Can Vegetarians sustain a Keto Diet? Is it possible? Here's a common misconception for you: You have to eat meat to follow the Keto diet.
The Ketogenic, or keto, diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that has proved to be beneficial for weight loss. Although it usually contains animal products like meat, fish, and poultry, it’s very easy to adapt it to fit a vegetarian diet.
The three elements to manage on any Keto diet are the Fat, Protein and Carbohydrate ratio. A vegetarian keto diet is much healthier than a non vegetarian keto diet as it mitigates some of the disadvantages that may come with a predominantly meat based keto diet.
So instead of meat, your protein will come in the form of paneer and it’s fancy friend, tofu. If you’ve been a vegetarian for a while, it’ll just be like any other day.
Let’s look at the Macros on a Vegetarian Keto Diet
Bulk of the calories consumed on a ketogenic diet come from Fat - upto 70%. Hence it is imperative to choose only the healthiest of fats on the ketogenic diet. Fortunately vegetarian diets are full of healthy fats to choose from.
Fats from dairy products like cheese, paneer, cream and ghee are an excellent source of healthy fats.
Apart from these fats from nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, flax seeds etc are high in healthy and essential fats like Omega-3.
Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive oil and wood pressed and cold pressed vegetable oils are also extremely rich in healthy fats.
In fact most common unhealthy fats occur in animal fats and processed vegetable oils.
Most meat and meat products have close to zero carbohydrates. However, did you know that most vegetables are also extremely low in carbohydrates and almost all vegetables that grow above the ground are safe to eat on a ketogenic diet (with a handful of exceptions). Apart from starchy roots like potatoes, sweet-potatoes and yams - most other roots are okay to consume in moderation. So as a vegetarian you have access to a virtually unlimited option of vegetables that are low in carb and rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Protein is usually quoted as the one reason why a vegetarian keto diet fails - as most protein rich vegetarian foods - like grains, pulses and dals are also high in carbohydrates and cannot be consumed on a ketogenic diet.
While there aren’t very good replacements for pulses and dals, there are some excellent grain replacements available in the Indian market. We highly recommend checking out our friends over at Nutribarn [hyperlink here] that are creating some of the most flavor identical low-carb food alternatives. Nutribarn products are high in Protein and Fibre and extremely low in Carbohydrates.
Besides this as well, there are plenty of sources of vegetarian protein to choose from.
Let’s get a little scientific here. Our body requires 9 essential amino acids and guess what, paneer has not one or two but all nine of them.
Cheese and greek yogurt also pack large amounts of protein.
Nuts like almonds and walnuts are another great source of protein.
Finally, if you still struggle to complete your daily dose of protein, there are a whole range of vegetarian (whey) and vegan (plant based) protein supplements available in exciting flavors like mango, chocolate, strawberry and everything in between.
We highly recommend checking out our blog on Vegetarian Keto [The Ultimate Vegetarian Keto Diet Guide]
So if anyone tells you that you cannot do keto as a vegetarian, it is time to roll those eyes! If you are still clouded with doubts, brace yourselves, for you are about to be hit by a truth bomb. You have got to stop looking for reasons for not following Keto. The only question
you should be asking is ‘How can I do keto?’ A loud and clear YES is just a call away.
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