Many of our readers have been asking for a vegan Keto alternative to our popular 7-day Keto diet plan.
So here it is.. Keto vegan meal plan to help you achieve ketosis.
But before we dive in, lets briefly cover each diet type (Keto and vegan) in case you’re not familiar with either one.
What is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes foods made of animal products (1).
These include meats, eggs, and dairy.
It’s a diet that’s truly plant-based and limits itself to only the foods that come from plants.
They have a stricter guideline than the standard plant-based diet like vegetarians.
A vegan diet is typically very high in carbohydrates, which is the opposite of the ketogenic diet.
What is a Keto Diet?
A Keto diet, on the other hand, is a high-fat, low-carb diet with moderate protein.
Keto is a type of low carbohydrate diet designed to induce ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic process where the body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose.
There are many health benefits associated with reaching ketosis.
These benefits include weight loss, more energy, and lessen the risk of diseases. Research also shows it can sharpen brain functions (2).
But to reach and maintain ketosis, your carb intake must be reduced to 20-50g per day.
And your fat intake should be upped to around 75%.
Due to the diet’s high-fat content, many Keto meals tend to include animal food. This inevitably makes the diet a bit challenging and even unpopular amongst vegans.
But, those who eat plant-based diets, including vegans, can follow a ketogenic diet as well.
This leads to our next point, Keto vegan.
What is a Vegan Keto Diet?
A Keto vegan diet has to combine the two diets and abide by their guidelines.
Vegan diet: No Meat or any animal products.
Keto diet: Low-carb and high-fat.
Put together, Keto vegan diet is this:
It’s a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein diet that excludes animal-based products.
This means those on a vegan Keto diet are to only take in plant-based fat and limit carb intake to less than 50g per day.
While this poses challenges, with some careful planning, vegans can follow a Keto diet.
They too can totally enjoy and reap the benefits of a Keto diet and reach ketosis.
All it takes is simple food swaps and know key ingredients that make Keto vegan diet a breeze.
- To start the Keto vegan diet right, follow these 6 rules:
- Limit your total carbohydrate intake to 50 grams or less per day.
- Cut all animal products from your diet.
- Eat lots of low-carb Keto vegetables.
- Take 70% of your calories from plant-based fats.
- Get 25% of your calories from plant-based proteins.
- Supplement with vitamins you may be low in.
While the vegan Keto diet can be very restrictive in nature, you can pull it off without losing your sanity. And you can keep your veganism with peace.
So how do you actually make this seemingly impossible task of limiting carbs and upping fat on a vegan diet?
We’ll start by eliminating high-carb plant foods.
Food to Avoid
Grains: corn, wheat, cereal, rice, etc.
Legumes: peas, black beans, lentils, etc.
Sugar: agave, maple syrup, honey etc.
Fruit: bananas, oranges, apples, etc.
Tubers: yams, potato, etc.
Think of it like this. Starchy and sugary plant foods are high in carbs. Omit them from your Keto diet.
Now let’s look at low-carb foods that you can eat on a vegan Keto diet:
Food You Can Eat
Vegan proteins: tofu, tempeh, seitan, and other low-carb vegan “meats”
Low-carb greens: spinach, mizuna, kale, watercress. Other low-carb vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus, etc
Mushrooms: enoki, shimeji, shiitake, king oyster, etc.
Plant-based “dairy”: full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened coconut yogurt, coconut cream, vegan cheese, unsweetened nut milk, etc.
Nuts: pistachios, macadamia nuts, almonds, etc.
Seeds: pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Low-carb, low-glycemic fruits: avocado, blackberries, raspberries, and other low glycemic berries
Sea vegetables: kelp, dulse, etc.
Fermented foods: Kim Chi, natto, sauerkraut, etc.
Sweeteners: monk fruit, erythritol, stevia, erythritol, and other plant-based keto sweeteners
Oils and fats: coconut oil, avocado oil, MCT oil, truffle oil, olive oil, etc.
For a more detailed guide on these low-carb foods and their nutritional breakdowns, we have a page for it. Check-out our Ketogenic Diet Food List to get the comprehensive list and their macro info.
By eating foods from the “Do Eat” list, you can follow a vegan Keto diet and meet most of your nutritional bases. They provide all macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) without packing up carbs.
Also, most of your foods while on a vegan Ketogenic diet come from this list, so have this list handy.
I admit. Making every Keto recipe without animal products vegan takes some efforts. But with some easy food swaps and some careful planning, you can veganize most keto recipe out there!
Sample 1-day Keto Vegan Meal Plan
Breakfast: Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Smoothie
Lunch: Low-carb avocados salad with almond
Dinner: Tofu stir-fry served over cauliflower rice
Breakfast: Baked Tofu, avocado, and vegan pesto
Lunch: Zucchini noodles with pesto and vegan cheese.
Dinner: Grilled Zucchini avocado salads with walnuts and a drizzle of MCT oil.
Breakfast: Chia almond pudding made with full-fat coconut milk.
Lunch: Broccoli creamy coconut soup.
Dinner: Baked asparagus with tofu drizzled with avocado oil
Breakfast: Coconut yogurt topped with crushed nuts, seeds, and unsweetened shredded coconut.
Lunch: Crispy Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry
Dinner: Seitan Negimaki
Breakfast: Tofu scramble with vegan cheese, mushrooms, and spinach.
Lunch: Vegetable and tofu salad with avocado dressing.
Dinner: Eggplant lasagna made with vegan cheese.
Breakfast: Peanut Butter avocado smoothie
Lunch: Green curry kale & crispy coconut tempeh
Dinner: Cauliflower tofu fried rice.
Breakfast: Coconut almond chia pudding.
Lunch: Green salad with tempeh avocado, vegan cheese, and pumpkin seeds.
Dinner: Vegan cauliflower mac and cheese.
Vegan Keto Snacks
Here’s a list of vegan, low-carb Keto snacks to keep your appetite in check between meals.
- Macadamia Nuts
- Crude Coconut Butter with vegetarian saltines.
- High-Fat vegetarian protein bars
- Nuts and Nut Butters.
- Dim Chocolate
- Cacao Nibs.
- Nut and coconut bars
- Vegetarian cocoa smoothie
- Trail blend with blended nuts, seeds, and unsweetened coconut
- Dried coconut drops
- Simmered pumpkin seeds
- Celery sticks finished with almond margarine
- Coconut drain yogurt finished with slashed almonds
- Guacamole and cut ringer pepper
- Cauliflower potato tots
Supplement with Vitamins and Minerals
Though a vegan Keto diet is totally doable, it comes with its own set of challenges.
One is to meet all your nutritional needs solely from vegan food sources. In particular, vitamin D, K2, B12, omega-3s, iron, calcium and such tend to be low in vegan diets.
To be well-nourished nutritionally, consider taking supplements for ones you may lack.
Vegan Keto Diet Benefits and Side Effects
There are several health benefits associated with following both vegan and keto diets.
For example, people on a vegan diet has been shown to weigh less and have a lower risk of obesity and diabetes.
High-fat, low-carb Keto diet is said to have its own health benefits. They include fat loss, weight loss, better brain functions, to better overall health.
The Keto diet is also known to be effective in managing blood sugar and lowering heart disease risks.
Nonetheless, transitioning and adapting to a ketogenic diet can be challenging.
As your body transitions from a carb-based diet to a low-carb, high-fat diet, you may feel side effects.
It’s often referred to as Keto flue, and it’s typical for first-timers go through this period.
Side effects of the Keto vegan diet you may experience include ():
- Poor concentration
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty sleeping
When you are experiencing Keto flu symptoms, there are a few tips you can use to remedy and ease the experience.
Staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and eating a lot of fiber-rich foods are known as Keto flu cure.
If your condition allows it, light activity like walking is also said to help.
If you are experiencing headaches, muscle aches, and insomnia, following supplements are recommended.
- Electrolytes magnesium
While vegan Keto diet is possible and healthy for some, it may not be appropriate for others.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, and/or have health conditions such as type 1 diabetes, it may not be for you.
Also, if you have any history of eating disorders or illness, it may not be suitable for you.
Before starting any new diet including a vegan Keto diet, consult with a local doctor to see if it’s safe for you.
The Take Home Message
To sum up, vegan Keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet based on whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods.
It’s simply a combination of vegan and ketogenic diets.
A vegan Keto low-carb meal plan may lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
It may be challenging following such a strict diet especially in the beginning. But certain benefits may make the efforts worth awhile.
But as always, consult with your local physician before starting any new diet.