Vegan Keto Diet: Is it a Healthy Way of Eating?

It might practically seem like a contradiction to be on a vegan keto diet plan. If you’ve had the opportunity to read our Guide to the Keto Diet then you are likely up-to-speed on the rather numerous advantages of ketogenic dieting.

If not, here’s a quick rundown of the primary keto diet benefits:

  • Weight reduction and decreased hunger
  • Improvement in cognition
  • Better insulin sensitivity and blood glucose balance
  • Enhance cardiovascular function
  • Lower risk of cancer

With how lauded vegan diet plans are amongst health experts, it seems that a vegan keto diet would be the ideal way of life for longevity and overall health; but how can you make it work?

Surprisingly enough, a vegan keto diet is highly practical. This article will show you the benefits and best foods to incorporate into your plant-based keto diet!

Is Veganism the Best Way to Eat for Longevity?

Even if you currently follow a plant-based diet, you may not be completely mindful of the large body of evidence supporting its health and longevity advantages. Here’s a concise summary of the most captivating benefits of a vegan/plant-based diet.

Decreased risk of type-2 diabetes

In a recent research study, the relative risk of establishing type-2 diabetes in women almost doubled in those who consumed three portions of meat daily.

Furthermore, it’s well known that greater consumption of veggies, fruits, and foods abundant in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), such as nuts, are associated with a considerably reduced risk of insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.

This makes a plant-based ketogenic diet even sounder, given the heavy concentration on nuts and veggies.

Enhanced cholesterol and blood lipid profiles

Many research studies demonstrate that consuming 6-10 portions of veggies and fruits daily considerably decreases high blood pressure. Moreover, vegans don’t just have a lower rate of high blood pressure than those who regularly consume meat, but also other vegetarians.

Blood lipid profiles and cholesterol tend to also be healthier for people who follow a plant-based diet. Of specific note is that soy consumption appears to significantly lower LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol and reduce the risk of CVD. This is fantastic news for the keto vegan diet, which includes oodles of greens and soy.

Improved heart health and blood pressure

A recent meta-analysis of five research studies – including over 75,000 males and females – reveals that vegans are at a 25% lower risk of heart disease (CVD) than routine meat eaters. This was the risk differential after adjusting for body mass index (BMI) and factors such as tobacco and alcohol usage.

Astonishingly, if you were to follow a vegan diet for your whole life, it’s approximated you would be at nearly 60% lower risk of developing CVD than someone who regularly eats meat.

Decreased risk of cancer

Determining the risk of developing cancer is a complex task, provided the vast number of factors that can cause this disease. However, epidemiologic research studies consistently demonstrate that veggies, fruits, and fiber all considerably lessen the risk of developing cancer (even tobacco-related cancers).

For women specifically, the keto vegan diet seems to be a strong diet for lowering the risk of breast cancer, due to the emphasis on greater consumption of soy foods.

Furthermore, one research study revealed that females who ate 100 grams of meat daily were at 60% higher risk of developing breast cancer than those on a plant-based diet.

Avoiding Nutrient Deficiency on a Keto Vegan Diet

While the keto vegan diet plan may appear the like finest method of consuming for total health and durability, there are a couple of things to think about prior to you begin.

Focus on soy, walnuts, and flaxseed consumption

Your body requires essential fatty acids (EFAs) to operate effectively and maintain healthy organ function, especially the brain and heart.

For vegans, it can be tricky to meet the recommended amount of one specifically crucial EFA – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is primarily found in fish and egg yolks.

However, ALA (another EFA) helps your body in converting docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to EPA. As noted earlier, nuts tend to be dense sources of ALA. Specifically, walnuts, soy, and flaxseeds have abundant amounts of ALA and need to be part of your everyday ketogenic vegan diet.

Protein, calcium, and vitamin D status is crucial

Naturally, you will not be consuming any dairy or animal products on the vegan keto diet. This suggests you are going to be susceptible to low consumption of crucial amino acids, vitamin D, and calcium that your body normally requires for repairing tissues, particularly your skin and bone.

Research consistently demonstrates that vegans have considerably lower bone density than non-vegetarians, and this is tied to insufficient protein and calcium consumption. Vegans likewise appear to lack vitamin D, which only exacerbates the health ramifications of low protein and calcium intake.

In this case, your keto vegan diet should include ample micronutrient-rich veggies, protein, and soy-based foods, as they will help ensure you’re getting the nutrients you require for promoting bone health and lean tissue synthesis.

Ensuring zinc and iron bioavailability

Both iron and zinc are connected with lessened bioavailability in vegan diet plans, generally due to the fact that of chemicals called phytates (which are discovered mostly in nuts, beans).

An easy workaround to enhance the bioavailability of zinc and iron you take in on a vegan keto diet is to supplement with vitamin C, which decreases the repressive action of phytates on these minerals.

Optimal Foods for a Vegan Keto Diet

The following section includes our optimal vegan keto diet food list! We divided it into different food groupings which help you easily identify which foods are best on a vegan keto diet. Print it out and take it to the supermarket if you need!

You’ll be wise to monitor your serving sizes so you reach the calorie and macronutrient objectives of your vegan ketogenic diet.

If you’re uncertain of what your calorie and macronutrient quotas should be on a vegan ketogenic diet, then head over to our guide to the Ketogenic Diet. If you’re looking for a quick and accurate macro calculation, be sure to check out our macronutrient calculator.

We also strongly encourage you to utilize a calorie/macronutrient-tracking app, such as MyFitnessPal or MyDailyPlate; these will help ensure you’re staying on track.

Just search for foods from the vegan keto diet food recommendations listed below in the database of the app you’re using to track your food intake (and be sure to enter the correct serving sizes).

Vegan Keto Diet Food Recommendations

Protein Sources

  • Tempeh (be careful as this contains carbs)
  • Tofu
  • Vegan protein powders (soy, brown rice, pea, etc.)

Fat Sources

  • Whole olives 
  • Sesame seed oil
  • Nut butter varieties (soynut, cashew, walnut, almond, peanut, etc.)
  • Walnut oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • MCT oil
  • Flaxseeds & flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil/coconut flakes/coconut milk
  • Avocados & avocado oil

High-Fiber Vegetables

  • Water chestnuts
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sea plants
  • Sprouts
  • Leafy greens
  • Kimchi
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Asparagus

Lower-Carb Fruits

  • Kiwi
  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Grapefruit

Liquids

  • Unsweetened herbal tea
  • Black coffee & espresso
  • Natural-flavor sparkling water
  • Mineral water

No-Sugar Sweeteners

  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol
  • Stevia

Related: The Top Four Sweeteners for a Low Carb Keto Diet

Toppings and Condiments

  • Spices & Herbs (cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, thyme, cilantro, etc.)
  • Soy sauce
  • Lemon juice and lime juice
  • Mustard (brown, spicy, dijon, etc.)
  • Flavored extracts (vanilla, orange, chocolate, etc.)
  • Hot pepper sauce (sriracha, Tobasco, etc.)
  • Vinegar, unsweetened varieties (apple cider, balsamic, red wine, rice, etc.)

Take-Home Points

It’s readily apparent that a plant-based keto diet is both practical and beneficial (especially for females) if you are consuming the right foods to make up for possible nutrient deficiencies. Deriving from the research covered in this article, a proper vegan keto diet may have a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Greater weight loss
  • Improved cognitive performance
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose balance
  • Enhanced cardiovascular function
  • Lowered risk of cancer (particularly breast cancer for females)
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes

There are also eco-friendly and ethical driving factors to a plant-based keto diet, but those tend to be more personal and political aspects which aren’t within the realm of my expertise to comment on.

I can confidently say, though, that regardless of the reason(s) you choose to follow a vegan keto diet, it’s a choice you really can’t go wrong with for longevity purposes. 

More Readings:

Is The Keto Diet Healthy? The Truth Might Surprise You…

Nutritional Labels for Keto: Everything You Need to Know

Low Carb Vs. Keto Diet: What’s the Difference?

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Elliot received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and has been a freelance writer specializing in nutritional and health sciences for the past 5 years. He is thoroughly passionate about exercise, nutrition, and dietary supplementation, especially how they play a role in human health, longevity, and performance. In his free time you can most likely find him lifting weights at the gym or out hiking through the mountains of Colorado. He will also host the upcoming BioKeto podcast. You can connect with him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/elliot.reimers) and Instagram (@eazy_ell)

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