The keto diet provides many great benefits in the short term, but it’s also quite restrictive. This can be difficult enough to follow, but when you’re a vegetarian it can become even trickier to ensure you’re getting the right level of nutrients.
Having said that, it is possible to follow a vegetarian-inspired keto diet. Read on to find out about the keto diet for vegetarians.
What Foods Should You Eat?
If you’re wanting to follow a vegetarian-based keto diet, there are some foods you’ll want to focus on including. These are:
- Plant-based fats and proteins
- Low-carb vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
With the standard keto diet, you’d get the fats and proteins you need from animal products. However, you’re going to need to focus on plant-based fats and proteins for a vegetarian take on the plan. These include coconuts and avocados. You can eat them naturally or use their oils to gain the healthy fats you’ll need. You can get the protein you need from tofu and even tempeh.
You’ll be able to eat the same vegetables as the standard diet, including cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms and asparagus. You can consume dairy products like hard cheese, plain cottage cheese and full-fat plain yogurt.
Eggs is another way to get the protein you need, while nuts and seeds can add fiber. Seeds are a particularly great source of healthy fats and they’re naturally low in carbs. Then finally, you can add berries to your diet when you crave something sweet.
What Challenges Does It Present?
There are a few challenges the vegetarian keto diet presents. The main issue you’ll have is that the standard vegetarian diet is high in carbs. This is especially true in terms of the beans and lentils you typically consume.
There is also a high chance that you won’t get the nutrients the body needs. This includes zinc, vitamins D and B12, calcium, and protein. If you do develop nutrient deficiencies, it can cause all kinds of problems for your health. So, you’re going to need to ensure you address these challenges if you want to follow a vegetarian keto diet healthily.
Steps for Following a Vegetarian Keto Diet
If you do decide to give the vegetarian keto diet a try, there are some steps you’ll want to take.
The first is to start restricting the carbohydrates you consume. Aim to limit the amount of carbs you’re consuming to 20g per day. The next step is to ensure you’re getting enough protein in each meal. Ideally, you should be consuming around 70g of protein per day.
Twice a day, you’ll also want to ensure you’re having 1-3 servings of vegetables. When cooking, make sure you use healthy oils and finally, add flavor to your food with herbs and spices.
As you can see, it is possible to follow a vegetarian keto diet. However, you do need to be aware of the challenges and how to overcome them if you want to stay healthy. Due to the additional restrictions with a vegetarian keto diet, it’s recommended you talk to your doctor before adopting the diet into your daily life.