Guide to the Vegan Keto Diet


Whether for health, ethics or the environment, growing numbers of consumers are choosing plant-based or vegan lifestyles, cutting out all meat and animal products from their diet. We’re not here to make any judgment on people who do or don’t go vegan, but instead, to let you know that it is possible to blend vegan and ketogenic diets and make the best of both lifestyles. First, we’ll be honest: It can be a challenge to maintain a keto diet without common fats, like dairy, meat and eggs. This puts extra restrictions on top of existing ones. But, especially for those of you who are well-informed and well-prepared, it’s something that certainly can be achievable and sustainable.The basic guidelines for a vegan keto diet Total carbohydrate consumption must be strictly limited to 35 grams or less per day and all meat, fish, dairy, eggs and other animal products must be eliminated from your diet. Eat lots and lots of low-carb vegetables. All types of mushrooms, leafy greens like spinach and kale and “above ground” vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and zucchini are welcome. Other keto-friendly plants include seaweeds, avocados, berries, nuts and seeds, and fermented foods, like like kimchi and sauerkraut. This is consistent with any kind of ketogenic diet. Now, the trickier part: You must get at least 70% of your calories from plant-based fats. Where other people may turn to sour cream, ghee, bacon and lard to add fat to foods, you must look elsewhere. Luckily, many monounsaturated fats, like olive, avocado, coconut, sustainably sourced red palm, MCT and macadamia nut oils, are are entirely plant-based. You’ll lean heavily on these plant-based fats in nearly all of your cooking. There are also plenty of high-fat dairy alternatives out there — we see new ones on the grocery store shelves every week! Examples include unsweetened coconut-based yogurt, coconut cream, and vegan butter and cheeses. If you’re avoiding soy, there are many nut-based products, like cashew-based cream cheese, that are relatively low-carb and that taste great. When shopping for these items, do be sure to read the labels to make sure you’re not getting any extra added sugar, hidden carbs or unhealthy ingredients, like hydrogenated oils. Vegan “eggs” are also becoming a more mainstream commercial products. There are a few vegan whole egg replacements out there that have a pretty convincing taste and texture, and that can used to bake keto-friendly cookies, muffins and cakes. Some can even be scrambled up or formed into omelets! For baking, you can also try blended silken tofu or a mixture of ground flaxseed and water as egg-like binding agents. The only real downside is that egg replacements don’t contain much fat, which can make meeting your macros more challenging. When it comes to protein, aim for 25% of your calories from plant-based proteins. Most vegans get this protein from beans, lentils and peas, which are off-limits on keto because of their high carb content. Instead, try vegan “meats” as well, like tempeh, tofu, and seitan. While these meat substitutes are often high in protein and pretty low in carbs, some are marinated in sauces that contain added sugars/carbs. Opt for products with the simplest ingredients, the lowest carb content and some fat or protein in each serving. Vegan protein powder, unflavored for adding to dishes, and flavored for smoothies, can be another part of your Nuts and seeds are a good option too, just be sure to watch their carb content, as some which contain an impressive amount of protein, like pumpkin seeds, are also pushing the carb limit. A day in the life of someone following a vegan keto diet might look like this: for breakfast, a creamy vegan keto porridge made with coconut flour, flax and protein powder. At lunch, try a caramelized onion salad with arugula and vegan cheese, and for dinner, dish up a robust red coconut curry, packed with green veggies and enriched with coconut cream. For dessert, a dairy-free chocolate silk pie hits the spot. If you’re already on a keto diet and are becoming vegan as well, revisit Ruled.Me’s keto calculator to find out how much fat, carbs and protein you need to meet your new goals. And don’t forget to check out Ruled.Me’s recipe database to find lots of vegan keto recipes to get you started!

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Reader Comments

  1. Jesse Gentry

    I was a vegan for 14 years and now have been eating meat for many years now. If you look at Vince Gironda, he is known as the Guru of body building and was born in 1917 and was the most greatest bodybuilder ever I challenge you to check him out and look at his physique. I don't approve of his diet but he only ate steak and eggs and later employed a salad. He lived to a ripe old age.In that day and error there was no protein powders or other supplements we have today. His meat and eggs were as they should be, all natural. His methods of body building was all basic with no machines or other elaborate equipment. If you check even the Bible it talks of eating meat and I have challenged, with other pros, on meat and meat eating. It specifically states what meats to eat. Even the fish is supposed to be the fish with scales. Research shows the fish with scales filters out most mercury and other harsh chemicals we now have in the waters. Catfish is a bottom water fish that skims the bottom of the waters and eats lots of junk. I am 69 and have had only 1 common cold in 29 years and am turning 70 in March 2020 and doing things in the gym 16-my age can't. My aunt turns 93 this year and refuses to go to a nursing home. My grandfather lived to be 92 and was an alcoholic. My great aunt outlived 3 husbands and lived to be 98. My mom smoked from 20 years old until she turned 69 and had a heart valve surgery and still lived to be 82. I don't believe in being a vegan makes you healthier or live longer, you just have to know what to eat, how to prepare it, how much to eat and eating at the right time. I am holistic and an herbalist. 85% of ALL MEDICINES, PILLS AND SHOTS are derivatives from herbs. No medicine can heal you, they only help the body to heal it's own self.

  2. Queen Diana

    Following vegan keto except the eggs. I have my own chicken, they have a great life, live as long as they life, taking them to the vet. I know what they are not suffering. However, I don't know if that is 100% the case with other animal products so I don't buy them.

  3. Nathan B

    When you say 35g total carbs. Is that even possible? Did you mean 35g net carbs? I ask because a single avocado has 12 carbs but only 2 net carbs. Another example is most nuts, walnuts in particular. Half of their carbs are fiber. Even 10 olives has 6 carbs but half of it is fiber.

  4. Christopher Ellis

    Unnatural lifestyles go nowhere. Good luck. 💚 It is healthy stuff, but is it ketogenic? Avoid seed oils. Soy is Poison ☠ as is sugar. 🥚 Butter, milk, no substitutes exist.

  5. season shider

    I was doing this but I stopped because a lot of vegan products are processed. Keto, whether vegan, pescatarian or meat, is about real whole quality food, not created processed foods. I went back pescatarian and no dairy and have lost weight.

  6. GiveMeCoffee

    I'm still curious about how much can you eat to get a reasonable amount of calories for your daily activity and not to mess the macros. I do a meat-based moderate ketogenic diet, and not being able to consume dairy makes it quite difficult already.

  7. Bye Bye Belly

    Eating high amount of oils while vegan makes me feel really nauseous, yet I wouldn't feel nauseous from eating too much animal fat. I'd avoid heavy use of olive and seed oils personally.

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