How To Easily Follow A Keto Diet As A Vegetarian
If you have been following the latest fad for diets for weight loss, there is no way you could have missed hearing about the ketogenic diet. Also called the keto diet, this is a diet plan that promises weight loss, physical strength, and relief from a lot of health conditions including type II diabetes in just a few weeks of following it.
The keto diet plan originally was meat-based. People on the diet consumed a large variety of meat every single day to get their fat and protein macros met.
With the number of vegetarians around the world growing, the diet has now been modified and a vegetarian keto diet that is equally effective has been created by nutritional experts.
If you are a vegetarian who wants to follow the ketogenic diet for various reasons, this article is just for you. Here is a list of foods you should and should not include in your meal plan and we have also put down smart recipes that are easy to cook and push your body into ketosis mode quite easily.
Lets start with the basics.
What is a ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet. There are different moderations of the diet termed the Low Carbohydrate High Fat (LCHF) diet or the paleo diet. The difference lies in the amount of carbohydrates you are allowed to consume every day.
Usually, in a standard keto diet, the macros are split the following way.
- Fat 75%
- Proteins 20%
- Carbohydrates 5%
That means, if you are on a 2000 calorie diet plan, 1500 calories have to come purely from fat and 400 calories ought to come from proteins. You can consume just 100 calories of carbohydrates in a day.
Why does a keto diet help with weight loss?
Many people are surprised by hearing the terms ‘fat-rich diet and ‘weight loss together. The idea behind a ketogenic diet is simple yet very effective.
In normal circumstances, your body uses the glucose content got from food for energy. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more glucose your body gets, and you feel energized.
However, too much glucose in the body can spike your insulin needs and the fat you consume along with the carbohydrates is stored directly in your body around the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and chest.
This causes weight gain and a variety of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
When you deprive your body of glucose and consume just fat, your body is forced to start burning fat for energy and in that process, the fat deposits in the body are also quickly used up and you lose weight.
You prevent the insulin spike that harms your body and you start getting healthier by the day.
Perfect food choices for vegetarian keto lovers
Now that you are convinced about the benefits of the keto diet, here are great diet plans and food choices for vegetarians to follow while on the diet.
Choose plant and dairy-based fats
So what if you cannot get enough fat from meat? You can compensate by enjoying plant and dairy-based fats available in plenty. Some of the common sources of fats from plants and dairy are:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Nuts like macadamia and walnuts
- Coconut milk
- Fresh cream
All these have high amounts of fat and you can enjoy using them in plenty when you make curries, salads, soups, and beverages.
Invest in good protein supplements
Many vegetarians find it very difficult to find protein sources that are low in carbohydrates. To get your protein macros in place, start with a good protein shake in the morning or after your workout session. Protein supplement shakes are easy to make and are quick fixes when you are hungry and want something filling.
Fall in love with dairy essentials
If you are on a vegetarian keto diet, you will have to start loving dairy products. These include yogurt, butter, cheese, and cottage cheese. Do remember that more the fat content, the better it is. So always opt for full-fat dairy essentials.
Milk, however, has considerable amounts of carbohydrates (12 grams in a cup) and is to be consumed minimally or better if avoided.
Snack on nuts and seeds
A great snacking alternative for vegetarian keto followers is snacks and nuts. They not only are low in carbohydrates but are also generally very healthy for the body. Here are the nutritional values of some of the nuts and snacks commonly available.
- Pumpkin seeds (100 grams) – 4 g of carbohydrate, 32 g of proteins, 43 g fat
- Macadamia nuts (100 grams) – 8 g carbohydrates, 4 g proteins, 88 g fat
- Pecan nuts (100 grams) – 14 g carbohydrates, 9 g proteins, 72 g fat
- Walnuts (100 grams) – 10 g carbohydrates, 20 g proteins, 65 g fat
Gorge on non-starchy vegetables
Vegetables not only give you the much-needed variety when it comes to food choices, but these also have a lot of other nutritional values that you should not miss out on.
With every meal, it is important you have a side of vegetables in the forms of salads, soups, or sabzis (curries).
When you pick vegetables, do remember that they also add to your carbohydrate macros and hence choose consciously. Some of the best vegetables you can eat in plenty when on a keto diet are:
- Peppers (capsicums)
Do stay away from these starchy vegetables:
- Sweet potatoes
Choose fruits low in sugar content
Do you miss your fruits on a keto diet? While many common fruits like mangoes, watermelons, and oranges are not considered great on a keto diet because of their high sugar and carbohydrate content, there are few fruits you can still enjoy. Use these to make fruit shakes, frozen popsicles, and creative high fat desserts.
- Raw guavas
- Star fruit
If you are a vegetarian and have been hesitant to start the keto diet until now, it is time to take the plunge. The lack of food choices should not bother you as there are umpteen choices to pick from.
You just need a creative mind to put together great meals that are fat-rich and low in carbohydrates.
Take time over the weekend to plan your meals in advance and have the ingredients ready.
This way, you will ensure you take lesser time cooking during the week.
By carefully calculating the carbohydrates you consume, your body will quickly get into ketosis and stay there for as long as you like.