Answer – Yes, you can definitely do keto if you’re vegetarian or vegan, but you should be aware of a few do’s and don’ts.
Here’s what you should know:
First, a quick summary of the keto diet – the traditional ketogenic diet recommends that you get the majority of your calories – around 75% – from fat. The remaining calories are then to be divided between protein – at about 20% – and carbohydrates – at about 5% – for the day’s total.
Some people mistakenly believe that keto is a high-protein diet, but that’s not the case. While there may be folks following keto that eat a lot of protein, that’s not the way the diet was originally designed. In its standard form, keto is high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate.
The concerns of vegetarians and vegans considering going on keto usually have to do with the mistaken belief that they’ll need to consume a lot of protein (which can be more difficult to do as a vegetarian or vegan) while following the diet.
Once they understand, though, that the ketogenic diet is really a moderate-protein diet, the vegetarian/vegan considering keto should be reassured that they should be able to achieve the needed requirements without having to consume protein from animal sources.
Since the majority of the keto dieter’s calories are consumed from fats, the keto vegetarian/vegan’s main concern will be finding enough acceptable sources of healthy, dietary fats.
Fortunately, sources of these types of fats are plentifully derived from non-animal sources. Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil and a wide variety of seeds and nuts (such as pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds) are all examples of non-animal sources of healthy, dietary fat.
And, vegetarians who consume eggs and dairy have even more options. Hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter and eggs are all quality options for consumption on the keto diet.
So, the keto diet can absolutely be compatible with vegetarianism and veganism. It just takes careful menu planning to achieve the balance of the keto diet’s recommended macro-nutrients while eating within the individual’s dietary choices.