Studies on the traditional ketogenic diet show that the diet can have amazing weight loss effects. You won’t be hungry, and you’ll also experience sustained energy.
Some people also use the diet for epilepsy and controlling their blood sugars. Maybe you want those same benefits but are worried about whether the diet is healthy. Or, you want to try the diet but don’t want to harm animals in the process.
The vegan keto diet could solve these concerns. I know what you’re thinking. How on earth can you make a diet so high in animal protein and fat vegan? Well, like most things – if there’s a will there’s a way. You can get your desired protein and fat intake off of plant-based foods with a little information about the best foods to eat and what to watch.
Here’s why you should try the vegan keto diet for healthy weight loss, energy, and longevity:
- Decreases the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney damage, and cancer
- Sustainable energy that really lasts
- Reduces inflammation, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels
- Helps manage diabetes and epilepsy
- Faster weight loss that is sustainable
- You’ll lose weight without harming yourself, animals, or the environment
WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?
Today we use the ketogenic diet for weight loss primarily, but this phenomenon has only been happening for the past 3-5 years. Previously, this diet was used solely for the treatment of patients with epilepsy. In 1921, Dr. Russel Wilder offered the ketogenic diet as an alternative to fasting. This diet proved to be an excellent way for those with epilepsy to manage their seizures and still receive adequate nutrition.
When thinking of using this diet for weight loss, you might compare the diet to other low-carb fad diets for losing weight such as Paleo and Atkins. But, the ketogenic diet is different. Paleo and Atkins are higher in protein and lower in fats.
In contrast, to follow the ketogenic diet effectively, you need to designate 80% of your calories for fat, 20% for protein, and 5% for carbs.
You’ve probably heard for years about the dangers of consuming too much fat or the necessity of eating lean meats and low-fat dairy. The ketogenic diet sways away from these ideas about fat and instead promotes a seemingly paradoxical argument that eating fat will actually help you lose fat.
So, how does this diet work since it seems to go against what we have been told about the role of fat formerly?
Why Is It Called the Ketogenic Diet and How Does It Work?
The ketogenic diet switches your body’s normal way of generating energy from carbohydrates and sugar to running exclusively off of fat. When you replace your carbohydrate intake with fat, your liver begins to metabolize your fat stores and your dietary intake of fat into energy molecules called ketones. These ketones are then used to supply your brain with energy.
The repetitive state of using ketones for energy is called ketosis. That’s why we call the diet the ketogenic diet or keto for short.
ISSUES WITH THE TRADITIONAL KETO DIET
The ketogenic can provide several benefits such as weight loss, increased memory and concentration, decreased inflammation, sustained energy, and stabilized blood sugar for those with diabetes. However, there is some debate on whether or not keto is healthy.
The Harvard School of Public Health currently believes that research on the diet is not complete and typically focuses on short-term benefits. They worry that higher risk individuals such as the elderly and those with chronic health problems will participate in the diet when more research needs to be done regarding the safety of the diet. Very few studies even question what the diet might do to your health long term.
A few of the negatives that have been associated with the traditional way of following the ketogenic diet include:
- Deficiencies in antioxidants, vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals
- Increased levels of cortisol, irritability, and mood swings
- Higher risks of kidney, heart, and other chronic diseases – even cancer
BENEFITS OF A VEGAN KETO DIET
By modifying the diet to be plant-based, you can take away many of the health concerns associated with the ketogenic diet. The vegan keto diet would consist of the same principles of increasing fat consumption and limiting carbs, but this way of eating would avoid animal products.
Before you can understand how to properly combine these diets for maximum efficacy, let’s first briefly touch on what the plant-based diet is and how it’s beneficial.
Thomas is a top performer who has been on the covers of Iron Man, Muscle & Performance, Natural Muscle and others. Thomas lost 100 lbs using the ketogenic diet and fasting. Plant based nutrition has been a go-to for him to fuel his body.
“I have ALWAYS advocated pea protein over any other form of protein, but WARRIOR BLEND takes it to the next level by combining the right sources of protein to make a legitimately complete plant based protein with NO grains. That is unheard of generally! Whether Keto or not, Warrior blend is the way to get your protein in.... period” Thomas DeLauer
The Plant-Based Diet
The plant-based diet is typically practiced by vegetarians and vegans for a variety of reasons. Some choose the diet for ethical reasons such as not wanting to participate in animal cruelty or even to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment.
Others choose a plant-based lifestyle for the variety of health benefits that come from eating a primarily whole-foods plant-based diet such as:
- Long-term sustained weight loss
- Clearer skin and less acne
- Lower blood sugar levels and risk for diabetes
- Dramatically lower risks of heart disease and even the reversal of heart disease
- Prevention of certain cancers
The plant-based diet isn’t new though. This way of eating was practiced by several ancient Greek philosophers as a way to live more peacefully and to remain healthy. So, eating a vegetarian or vegan diet has been around for thousands of years.
The long-term effects of the plant-based diet have been shown to be beneficial. The China Study by Dr. Thomas Colin Campbell is a comprehensive study of nutrition that reviewed the effects of animal product consumption on humans for the course of twenty years.
65 countries in rural China were surveyed. Dr. Campbell concluded that people who ate a primarily plant-based diet lived longer, weighed less, and had low to no risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The plant-based diet may be very healthy. But, if you want to lose weight faster or manage your diabetes with keto, the vegan keto diet could be a great option. But, how can you even eat a plant-based keto diet since all plant-foods contain carbs?
Combining the Keto and Plant-Based Diet
So, you want to lose weight quickly, but maybe you also want the long-term health benefits of a vegan diet. The way to be successful with keto is to adopt a lifestyle that according to science prevents the risk of chronic disease – including cancer. Achieving ketosis is still possible through a plant-based diet without eating meat, dairy, and eggs.
The best way to implement the vegan ketogenic diet is to use the diet short-term. Though the diet can be used long-term if done correctly, the diet may begin to feel restrictive. There is no way around this issue because the keto diet is restrictive, and the plant-based diet is restrictive.
Put them together, and you have quite the combination. That doesn’t make the diet impossible though. So, if you want the benefits of keto without restricting food groups for a long period of time,
you can use the diet for a period of 3-6 months as a way to kick-start weight loss and then go back to a less restrictive way of eating.
After this period of 3-6 months when you’ve reached your desired weight, you can add a few more delicious, healthy carbs into your daily meals. Complex carbs are not evil. If you eat the right kind of carbs, they can be beneficial. Sure, a bowl of highly processed white flour pasta won’t do your health any favors.
But, quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins. Carbs are also excellent fuel for exercise. You will still stay fit and even build more muscle.
If you want to know the easiest way to build muscle while staying plant-based, Sunwarrior guides you through the steps. You don’t need to eat massive amounts of animal products to fulfill your protein intake needs.
VEGAN KETO SHOPPING LIST
This diet is possible with a little knowledge about what foods to eat and which foods to avoid. You can still have delicious and nutritious meals from the vegan keto diet.
Use this list when you go to the grocery store to keep you in ketosis and to keep you healthy.
The Best Protein Sources
The greatest challenge of the vegan keto diet is finding protein sources that contain a small number of carbs. Traditional staple sources of protein from a plant-based diet such as beans, lentils, and legumes contain too many carbs, so you’ll have to find alternatives.
Here’s a list of good protein sources for the vegan keto diet that will help you reach your protein intake without maxing out your carbs and taking you out of ketosis:
- Other Vegan Meats
- Nuts and Seeds
- Vegan Protein Powders
Vegan protein powders can be an excellent way to boost your protein. They usually contain around 20 grams of protein and very few carbs. You can blend these powders into a smoothie, or mix a flavorless one into food.
Sunwarrior’s protein powders are raw and undamaged by heat, perfect for those with allergies or sensitivities, taste great, and provide the right amount of protein for your daily serving. Sunwarrior offers three protein powders with 19 grams of protein in each scoop. Sunwarrior keeps your goals in mind:
This protein is available in Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Mocha, and Natural. Specifically made for building muscle, you’ll be sure to crush your workouts and keep your muscles strong.
We made this protein to help your body recover after a workout or for someone who simply needed an easy way to integrate more protein into their diet. The protein is offered in Vanilla, Chocolate, and Natural.
Labeled our best tasting, this protein powder is explicitly formulated with your taste buds in mind. The protein also comes from a variety of sources such as quinoa, brown rice, pea protein, amaranth, and chia. It is available in Vanilla, Chocolate, and Natural.
For more information about how our proteins differ, check out our FAQ page.
Healthy Fat Sources
Getting enough fat in your diet is essential to staying in ketosis. You don’t need meat, eggs, or dairy to consume enough fat. Here is a list of plant-based healthy fat sources:
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Dairy Free Yogurt
- Dairy Free Cheese
Low Carb Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are essential for your health. They contain vital vitamins and minerals for your body to properly function. The only issue is that many of them are high in carbohydrates so they will take you out of ketosis.
Here’s a list of the lowest carb vegetables and fruits to buy for the vegan keto diet:
- Artichoke Hearts
- Bok Choy
- Cauliflower (This is a great substitute for rice in recipes!)
- Zucchini (This is a great substitute for pasta in recipes!)
VEGAN KETO MEAL PLAN
Developing a meal plan for the vegan keto diet can be important for the first few weeks so that you can ensure that you get all the nutrients that your body needs. Here are a few recipes you can use to stay in ketosis on the vegan keto meal plan:
Normal granola is full of carbs, but you can get the same great crunchy taste from nuts and seeds while also getting in some extra fat. All you need to do is cover the nuts in seasonings and pop them in the oven.
These protein balls are great for snacks or for a late-night treat. You will get in some extra protein, and you can coat them with nuts or coconut for some extra fat.
This wrap is an excellent option for lunch. There are very few carbs, and the wrap is high in both fat and protein. The cashew cheese recipe for the wrap would also taste great as a dip for other low carb vegetables.
Try this recipe for dinner one night. The tofu and mushrooms are great protein sources. You can serve this recipe on top of cauliflower rice as a substitute for normal rice to keep the meal low-carb.
This dinner option is great for grilling out. Pick low carb veggies to go on the skewer, and you’ve got a super tasty meal with a high level of protein.
You can really load up on fat in this recipe. Top the salad with nuts, avocado, and dairy free cheese. It will still feel light in your stomach because of the strawberries and lettuce, but you’ll be getting that extra fat for keto.
Have a spaghetti and meatball night without all the carbs and bad health effects from red meat. Grab your spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. You can even add some fat to the recipe by topping it with a dairy-free nut cheese.
STARTING YOUR PATH TO HEALTHY LIVING
There is so much more to a holistic lifestyle than dieting. When you start your journey to healthier living, there seems to be so much information to weed through. It can be confusing and difficult to determine what you should focus on first.
That’s why we developed a short 15 Point Guide to Essential Health e-book. Take charge of your own health. With a little help, you’ll be living a healthier more fulfilling life in no time.