Okay, on first impulse vegan keto seems like a complete oxymoron. It seems completely overwhelming to look into starting the keto diet when you’re a vegan. After all, protein and dairy are pretty much the best options for keto diets. Is it even possible to get all your nutrients?
Yes, the good news is that the keto diet is completely possible for vegans. It requires a lot more planning and tracking, and you should definitely talk with your doctor before starting it to be sure that it will work for your needs and have them monitor your nutrition, but here are some great vegan keto recipes and tips.
Vegan keto diets eliminate a lot of food groups that vegans heavily use for food and recipes, like whole grains and starches, but with careful planning you can still succeed. Just switch to getting your calories from whole, unprocessed foods and avoid the processed stuff a lot of vegan meals use.There is no way you want to miss Taco Tuesday!! The good news is that being vegan and on keto doesn’t mean missing out on tacos! Here are some suggestions. You can switch out the taco shells for lettuce leaves to save carbs. Using ground mushrooms cooked in taco seasoning is a great meat substitute that tastes just as good as beef, if not better! Switch the sour cream for an unflavored vegan yogurt to get the creamy, cool notes. Good news – guacamole and salsa are usually already vegan and keto approved! This has more specific guidelines if you’re not sure how to make those swaps.
Following a vegan diet lowers risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Vegans are far less likely to develop high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. They are also more successful at losing weight.
Keto diets are also well known got reducing heart disease and controlling blood sugars. It’s also very effective for weight loss. This diet also raises the adiponectin levels in your body, improving your metabolism and regulating sugars.
When you are looking at vegan keto recipes, you will need to know what to grab and what to avoid so you can mix the right foods together into delightful recipes. Here are some of the best and worst foods for vegan keto diets.
Obviously, vegans need to avoid meat and poultry. Seafood and eggs, which are usually fantastic options for keto diets, are also off the table for vegans. Any animal-based ingredients are also out of line. This includes whey proteins, egg whites, and honey. Unfortunately, a lot of protein bars are also out. Pectins found in a lot of common gummy candies and protein bars contains animal byproducts.
On the keto side of the diet, grains and starches should also be avoided. This means eliminating bread, pasta, rice, grains, baked foods, and cereals from the diet. Sugary drinks and snacks like juice, smoothies, sports drinks, sweet tea, and especially sodas are also not appropriate for this diet. Starchy vegetables like beets, peas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes are also bad.
Black beans and legumes are also high in carbs, so that’s not a great option for food. All fruits should be limited, and everything except berries need to be completely eliminated. Be very careful with condiments and sauces because a lot of them are made with tons and tons of sugars and carbs, as are many processed foods.
Now, one of the questions many people ask is, “What does that even leave??” Is it even possible to make hearty, nutritious vegan keto recipes when all those foods have been removed from the list of options for recipes? Yes! Here are some great foods.
Coconut products, like milk, cream, and oil are fabulous options., Oils are also good. Olive oil and avocado oil are fabulous. Nuts and seeds are great options for snacking because of their amazing benefits, high protein content, and low net carb counts. You can also use nut and seed butters.
Any vegetables that don’t contain tons of starch are excellent options. Leafy greens, zucchini, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all delicious. Peppers and mushrooms are also great options. With mushrooms, you have plenty of varieties – king oyster, lion’s mane, portobello, and shiitake are all great! You can also eat bok choy, cabbage, celery, eggplant, okra, onions, radishes, turnips, swiss chard, collard greens, cucumbers, and asparagus!
Vegans already know a lot of great alternative protein sources due to their restricted diet. Tofu and tempeh are also keto friendly, so you can continue eating those. If you eat seitan and other high protein, low carb vegan meat substitutes, these also work on the keto diet. Vegan dairy products will full fat also work well, so don’t think you need to give up your vegan butters and cheeses.
Avocados are fantastic sources of the good fats your body needs, so feel free to binge on guacamole as long as you trade those high carb potato chips for something else. While we said no to fruits, the exception is berries. Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries can be eaten sparingly to fulfill the sweet tooth cravings on this diet.
Fermented foods are also good for this diet. Eat things like sauerkraut, kim chi, and natto. You can also eat sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, and bladderwack.
If you start missing those bad condiments, try replacing them with healthier options. Fresh herbs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a variety of spices are all perfectly acceptable. For sugar replacement, try sweeteners like monk fruit, Stevia, and Splenda.
Everyone has foods they don’t think they can live without. If that’s the case, then consider a simple alternative. These foods are great substitutes that are allowed on the vegan keto diet.
If you like milk, then consider replacing your full creamy milk with coconut or almond milk. Coconut milk is such a great alternative that you can substitute on a 1 to 1 ratio in recipes without worrying about how it will affect the outcome of things!
If you like butter, just switch to a vegan butter or coconut oil. In recipes, coconut oil melts at just below the temperature butter does and it smokes at the same point, so it’s an easy replacement. If coconut’s flavor is unappealing, then just grab some vegan butter. Just be sure to read the label and avoid any vegan butters with hydrogenated oils because those will make your risk for heart disease skyrocket.
While we’re worrying about dairy, you can also replace heavy cream with coconut cream. Depending on how creamy the coconut cream you buy is, you may need to add or remove some water to make it work like heavy cream.
They make a ton of great vegan cheese, so all of your regular cheese can be switched out for a vegan alternative. If you want to avoid soy, then you can buy cheeses that are based on tree nuts like casher and coconut. Treeline and Miyoko’s Kitchen make some amazing cheeses that taste even better than the dairy ones!
Vegan soft cheese is a great alternative to cream cheese on bagels and in recipes. You can use these cheeses for recipes and mix them with berries for compote cheeses. Yogurt and sour cream can also be replaced with nut-based alternatives.
Eggs are one of the hardest ingredients to remove. There are tons and tons of amazing recipes that are almost vegan, until you realize they call for egg. Here are some great egg substitutes. Finely ground flax seed will bind as well as eggs in recipes. This works especially well when recipes ask for almond and coconut flour and in baked goods. Use one tablespoon of flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg.
Silken tofu makes a great egg replacement. It’s flavorless, so it won’t cause your recipe to have a funny nut taste, and it’s softer and silkier than regular tofu. This works really well for brownie and break recipes. Use ¼ cup of pureed silk tofu to replace 1 egg.
Follow Your Heart is a plant-based company that actually makes a vegan egg. This will replace whole eggs, which are usually a perfect keto food. Use their vegan alternative for amazing scrambled eggs and omelets. Unfortunately, the alternative isn’t quite as beneficial as the original because it has less fat and protein than the real egg. Another great vegan option is The Vegg.
Baking soda and vinegar can also play substitute for fluffy baked good recipes. Use 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon. Of white vinegar to replace each egg.
You really need to talk with your doctor about a vegan keto diet. While planning carefully can make it possible, it is very difficult to maintain adequate nutrition levels while also balancing these 2 seemingly oppositional forces.
Vegan diets already make it difficult to get important nutrients, especially if you don’t plan your meals. Because of this lack of B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fats, calcium, iron, and other nutrients, vegan diets require supplements and a lot of maintenance to ensure good health.
With the added restrictions of a keto diet, it is absolutely crucial that you supplement your diet with high quality vitamins and minerals and plan every meal to make sure you get a good balance of all the nutrients you need.
Whenever possible, eat fortified whole foods that enhance available nutrients. Fermenting and sprouting are great options. In fact, sprouts are delicious in salad, sandwiches, and bowls.
It can also be difficult to transition into a vegan keto diet, so be careful and prepared to handle some side effects while your body adjust. In fact, it may be best to slowly ease into this diet a little bit at a time.
Be prepared to experience nausea, constipation, fatigue, irritability, weakness, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, and trouble sleeping. The best way to combat these effects is to stay hydrated, eat fiber rich foods, and get enough rest. Supplemental electrolytes can also reduce headaches and muscle problems.
If you’re pregnant, a type 1 diabetic, breast feeding, or a professional athlete this is probably not the right choice for you. It can also be the wrong choice for people with a history of eating disorders.
Your carb intake should be limited to around 35 grams per day. You should be getting 70% of your calories from plant-based fats and 25% of your calories from plant-based proteins. Supplement your diet with nutrients like vitamin B12, B6, D3, iron, zinc, and taurine. Use. A keto calculator to find out how much carbs, fat, and protein you need to meet your goals.
Now that you’ve seen what to eat, what to avoid, and some great substitutes you may not need as many recipes as you thought. Hopefully, you’re panicking just a little less and already working on some great meal plans that fit the vegan keto diet. If not, and you still need some help, take a look at some of these great recipes.
Breakfast Smoothie Bowl
If you like to eat fresh foods, then this is a great recipe for your morning meal. This amazing vegan low carb smoothie bowl is delicious. Just use frozen cauliflower for your base then add in berries. Skipping the banana and milk keeps you vegan and low carb. The cauliflower also helps replace the texture that the banana would have given without causing higher carb counts found in them. You can vary this recipe as you see fit as long as you’re following the diet. Adding some leafy greens can also help increase the nutrient value.
Asian Peanut Stir Fry
If you’re craving Asian flavors and missing the crispiness of fried foods, then try this amazing recipe. They will show you how to make your tofu crispy, so it mimics fried foods, and their recipe is delicious. They show you how to make cauliflower rice, which you can substitute in tons of different dishes to keep you feeling full without binging on carbs.
Yes, that’s right. Who says you can’t have lasagna on a vegan keto diet?? This recipe has managed to do the impossible and create a satisfying lasagna dish that is perfectly acceptable on the vegan keto diet. The recipe uses zucchini, tofu ricotta, and walnut sauce for a decadent and indulgent meal.There is no way you want to miss Taco Tuesday!! The good news is that being vegan and on keto doesn’t mean missing out on tacos! Here are some suggestions. You can switch out the taco shells for lettuce leaves to save carbs. Using ground mushrooms cooked in taco seasoning is a great meat substitute that tastes just as good as beef, if not better! Switch the sour cream for an unflavored vegan yogurt to get the creamy, cool notes. Good news – guacamole and salsa are usually already vegan and keto approved! This has more specific guidelines if you’re not sure how to make those swaps.