Inside: What is Healthy Keto Diet? Benefits of Ketogenic Diet. The Vegan/Vegetarian Keto Diet. What foods to eat and what foods to avoid? And Sample Menu Options for a healthy keto diet.
The Ketogenic diet has been getting popular for some time now among people and different versions of the Keto diet are there in the market. Ketogenic Diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that mimics a fasted state in the body.
Typically in this diet people will eat a lot of animal-based products so vegans or vegetarians felt left alone and some of them even though that they can’t do this diet because they have to include animal products.
But that’s not true and vegans and vegetarians can also easily do this diet and reap the benefits.
Typically our diets are high in carbohydrates around 60% and so that’s our body’s main source of energy. But that’s also the main source of the problem because high carbs mean high insulin and high insulin spikes are the reason for inflammation and cause of chronic diseases like Diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, cancer, and other autoimmune diseases.
In a ketogenic diet, we are restricting the carbs, so the body is forced to use fats as their principal source of fuel.
This mimics the starvation state, where the body doesn’t get the carbohydrates and uses fat as fuel, and thus ketones are produced.
This is also thought to be the main reason for the benefits of the ketogenic diet also. In a ketogenic diet, the typical breakdown of macronutrients is Fat 60-70%. Protein 20-30%, carbohydrates are restricted to 5-10 % ( generally that means 20-30 g of net carbs in a day).
What is Healthy Keto Diet?
If you have been on the internet you must have seen posts and videos where people are doing keto diet by eating loads of cheese, bacon, processed meat, sausages, fried food. But that’s not the way the keto diet was intended to be done. It was based on healthy fats and reducing carbs.
By eating all these unhealthy fats people still get results, but in the long term, they are not healthy and can predispose these individuals to other health problems.
That’s also the reason why you might have heard stories, where keto diet created some problems for people and the concern the health industry, has regarding keto diet.
The healthy keto diet involves limiting the unhealthy fat like transfat, fried food, bacon, processed meats, eggs, and incorporating whole foods and healthy fats like avocado, grass-fed butter, Ghee, olive oil, nuts, and nut butter.
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
There are several benefits to this kind of diet. As more and more research is coming out every day, we are knowing about new diseases it can work for. But below are the main benefits for now
- Weight loss
- Diabetes improvement
- Epilepsy or Seizures
- Cognitive improvement
- Improvement in fatigue and brain fog
- Improvement in your triglycerides
- Improving exercise performance
- Improves women’s health especially PCOS
The Vegan/Vegetarian Keto Diet
People have different dietary preferences and whether everybody should have animal products in their diet or not has been discussed heavily. What I know is that the majority of the research studies prove that a plant based diet is the most healthy diet for all the diseases.
So how to do the ketogenic diet if you are vegan or vegetarian? Below are the things you need to know.
1. The percentage of macronutrients in your diet should be: 60% healthy fats, 20-30% protein, 5-10% carbohydrate.
2. The net carb in your diet should be less than 30 grams. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber + sugar alcohol. Now some people feel the more they restrict the carbs the more benefits they will get with this diet.
But the reality is that there is no real evidence for that, so staying with ketosis with carbs less than 30 gram works well.
3. Intermittent Fasting with this diet. If you can include intermittent fasting with this diet it works great. Intermittent fasting is where you eat for only certain hours in the day.
Although most of the time it is recommended to do 16 hours fast and eat for only 8 hours. But I find it difficult if you are doing the Keto diet, so I suggest to do 14 hours of fast and eating window of 10 hr.
What Foods To Eat
Have them with each meal to keep you full and get enough calories also.
Nuts: nut butters, raw or seasoned nuts, unsweetened nut milks
Seeds: Chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin, sunflower.
Oil: olive oil, grass fed butter, Ghee, coconut oil
Vegetable source: avocados
Supplements: MCT Oil
Plant Based Proteins
Tofu, tempeh, edamame
Nuts and seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, almonds, walnuts, pecans
Protein powders no sugar added but stevia is fine: pea protein, brown rice protein, chia protein, hemp protein powder
Grains: There are no really low carb grains. Even quinoa will have 34 gram of carb in 1 cup so very difficult to incorporate in this diet. So no grains.
Sweeteners and sugars: no sugar or honey or agave syrup. Stevia and monk fruit is fine
Non starchy vegetables – can each as much as you like. I consider them free food.
Artichoke, Arugula,Asparagus, Bamboo shoots, Bok choy, Broccoli,Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard/Swiss chard, Cilantro, Lettuce, all, Sea vegetables,Scallions,Shallots,Spinach,Squash,Garlic, Green beans,Greens: Beet, collard,dandelion, kale,
Water, tea, coffee.
Alcohol: should not do in excess but once in a while can do hard liquor like tequila, whiskey, vodka
Foods To Avoid
Fats: Fried food, Transfat. Regular Butter
Protein: Avoid whey protein derived from dairy
Carbohydrates: Avoid starchy vegetables potatoes, beets, carrots, pumpkin, turnips, rutabaga, etc.
No grains, No Beans, lentils
Fruits: Need to avoid as high in carbs
Sample Menu Options
Either do bulletproof coffee or keto smoothie in the morning for breakfast.
Almond cacao smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Mediclear Plus (or other protein powder)
½ T. 100% raw cacao powder
1 t. almond extract
¼ cup ice cubes
Soup and Salad with fat and protein added. For fat add olive oil, or coconut oil dressing. For protein add nuts or seeds, or can add grilled tofu or tempeh
Cauliflower rice, cauliflower steak, zucchini noodles. Tempeh steak. Soups. Veggie bowls or grilled vegetables . Again make sure to add some kind of fat to this meal also.
A handful of nuts or seeds, chia seed pudding, kale chips, Raw vegetables dipped in Tessamae dressing (carrots, snap peas, cucumbers, etc), keto chips, guacamole, ½ cup steamed edamame with 1 Tbsp melted ghee, a sprinkle of salt and pepper
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