The vegan diet offers dozens of health benefits on its own, and while it’s not nutritionally deficient, you may find that you aren’t feeling as limber or energetic as you once did. Or, perhaps you’re trying to lose weight or get in peak physical shape, and excess consumption of carbs and legumes is standing in your way. No matter the reason you’ve decided to check out the keto vegan diet, we’re here to provide the information—and recipe inspiration—you need to get started. Let’s dive into how to go keto vegan in five steps!
Why Include Keto?
With the detoxification characteristics, nutritional profile, and progressive cultural adoption of veganism, you may still be wondering why the keto component is necessary. The reasons for coupling the ketogenic and vegan diets together turn out to be many. “Keto” is an abbreviated version of the word “ketosis,” which is a natural metabolic state the human body can achieve.
When in ketosis, your body is utilizing fatty acids as fuel. When low carbohydrate consumption is achieved and insulin levels decrease, your body sends fatty acids from body fat stores to be processed by your liver. Your liver turns these fatty acids into ketones, which is another reason the word keto is commonly used.
As your body starts to use ketones as fuel, it does not need to store fat anymore, because the calories you consume become highly efficient. You are now consuming calories that more readily and over the course of your day get turned into energy. If your body can use fat as fuel, it won’t store as much of it, and you’ll more easily be able to lose weight as a result.
While eating keto vegan definitely takes some discipline, implementing it in your daily life doesn’t need to be impossible. Below we’ve broken down the necessities of how to go keto vegan and included appealing recipes to get you started.
What Are The Requirements Of The Vegan Keto Diet?
- Stay low-carb – eating vegan keto requires that your total carbohydrate consumption on any given day must be 50 grams or fewer. Some individuals who have experienced optimal results on a keto vegan diet restrict their carb consumption to 35 grams or fewer per day.
- Eat plenty of fats – going keto vegan means getting a majority of your calories and all of your fat consumption from plant-based fats (food sources and more on this below).
- Consume a moderate amount of protein – aim for about 25% of your daily calorie intake to be from protein sources (more info below).
- Keep supplementing – stepping into a new diet does not negate the necessity of quality supplementation. Vitamin D, iron, zinc, iodine, Vitamin B12, calcium, and Omega 3s are the top seven micronutrients anyone on a vegan diet should be watching for. All of these micronutrients except for Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D are still easy to get on a keto vegan diet, as long as you’re eating enough variety (dark leafy greens, foods with fiber, etc.).
Restrict Carbohydrate Consumption
Eating fewer carbs is the first and most important aspect of how to go keto vegan. However, transitioning from common foods and staples like bread, pasta, cereal, rice, and beans—all of which are carbohydrate-heavy foods—to a diet full of greens and fat isn’t the simplest to do. Combine that with the fact that many meals available in restaurants, food trucks, and fast food establishments are carb-heavy, and eating vegan keto appears downright intimidating.
To get started on the right foot, focus on foods and meals that are filling and high in fiber. Vegan meat alternatives like tofu, seitan, and tempeh all have significant amounts of protein, making them exceptionally filling. Foods like mushrooms, nuts, and seeds are also known for their mouthwatering tastes and have plenty of recipe versatility.
Nuts and meat alternatives are not the be-all-end-all of keto vegan eating, however. If you’re looking for additional, easy ways to have the same food sensory and textural experience carbohydrates provide without the caloric load, we’ve got you covered.
Cauliflower rice has exploded in popularity recently and offers almost identical texture to rice without the carbohydrate burden. You can make “noatmeal,” too—oatmeal made out of completely vegan and keto ingredients, for example. And yes, pasta, waffles, pancakes and tortillas are all possible on this diet too. With your imagination plus the wealth of the Internet, the sky is the limit!
Focus On Fats
When it comes to how to go keto vegan, maximal use of variety and ingenuity are your friends. Fat consumption is the cornerstone of keto vegan eating, and thankfully, there are dozens of scrumptious and nutritionally beneficial ways to achieve this. Since the diet is already restrictive enough, the key is to use the same ingredients in different ways, and in as many different meals and snacks as you can.
Among the types of fats you can eat within vegan keto are coconut oil, avocado oil, red palm oil, MCT oil (a coconut derivative), nuts and seeds, avocados, coconuts, and vegan dairy substitutes. This is not an exhaustive list, but can definitely give you the foundation you need.
The next best action to take is research recipes and prep your kitchen and pantry. Just like any other personal undertaking, consistency and manageable steps are utterly crucial for success. Make your keto vegan efforts as familiar to your existing habits as possible by making recipes that appeal to your taste buds and prior food experiences.
Use snack recipes, too, if you need to. This satiates any cravings, keeps you focused, prevents temptations, and reminds you that the goal of how to go keto vegan is entirely possible. You’ll be AMAZED at the variety within vegan keto recipes once you start searching.
Mix It Up With Greens
Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard and above-ground vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower are a key component of eating keto vegan. Use existing resources and guides to help you know not only which foods to eat, but how to use them in irresistible recipes. Greens are a nutritional powerhouse that offer shockingly rich flavor while delivering micronutrients your body needs. Give different dishes a shot, and you’ll see eating vegan keto isn’t nearly as challenging as you thought!
Use Mushrooms And Peppers
Peppers and mushrooms are not only applicable for keto vegan, they make incredibly tasty additions to meals of any kind. Whether you like portabellas, shiitake, lion’s mane, king oyster, or any other kind of mushroom, feel free to use them galore for your recipes.
Remember To Treat Yourself
The keto vegan diet has a short list of applicable food sources, and—just like with any other honest effort to improve your life—you shouldn’t push yourself past the brink of sanity while engaging in it. Making keto vegan dessert recipes keeps your dietary efforts fun and delicious without ditching your nutritional goals.
Dessert recipes that satisfy both veganism’s and keto’s requirements abound across the Internet, with examples like these no-bake cookie bars, a compilation of more than 40 recipes, chocolate chip cookies, and another collection of 20 recipes (including cupcakes and ice cream).
We hope these five steps on how to go keto vegan demystified the path forward for you! If you found anything cool in this post or have seen awesome results from this niche diet, leave a comment below. Please share this post with any friends or family who may be interested, as well!
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