is it possible to follow a vegetarian keto diet and what to eat on the vegeterain keto diet?
It is absolutely possible to live a vegetarian keto llifestyle. A little knowledge, preperation and determination is all that’s needed. As the ketogenic diet is thriving and more options are available, it is getting a little easier to find vegetarian keto friendly options. I am collecting all my favourite vegetarian recipes here on the blog.
Keto friendly foods are low in carbs such as eggs, butter, cream, nut or seed milk, oils, cheese, nuts, olives, seeds, tofu and other soy products, seaweed, konjak, thempe, seitan, wheat protein, fiber from oats, potato or physillum husk, most green or white vegetables, some berries, stevia sweetened chocolate or 90%-100% dark chocolate and few full fat dairy products like greek yogurt. To sweeten your meals you can use stevia, monk fruit or sugar alcohol such as erythritol or xylitol.
A ketogenic meal will be based on good fats such as butter, oil, fatty nuts, seeds and fruits like avocado. Then a large amount of low carb vegetables combined with a source of protein like eggs, tofu, theme, seitan or cheese. The protein intake will be kept at a moderate level as excess amounts of protein can be turned into glucose by our bodies.
The large amount of good fats and low carb vegetables form a nutrient dense and wholesome diet, high amount of fat and vegetables will keep us full and satisfied for a long period of time, while also providing us with essential nutrients for excellent health.
All sugary and starchy foods will be avoided, that includes bread, cake, muffins and other baked goods, pasta, rice, potato, sugar, most fruits, some higher carb vegetables, corn and sweets. This will result in eating less processed foods which have been linked to all sort of diseases.
What are macros and how do you calculate them?
Macronutrients or in short macros are the three energy providing components in our food, called carbohydrate, fat and protein.
They are not to be confused with micronutrients which are the ones that provide essential vitamins and minerals.
While carbohydrates and protein provide 4 calories in one gram, fat is the most energy providing with 7g calories in one gram.
Depending on your goals you can calculate your macros. There are many calculators online which let you choose between different options, weight loss, building muscles, maintenance, low carb, keto, high carb and so on.
For a ketogenic diet we would calculate our net carbs to be 20g and the fat and protein will be calculated depending on your weight, height, age and goal.
I have to admit that I don’t really track my macros anymore. By now I kind of know how much to eat and which foods are low in carbs and which I should avoid. When I was tracking I felt hungry, cold and weak so I upped my fat and vegetable intake and felt much better. Everyone has to do what works best for them and as I am vegetarian I might consume a few more net carbs in form of vegetables, then others following a non veg keto diet. That is simply because pants have more carbs then meat. Some even say you can still be in ketosis if eating up to 50g net carbs a day. I guess it is all up to personal preference. I personal wouldn’t go higher then 30g net carbs a day because I feel the more carbs I eat the more migraine I get.
What are net carbs anyways?
Net carbs are the amount of carbohydrates that the body processes and uses for energy.
Most nutritional labels state the total carb count and in order to calculate the net carb count you have to subtract the sugar alcohols and fibre. In the UK the fibre is already taken off the total carb count.
Be careful with some sugar alcohols such as fibre syrup aka Isomaltooligosaccaride in short IMO or maltitol they can still spike bloodsugar and kick you out of ketosis. It all depends on your body and how you react to carbohydrates and sugar alcohol.
You can use special apps such as carb manager to track your macros or find out net carbs in a product or when you calculate a recipe. I use carb manager to calculate the net carb count in my recipes, to provide a guideline for my readers but be warned my calculations might not work out the same as when you calculate with your own ingredients. The carb count in products can differ a lot. For example I bought walnuts from two different shops, one pack states 3.5g carbs in 100g and the other 13.2g carbs in 100g. That is a big difference, so I recommend always checking product labels and always calculate your own macros in recipes.