If you think that being a vegetarian reduces your chances of successfully following a keto diet, think again. The ketogenic diet is not something that can be followed only if you’re a meat eater. Vegetarians too, can benefit from this diet.
If you didn’t know this already, research suggests that vegetarians tend to face fewer chronic diseases and even tend to live for a longer period of time than non-vegetarians do. When you pair a vegetarian diet with a keto diet, which has been known to help regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss, you might just have a winning combination.
However, it’s not a cakewalk. A vegetarian keto diet requires a lot of planning. First, you need to mentally prepare yourself for this dietary switch. Then, you ought to know exactly what you can eat and what you must avoid, on this diet and stock up your kitchen accordingly. And as always, we’re here to help! Keep reading to know what kinds of food you can eat when you’re following a vegetarian keto diet.
Low carb vegetables
Say yes to cauliflower! We all know that it’s a great substitute for some of the most delicious things (read: pizza base). Also stock up on celery, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and kale.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are excellent snack choices when you’re on a vegetarian keto diet. But, opt for the kind of nuts that are low-carb, but high-fat. This includes hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans. Seeds too, are good news, since they’re packed with fiber and are not very high-carb. Go for chia seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.
When you’re on this diet (and even otherwise), your body needs protein. More importantly, it needs to be low-carb. Tofu and seitan are both good for you. Some people even advocate tempeh, but it contains more carbs than tofu and seitan. But, since tempeh has good fiber content, lots of people tend to use it in their vegetarian keto meals.
Skip this altogether if you’re not an eggetarian. But if you are, you must know that eggs are healthy. They’re tasty. And they’re simple to make. They provide you with a good amount of fat and are low-carb. They’re also an excellent source of protein. So, eat your eggs!
If you can’t stay away from milk and cheese, that’s okay. Just make sure that you aren’t purchasing flavoured, high-sugar options. Full-fat plain yogurt and plain cottage cheese are both sound choices. Opt for hard and semi-hard cheese like gouda and cheddar and peanut or almond butter.
Fats are an essential part of your diet, because they help you stay full for longer. They’re also necessary because they help in the proper absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. Go for healthy fats such as avocado oil, ghee, coconut oil or olive oil to prepare your meals. Steer clear of any kinds of processed oil.
Eat selected berries such as blackberries, strawberries and raspberries and eat them in small quantities. These berries contain fewer carbs and are also great sources of fiber. Avoid blueberries as much as you can, since they contain more carbs than the other options.
What to avoid
Unless you want to swing right out of ketosis, it’s imperative that you stay away from legumes, grains, almost all fruits except berries and potatoes in every form.
To make your vegetarian keto meals more flavourful, you can always use various herbs and spices. Try experimenting with cinnamon, basil, pepper or even cloves. Not only are they considered to be a good source of micronutrients, but also provide variety when you’re cooking. Make sure you’re eating enough low-carb veggies, incorporating protein in your diet and eating nutrient-dense food, which we’ve already listed above. But if you’re doing all of this and still not feeling okay, we recommend speaking to a nutritionist. They’ll help you figure out any deficiencies that you may have and point you towards the right path.
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