Benefits Of A Keto Vegan Diet And What To Be Aware Of

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A keto vegan diet is a plant-based diet with small amounts of carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat. 

Although a keto diet is associated with animal food because of the low carb to high-fat ratio to reach and maintain ketosis, vegans can follow and reap the potential benefits of a ketogenic diet as well.

This article explains the many health benefits and the drawbacks of a vegan keto diet, plus an example keto vegan menu.

RELATED: Deficiencies of Raw Food Diet And How To Address Them

In This Article

Keto Vegan Diet – Facts You Need To Know

Nutrition Facts of a Keto Vegan Diet

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In short, a keto vegan diet is a vegan diet that has small amounts of carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat. Specifically, a vegan keto diet consists of around 5% carbs, 25% protein, and 70% fats. This helps the body reach and maintain ketosis, which is when the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, the body produces ketones and burns fat. 

Vegans can rely on getting their fat intake from high-fat foods like nuts, seeds, oils, and avocado.

On a keto vegan diet, some of the best fat sources are:

  • Avocado oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut butter
  • Coconut cream
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Macadamia, pecan, or other nut oils
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil

To restrict carbohydrate consumption, keto vegan dieters pass on high-carb foods such as: 

  • Grains: rice, wheat, corn, cereal, etc.
  • Sugar: agave, honey, maple syrup, etc.
  • Tubers: potato, yams, etc.
  • Legumes: peas, lentils, black beans, etc.
  • Fruit: oranges, apples, bananas, etc.

Instead, they opt for low-carb plant-based foods like:

  • Tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc.
  • Mushrooms: shiitake, lion’s mane, king oyster, etc.
  • Sea vegetables: dulse, kelp, bladderwrack, etc.
  • Above ground vegetables: zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
  • Leafy greens: kale, spinach, kale, etc.
  • Nuts & seeds: almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Avocado and berries: raspberries, blackberries, etc.
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.
  • High-fat dairy alternatives: coconut cream, vegan cheeses, etc.
  • Sweeteners: monk fruit, stevia, erythritol, etc.
  • Low-carb oil: olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.
  • Egg alternatives.

So it’s realistically possible to maintain a keto vegan diet. The main benefit or reason people opt for a low carb diet is to lose weight. However, there are a considerable number of other health benefits. 

Benefits of a Keto Vegan Diet

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Although there are little to no scientific studies about keto vegan diets, they have similar benefits as vegan diets and keto diets combined.

Weight Loss

Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,500 and for men and 2,000 for women. Calories are challenging to count on a keto diet because of the high-fat foods and the calculations between calorie intake and energy burned off. What’s more important is the 5% carb ratio. Ketosis promotes the release of body fat to be burned or converted to ketones for energy, and therefore the weight is lost.

Reduce the Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

As keto vegan diets contain less sugar and more fiber than usual, dieters can better manage their blood sugar levels. Also, keto vegan diets help reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Moreover, diminishing glucose levels can help decrease circulatory strain and improve cardiovascular function. Along with diminished glucose, the low level of cholesterol can also lower coronary health issues.

Reduce Heart-Related Diseases

In fact, a well-planned vegan keto diet can improve heart health. Not only that, but plant-based diets are the only dietary pattern to have shown reversal of coronary heart disease.

Lower Risk of Developing Cancer

Most observational studies show that plant-based diets can reduce overall cancer risk by 10-12%.

One study shows that there is a close relationship between cancer and sugar. By reducing glucose in meals, you have more chances to reduce the risk of cancerous tumor growths.

Another study also showed that plant-based diets might help reduce the threat of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Furthermore, evidence suggests that keto plant-based diets help reduce arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and swelling. Also, they can be helpful with poor kidney function.

Risks of a Keto Vegan Diet – Nutrient Deficiency & Solutions

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There are also some drawbacks to a keto vegan diet that you should know about and how to combat them.

Vitamin B12

As well as vegans, keto vegans usually lack vitamin B12. This vitamin, in general, relates to brain development and cognitive abilities. Some keto vegan foods rich in vitamin B12 are soymilk (unsweetened), fortified tofu, and fortified cereals.

Iron

Iron is also a nutrient that keto vegans can often miss. It is an essential element related to brain development structure and other health issues. Some iron food sources that keto vegans can consider are large white beans, unsweetened dried fruits, spinach, and quinoa.

Calcium & Vitamin D

Typical keto vegan diets can also be deficient in calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients are essential for bone and immune health. As a result, to prevent this kind of nutrient deficiency, take time to plan your daily meals. Some foods high in calcium and vitamin D are mushrooms, soy foods, beans, peas, lentils, and fortified almond milk.

Other nutrient deficiencies include D3, selenium, folate, iodine, and omega-3. In this case, frequent consumption of nuts and seeds can be a good solution. 

Who Shouldn’t Follow a Keto Vegan Diet?

Although keto vegan diets can be beneficial to health, they are not for everyone. Therefore, people with type 1 diabetes or those with eating disorders need to put their names in this no-keto list. Also, they are not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Example 1-Day Keto Vegan Menu

Meal: Breakfast

Dish: Vegan keto porridge

Nutrition Facts: 16g carbohydrates, 139 calories, 5g protein, 1.8g sugar, 52.5mg sodium, 4.9g fat, 1.1g saturated fat, 10.8g fiber.

Meal: Lunch

Dish: Vegan Whipped Cream and Low-Carb Vegetable Soup

Nutrition Facts: 18.8g carbohydrates, 119.4 calories, 2.8g protein, 11g sugar, 2.9g fat, 3g fiber.

Meal: Dinner

Dish: Cauliflower Fried Rice with Tofu

Nutrition Facts: 21.5g carbohydrates, 297 calories, 21.1g protein, 3.8g sugar, 325mg sodium, 15.6g total fat, 6.8g fiber, 139.5mg cholesterol.

Total Nutritional Facts: 56.3g carbohydrates, 555.4 calories, 28.9g protein, 16.6g sugar, 23.4g fat, 20.6 fiber, 139.5mg cholesterol, 377.5mg sodium.

In conclusion, the most significant benefit of a keto vegan diet is weight loss. However, the amount of nutrients that one person needs depends on their physical state. Thus, before applying a vegan keto diet, ask a doctor or any health professional first for advice. In short, make sure you meet all your nutritional needs with any restrictive diet you follow.

Have you ever tried to apply keto vegan diets? How do you supply the nutrient deficiencies? Don’t forget to sign up for VegHealth for more upcoming posts.

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We chose people who were experts about the lessons they wrote, even if they didn't agree with our other contributors on every point. For example, some of our contributors eat mostly raw foods while others eat mostly macrobiotic. Some shun oil while others stir fry their vegetables. As a result, none of our contributors has endorsed all of the lessons written by other experts.