Do you think that keto diets are full of saturated fat and that one can not get a healthy alternative at all? So read on here and get wiser on vegetarian keto!
Keto is the most recommended diet if you suffer from a fat disorder like Dercums Disease. I have been on it for quite some time myself now, and it has really changed a lot. My brain fog is not as hard as it used to, and my IBS has almost vanished. I have lot some weight, but it is not the most important factor for me to continue. It is my overall well being that has become better, and I really needed that.
Many of the typical vegetarian foods contain too much carbohydrate to be transferred to a keto diet.
These include dried beans, rice, and pasta, but also bread and some vegetables. Switching your diet to keto is, therefore, a more significant leap for a vegetarian than for a meat-eater. But it is doable, and you will learn how in this article.
A more accessible alternative to vegetarian keto is the so-called Ketotar diet, which is a contraction of pescetarian and ketogenic diets. Being Pescetar means eating fish and seafood, but otherwise living vegetarian. Many who call themselves vegetarians are, in fact, pescetarians, and I have therefore included this diet in this guide.
It may be possible to be vegan and eat keto, but it is the most restrictive diet, and it isn’t easy to maintain in the long run. The challenge is that there is carbohydrate in most protein-rich food, which originates from plants. Vegans – who already live quite restrictively, will thus have their food choices further restricted quite significantly.
What is the purpose of Keto?
It can be said very briefly: By making the amount of carbohydrate available extremely low, we force the body to burn fat instead.
So it is a very effective way to lose weight, but fat burning also has other good side effects. For example, the diet is gradually being used against many different types of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and more.
Consult your doctor before starting. This article is for inspiration only.
Keto diet in short
Limit your daily carbohydrate intake to less than 5% of your calories.
To count calories is a big job, so instead we follow these easy guidelines.
Eat a maximum of 20 – 30 grams of carbohydrate a day.
Limit carbohydrates to primarily come from vegetables, nuts and berries.
Get enough protein and eat yourself fill with fat.
There is some disagreement about when to get enough protein, but about 0.8 grams per kg of body weight is an ok starting point. A person weighing 100 kg must therefore have approx. 80 grams a day, and a person of 80 kg should have about 64 grams daily. If you exercise a lot, you probably need more.
If you want to “nerd” with your diet plan, make sure that the calories from fat amount to approx. 70% of your daily intake and only 5% comes from carbohydrates. The rest of the calories should come from protein.
But as I said, there is no need to be a nerd at all.
Dietary fiber and keto
It is a common misconception that a keto diet contains too little dietary fiber. On the contrary, keto is stuffed with healthy fiber from plants.
What we do not eat on keto, on the other hand, are the starchy vegetables, which contain large amounts of carbohydrate. These are, for example, root vegetables, legumes, and most fruits.
The misconception about dietary fiber probably stems from the fact that most people are not used to eating vegetables in addition to potatoes, and therefore believe that keto is primarily about bacon and butter.
Dietary fiber is carbohydrate, but the intolerable kind. This is why you have to subtract this from your total carbohydrate intake.
A good product to supplement your diet with is Psyllium. The product consists almost exclusively of intolerable dietary fiber and can e.g. be used instead of flour for smoothing. It is also easy to mix in homemade muesli of coconut flour, seeds, and nuts and provides increased satiety and health.
What do you eat on vegetarian keto?
Primarily vegetables and fats. The big challenge on vegetarian keto is the small selection of high-protein foods that are also low in carbohydrates.
Good sources of vegetarian protein are:
- Seeds – especially chia seeds
- Tofu (but read the label)
- Fermented dairy products – including plant-based ones
You will soon discover a big difference in how much you should eat of each group of protein-rich vegetarian foods. Some of them will give you a lot of carbohydrates. For example, skyr (an Icelandic type of yogurt) is an excellent source of protein, but often contains 3.5 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams. A typical portion of skyr is about 200 grams, and then you have already gotten approx 1/3 of your daily ration of carbohydrates.
A really good, but expensive, alternative to skyr is to buy soy yogurt which is available with 0% carbohydrate
Examples of protein content in vegetarian keto diet:
Last column is carbohydrate
|Food||Weight in grams||Protein in grams|
|Chia seeds||20||4.3||-1.4 *|
|Broccoli||100||3.6||3.1 < / td>|
|Havarti cheese 45+||20||4.9||0.2|
DTU has calculated the scientific value of carbohydrates as negative for Chia seeds. Source link
Be aware that ready-made foods, in particular, can contain very different amounts of both protein and carbohydrates. In the overview above, this applies especially to the cheese and yogurt and the coconut flour, where you must be aware of buying one that only consists of grated coconut and nothing else.
As can be seen from the overview, some of the saturating products that we would normally categorize as fatty in a keto diet are also full of protein. This is especially true of nuts and cheese, which are really good foods – However, you have to be careful with the carbohydrate content of the nuts, which is relatively high.
The most heard of reason why people do not want to eat keto is that the fats are simply too disgusting.
We are so used to avoiding fat (through several generations) that we can not get it down. But what if I told you that your fats do not have to be disgusting?
- Nuts (and almonds)
- Rapeseed, coconut and olive oil, etc…
- Dairy Products
My own experience is that after several months on keto, I started to like the taste of natural fats. For example, butter for frying and cream in my coffee.
As written earlier, one must be careful with the carbohydrate content in eg nuts and coconut, but avocados also have relatively high content (9 per 100 grams). Olives are available in versions without any carbohydrates, so remember to read the product declaration.
Once you have discovered that you can get full for many hours by a cup of coffee, it feels less uncomfortable to get a teaspoon of whipped cream and/or MCT oil in. You can get very low priced MCT from PipingRock
What does the ketotarian diet contain?
The only difference between a vegetarian ketogenic diet and the Ketotaric one is that it also contains fish and seafood. But it makes a big difference because fish contains 0% carbohydrate. It is, therefore, much easier to cover your daily protein needs on this diet without, at the same time getting too much carbohydrate.
Some readers of the book Ketotarian will also have learned about restrictions on nightshade plants and soy products. But that kind of thing has nothing to do with keto. It is more taken from a variety of anti-inflammatory diets.
What do you eat on vegetarian keto?
Many new on this diet will try to replace previous habits with something similar. For example, start baking bread substitutes or cutting vegetables, so it looks like rice and spaghetti. But you quickly discover that this takes a very long time and makes it challenging to adhere to the new lifestyle, as many of the foods you make contain many carbohydrates. One must, therefore, start counting and weighing, which is a fairly direct path to exhaustion.
Instead, try to think completely new. All meals should consist of vegetables, protein, and fat.
It could, for example, be a cabbage leaf rolled with smoked salmon and mayonnaise or cream cheese. It does not have to be more difficult than that. If it is to be particularly delicious, top it up with some herbs. A little pesto can also taste great, and the roll is handy as a packed lunch.
It is when you shop you need to pay attention. Mayonnaise is available in many versions, for example, and contains quite a different number of carbohydrates per 100 grams. So it is with most foods. It makes the best sense to buy the fatty ones, as it is the fat that gets us full and the low carbohydrate content that creates the fat burning effect.
Salt is needed
When you are in fat-burning mode (ketosis), the body excretes more fluid. It can therefore be problematic with the salt balance, and you have to include salt in your diet. So here’s another point that may seem dangerous at first. Now we have to go against all three common dietary tips (eat lots of carbohydrates, cut down on fat, and limit salt).
Do you get the so-called keto-flu (i.e. flu-like symptoms), restlessness legs, headaches, etc. try to eat more salt. You can probably avoid these symptoms by eating more salt from the start.
What NOT to eat on vegetarian keto
You should probably be careful not to be too fanatical in the long run, but there are some foods we should avoid altogether.
This is especially goes for:
- Sugar – all types
- Flour (both rye, wheat, oats, etc.)
- Rice, dried beans, and lentils
- Most fruits and some vegetables (eg beans)
My experience is that one should go away from thinking about one’s diet as before. And you should not buy ready-made food. It is usually full of carbohydrates, so at least read the product declarations.
Examples of a daily diet
If you, like me, find it difficult to eat eggs in the morning and have been used to taking lean cheese on a coarse bun, try for example making an easy chia pudding with some berries and nuts.
For lunch, try cutting slices of raw squash and ad cold cuts. It can be, for example, a slice of cheese with tomato, or fish and mayonnaise.
For the evening, a wok can be filled with vegetables fried in plenty of butter and olive oil, added ginger, garlic, turmeric, and a can of fat coconut milk. Another good alternative is to fill a frying pan with vegetables (cabbage, pumpkin/squash, tomato, etc. – whatever you have). Add cream and broth, and add a fish after approx. 20 minutes and bake until done.
The remarkable satiety
What is very special to experience with a keto diet is that after some time one loses one´ss sense of hunger. You start eating much smaller portions and you are completely free of sugar cravings.
If you are addicted to sugar, I would strongly recommend you try keto
Have you dreamed of trying intermittent fasting, but previously failed due to hunger, then keto is also a good way to this effective slimming method. Many people on keto find that they do not need three meals a day at all, and snacks are quickly completely unnecessary.
It’s a good idea to skip all regular meals altogether, and just eat when you’re hungry.
A little about calories and keto
It’s almost impossible to figure out what’s causing the huge weight loss on keto. Maybe research is lacking?
Critics will talk about fluid loss – and they will be somewhat right.
Others will think that it is the unbelievably great feeling of satiety you get from keto that leads to calorie deficits – and they will also be right.
Others again never count calories and lose weight, even though they previously could not at all lose weight from a massive calorie deficit.
I hope this has been helpful, and I wish you a pleasant journey with your new diet.