So, you’re thinking about following the keto diet but don’t want to eat animal products? Why not try plant-based keto instead? While most people think that the keto diet is all about eating meat, this is not the case.
The keto diet is all about eating high-quality fats that are not necessarily meat. In fact, there are lots of plant-based foods out there that are keto-friendly. By following a plant-based keto, you can benefit from both the keto and plant-based diets, especially when it comes to losing weight.
If you are interested to know more about the plant-based keto diet and whether it’s best for weight loss, here’s everything you need to know.
Related reading: Plant Based Ketogenic Diet – Is It Possible?
What Is Plant-Based Keto?
You have probably heard a lot about the keto diet. It’s a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate-protein diet. Because of this, most people who follow the diet rely mainly on animal products since these foods are low in carbs and loaded in fats, allowing them to hit their daily fat target easily.
With a plant-based keto, the fats will come from plants instead of animals. Also known as the vegan keto diet, a plant-based keto diet has the same concept as a regular keto, but all the foods are plant-based.
According to Joel Kahn, M.D, a cardiologist and proponent of a plant-based diet,
“A vegan keto diet follows the same principles [as keto] but without any animal-derived products, like meat and dairy.”
The keto diet’s macronutrients should consist of:
- 65 to 85% of fats
- 15 to 35% of protein
- 0 to 10% of carbs (this should be equivalent to around 50 grams of carbs or around 20 to 30 grams net carbs per day)
When you deprive your body of carbs and maximize your consumption of fats, you will enter the state of ketosis. At this state, your body starts burning fats for fuel instead of carbs, and that’s when you begin losing weight while also experiencing some other health benefits.
Related reading: How Ketosis Works for Burning Fat Faster
Why Follow a Plant-Based Keto Diet?
Some health experts have expressed concern about the standard keto diet being high in animal-based saturated fats and low in heart-friendly fiber. Saturated fats found in intensively reared animals and proccesed meats is not the same as saturated fat from dairy products and meat obtained from grass-fed animals.
Also, due to the emphasis on meat and dairy, the standard ketogenic diets did not take into consideration the many sensitivities that people have in these foods. With a plant-based keto diet, your diet will not contain animal products. Therefore, it can be much healthier compared to the standard keto diet.
Plant-based diets have a reputation for being high in carbs, which is why many people thought that incorporating a plant-based diet with low-carb diets like keto would not be possible.
Related reading: Vegetarian Keto Diet – How Does It Work?
Vegan diets mostly rely on starchy veggies, grains, lentils, and beans, which are high in carbs. But if you forego these carbo-loaded foods in favor of healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oils, you can maintain a plant-based diet while also benefiting from the keto diet.
Related reading: Keto Diet Fats : Best and Worst To Eat
Plant-Based Keto Diet Benefits For Weight Loss
There don’t appear to have been any published studies on the effect of a plant-based keto diet for weight loss but some researchers did study the effect of a vegan style Atkins diet on people who were overweight.
You may know that the Atkins diet is a low carb diet similar to the keto diet. The result was that the participants following the low carb plant-based diet for 6 months did lose weight and improved their cholesterol and triglycerides.
Related reading: What Diet is Best for Weight Loss?
Studies on vegan or plant-based diets have shown that the diet can help minimize the risk of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. For instance, some studies have observed that vegans have a 75% lower risk of getting high blood pressure and about 78% lower risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes.
Related reading: Keto and Heart Disease: Are Keto and Paleo Bad for your Heart?
In addition, vegans tend to weigh less than non-vegans. Those who have adopted the vegan lifestyle have also been more successful at losing weight than those who eat animal products.
In a review of 12 studies, it was found that those who followed the vegan diet have lost an average of 5.5 pounds more compared to those who follow a non-vegan diet. And just like the vegan diet, several studies have shown that following low-carb diets like keto could benefit your health in many ways.
The keto diet has become very popular due to its ability to help people lose weight. Moreover, it also comes with many health benefits. Besides weight loss, it can help with blood sugar control and minimize your risk of developing heart diseases.
Since both the plant-based diet and keto diet can provide you with many health benefits, including weight loss, combining the two can likely help you achieve your weight loss goals.
What To Eat on A Plant-Based Keto Diet?
Since the standard keto diet requires eating less carbs, more fats, and moderate protein, your plant-based keto diet should also be the same. But instead of getting fats and protein from animal products, you will get it from plant-based products. And to ensure that you are getting a variety of nutrients, you should eat a variety of plant-based foods.
According to Carrie Diulus, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon who personally follows a vegan keto diet,
It is essential to eat a variety of nonstarchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and low-carb protein sources.
While the vegan keto diet is low in carbs, it does not necessarily have to lack fiber. As long as you do not go beyond 20 to 30 grams of net carbs, you can still maintain the state of ketosis. Just make sure you load up on low-carb vegetables, such as leafy greens, and non-starchy ones like spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Some examples of the delicious low carb plant-based dishes you can prepare are this Vegan Pesto Spaghetti with Mushrooms & Olives and this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe. For a bigger selecion check out my roundup of easy and delicious Plant Based Keto Recipes.
The plant-based keto diet is just like the standard keto diet, but it focuses on eating whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods. Both the plant-based and keto diets have been linked to several health benefits, including weight loss. Therefore, following both diets could make you lose weight even more.
Not only that, but both diets can also help reduce your chances of developing diabetes and heart diseases. So if you are vegan and want to follow keto, you should give the plant-based keto diet a go. Just make sure you vary the foods you eat to ensure you get enough nutrients.