The keto or ketogenic diet seeks to originate and maintain ketosis, that is, the formation of ketone bodies through high-fat burning. To do this, hydrate sources must be reduced as much as possible and the consumption of proteins and fats as energy sources must be increased.
Given that when we eat a vegetarian diet many foods are primarily a source of carbohydrates and that meat and fish are not present, the keto or ketogenic diet for vegetarians becomes more complex. Therefore, we tell you everything you need to know.
The proteins of the vegetarian keto diet
In people who eat an omnivorous diet, many intakes consist of meat and eggs, or fish dishes. However, these are not valid foods on a vegetarian diet.
Here then, the main sources of protein will be eggs and cheeses, as well as meat substitutes with low carbohydrate content, such as tofu or seitan for example.
Likewise, we will go to other sources of vegetable proteins that contain almost no hydrates, that is, we can consume seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or nuts such as pistachios, cashews, or walnuts, which are among the options that have more protein concentrate.
Fats on the vegetarian keto diet
As we have said, in ketogenic diets, healthy proteins and fats must be increased simultaneously in order to reduce carbohydrates to less than 10% of daily calories.
Thus, the daily diet is based on protein foods such as those mentioned above and on sources of healthy fats such as various vegetable oils, mainly extra virgin olive oil; seeds and nuts, avocado, olives, or capers.
Foods to Avoid on the Vegetarian Ketogenic Diet
For the ketogenic diet to work, that is, to produce ketosis, it is key to reduce carbohydrates, and then, despite being a vegetarian diet, we cannot include cereals of any kind of foods that contain them, nor can we admit sugars even in minute quantities
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables (except those mentioned above, which are primarily fats) are not foods that can be consumed freely but are avoided as much as possible, especially those with the highest concentration of sugar or hydrates.
Depending on the person, you can eat some fruits and vegetables with a low contribution in carbohydrates such as citrus fruits, green leaves, cucumber, celery or eggplant, but always in limited quantities since if we are not physically active we can easily get out of the state of ketosis.
In addition, legumes that are good sources of plant protein cannot be included in the vegetarian diet, since they also provide carbohydrates that hinder the achievement of ketosis and thus prevent the keto diet from being carried out properly.
As you can see, the keto or ketogenic diet, which is not easy to carry out, is even more complex and limited if we are vegetarians, but proper planning can help us achieve it as we suggested before.