going to be your body's fuel. To begin, you can go for a maximum of 20-30 g of carbohydrate, 60-100 g protein (at least 1 g per kg of healthy body weight) and 150-220 g fat. The amount of fat largely depends on how many calories you need. If you are a small person or trying to loose weight, you will need fewer calories and therefore less fat. The range listed above will give you between 1800 and 2500 kcal.
Daily food list
So how can you get these macros on a vegan diet? The daily food list below is an example for a 2000 kcal diet, which will also provide you with well over the RDA for most essential vitamins and minerals. You will need to take B12 supplements, as always on a vegan diet. If you do not get a lot of sunlight, a vitamin D supplement is always a good idea. I would also recommend taking omega 3 DHA algae supplements, and not being overly shy about adding iodized salt to your food. If you need more calories, add extra oil and/or nuts. If you want to make it completely paleo proof or soy and gluten free, sub the tofu/seitan with some more hemp and pumpkin seeds.
- 1-3 tablespoons olive oil, avocado-oil, nut oil, coconut oil or MCT oil
- 1-2 avocados
- 30 g hemp seeds
- 20 g pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed butter
- 20 g ground flax seed
- 40 g nuts (pecans, brazil nuts, macademia, most other nuts contain more carbs)
- 40 g peanuts or natural peanut butter (not more, because of the carbs)
- 100 g tofu or seitan (or tempeh, if you can find one low in carbs)
- 1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened plant milk or yoghurt, calcium fortified
- 300-500 g vegetables (lettuce, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, endive, napa cabbage, cucumber, green peppers, fennel, seaweed etc.)
- 30-40 g berries (strawberries, raspberries)
- 1,5 - 2 liter water and other fluids (tea, coffee, sugarfree fruit flavored syrup)
How to eat this much fat?
Eating this many fatty foods plus extra oil can seem daunting at first, but once you learn a few tricks it's not that hard. Nuts and seeds can be eaten as snacks, sprinkled on all of your meals and blended into smoothies and sauces. Avocados can be eaten on their own, in salads, in smoothies or as chocolate mousse. Oils can be added to lots of different foods to make them extra delicious. Mix them into your yoghurt, sauces and dressings, chocolate mousse, smoothies or or nut butters; make bullet proof coffee or cocoa; mix up some delicious sugar free chocolates or nut butter cocoa fudge.
It can be helpful to set out all your food for the day on the kitchen counter in the morning so you know what and how much to eat. Meal planning and food prep also help make it easier. Make sure you always have a few quick fat bombs on hand for when you feel hungry. A few bags of frozen veggies in the freezer are very helpful for making quick meals.
Here are some suggestions for meals you could eat on this diet. Some of them are more breakfast-like and others are more traditional lunch and dinner type meals, but don't let that stop you from eating them when you feel like it. I have included links to recipes when I have them on the website. I will post more in the future. You will often have to tweak the recipes a bit to make them completely keto proof. I have added some notes where this is the case.
*This blog post is not medical advice. If you are experiencing health problems, always consult with a medical doctor. Do not experiment with your diet without proper guidance from professionals.
Ahhhhh, this is such a great outline, thanks! Higher carb diets make me hungry *all the time* and I've been procrastinating about trying something more like this... for 12 years, haha. I was high raw/high fat for a while but I just don't enjoy that style of eating as much now... and I've put on a few kg since then. These days I just love cooked food too much to do the raw thing... I need to stick a list of daily foods and meals like this on my fridge - it all sounds delicious. I'm going to make your "low carb vegan bibimbap" ASAP as well and more of Vegan Richa's meals without rice perhaps... I like your version of her paneer palak. I cut corners like that all the time :) I need to fix my blog. There really isn't a lot of English low-carb vegan stuff on the web right now, as it says on your about page...
Hi Ray, thank you for your comment. It's very nice to hear that this stuff is helpful to you. Let me know when you start your blog!
Hello! Thank you so much for all of the tips! My daughter is beginning the ketogenic diet for epilepsy and even though we will have to be a bit more creative, I really want to keep her diet mostly vegan and sites like yours really help with ideas and inspirations.
Hi April, best of luck! I'm happy you find my posts inspirational. It must be very challenging to start this diet with your kid.
This site is so helpful! When I went completely vegan and cut back on the processed vege meats my weight began to creep back up. I'm hopeful that going low carb vegan will help. There is not a lot of info out there on this, so thankful I found you!
Hi Carrie, I'm happy you found us too! If you are on facebook, check out some vegan keto groups for more support.
thanks for the info. but most of the combinations use tofu/saiten. Any substitutes for them. Also I am not allowed wheat, some of the recipes call for vital glutten wheat or wheat bran - any alternatives????
Hi Sunil, you can use nuts, seeds, avocado or protein powders to replace most of the tofu/seitan, depending on the recipe. Wheat bran can often be left out of recipes, or replaced with oat bran. The vital wheat gluten is difficult to replace, so for those recipes you are better off looking for wheat free versions. Check out meatfreeketo.com she does a lot of soy and gluten free stuff. I'm sorry I can't help you any better than this at the moment. Low carb vegan food is only just starting to get developed properly. It will take some time before there are easy solutions to cater to every restriction.
Hi Martine! Wat geweldig dat je deze website hebt! Ik struggle behoorlijk met m'n gewicht en dat terwijl ik het idee heb niet ongezond te eten en niet echt te overeten. Ik ben het zo zat nu en ik kwam uit op een koolhydraatarm dieet (ik eet nu eigenlijk koolhydraten en vetten en eiwitten gemixt, zou dat de boosdoener zijn?) en echt super fijn om daar dan vegan tips voor te vinden! Ik wil wel afvallen nog dus ik zal minder calorieën gaan eten, maar zo'n lijstje is echt super. Is dit ook jouw voedingspatroon? Liefs, Sanne
Hoi Sanne, Fijn dat mijn tips nuttig voor je zijn! Ik eet zelf momenteel meer 'gemiddeld', maar ik heb wel periodes koolhydraatarm gegeten. De lijst hierboven is behoorlijk restrictief. Zeker om te beginnen zou je denk ik beter wat meer 'medium low carb' kunnen doen, om te proberen hoe het gaat. Dat is waarschijnlijk al best wel een uitdaging, en ook effectief als rustig wilt afvallen. Daarvoor is deze blogpost ook goed om te lezen: https://lowcarb-vegan.net/how-can-you-go/ Vetten, koolhydraten en eiwitten gemengd eten zou geen problemen moeten geven.
Thank you for the info. I've been looking for practical advice like this for ages as I really want to do Keto and stick to vegan food only.
Good luck Lynda, I hope you will enjoy eating this way!
So glad I found this blog. I think I have reactive hypoglycemia and I need to keep carbs down. I'm just starting eating low carb vegan so this site is a godsend.
That's great Susannah, happy to be of help!
I'm so happy to discover your blog! I'm a high raw vegan who went keto last Feb. Being high raw ketovegan can be so challenging. I can't drink my usual green smoothie (which I used to drink by the liter or a liter and a half in one go), and most juices have beets, carrots, or fruit. I so wish I can subscribe through email. Hope you can offer that option soon.
I've read elsewhere that nuts are acidic and tofu leans towards carcinogenic and hormone imbalance. What do you think about this? I get it that nuts are fatty. Why so much tofu?
Hi Indigo, don't let fear mongering on the internet get to you. Nuts are good sources of many nutrients and healthy fat. They are very beneficial to health. 2-5 servings of soy foods like tofu have been proven to be safe and healthy too. 100 g of tofu is only one serving, so not a lot at all. Hope this helps.
Most helpful website yet. Thank you! I have had my gallbladder removed. Do you have any suggestions for which are the best fats to use in my condition?
Thank you for the compliment Ellen! I don't know anything about doing keto without a gallbladder, but a quick google search shows that many people are able to do it successfully. It might help to ease your body into it by adding a little fat over a period of a couple weeks? Maybe fat from whole foods will be easier than pure oil? I really don't know. Read up on it well and preferably discuss this with your doctor before you try it.
I'm a big fan of the low-carb diet who went keto last Feb. Being high raw ketovegan can be so challenging.Thank you for the info and i found your blog quite helpful. http://ketodietmealplan.net/
Thank you, very helpful!! I've been trying to combine vegan and low carb for quite some time. Glad i found you :)
Good luck Lennicca! Happy to be of help.
Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would appreciate your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
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