There are some diets that if you decide to adopt; be ready to answer a dozen questions on your choice. One among them is the vegan ketogenic diet. But what is it? It is a diet that doesn’t advocate for taking animal products and byproducts. The diet also goes against the famous formulae of a balanced diet that advocates for most of the calories to be from carbs. On the contrary, vegan ketogenic diets get their calories from fats.
Best rules to follow in order to stay on a vegan ketogenic diet:
- First, limit the intake of carbs to 35 grams per day.
- Get rid of all the animal products and byproducts from your food.
- Use low carbs vegetables in your diet.
- 70% of the energy you require should be from plant-based fats.
- Plant-based proteins should be the second source of calories for your body; this can account for 10-20%.
- Lastly, consider taking some supplements of vitamins, iron, zinc, and any other micro deficient in your meal.
The vegan ketogenic diet developed from ketogenic diet concepts, but the involved parties were vegans. A ketogenic diet advocates that you get 80% of your calories from fat; the balance from carbs and proteins. This might sound hard and even as a health hazard considering all the hypes associated with cholesterol. However, once you know how your body works, you will realize that it isn’t a threat to your health and it’s manageable.
Some of the foods to avoid in a regular vegan ketogenic diet:
These are mostly the ones that contain a high level of carbs. Basically, they may include the following:
- Grains: Wheat, corn, rice, beans,
- Legumes: Lentils, black beans, peas,
- Sugar: Honey, agave, maple syrup,
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges,
- Tubers: Potato, yams, arrow roots and more
Eat a lot of the following foods:
- Vegan “meats”: Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh and many more high protein “meats”.
- Dark leafy greens like spinach and kales.
- You can take all types of edible mushrooms: They are rich in vitamins.
- High-fat vegan dairy products like coconut based cream and yogurt, vegan cheese are also good.
- Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
- Avocados and berries.
- Sea vegetables and fermented foods.
The human body needs energy to do the various activities. That energy can come from glucose or ketones. The preferred source of energy by the body is glucose, but the major drawback with this is that it cannot support the body for more than two hours of HIIT. Ketosis sets in after depletion of sugar; the body turns to fats and converts it into high energy molecules called ketones.
How to get enough fats on a vegan ketogenic diets
- Consume and use coconut oils in your diets. These oils are rich in long and medium chain saturated fatty acids
- Use olive oils for cooking and food flavor enhancer. However, ensure that you don’t expose it to more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit since it will easily oxidize
- Use avocado oil since it is rich in monounsaturated fats and does not easily oxidize
- Roast your nuts and seeds with red palm oil, it is rich in vitamins A and E
- If you need an energy boost, add MCT oils to your foods since they contain medium chain fatty acids that don’t undergo digestion but rather go directly to the liver where they are converted into ketones
What happens when you take more calories than the body can use?
If you take excess calories, they will be converted into fats and glycogen. Thus, if at one time the body does not have enough calories, it will turn to these reserves for energy. However, after depletion of the banks and you don’t top up them by eating, the body will start to consume its muscles. This situation should not be allowed to happen under any situation. If you are confused by how much ketones and calories you require; use the calculators to get accurate figures.
Pros of vegan ketogenic diets:
- They are rich in anti-inflammatory agents
- Helps to keep blood sugar insulin levels under control
- It is a good weight management diet
- It is friendly to animal existence
- Cancer prevention
Cons of vegan ketogenic diets
- It is one of the most restrictive diets since it avoids most of the plant-based products.
- There are limited selection choices in a restaurant since a majority of the people don’t practice keto
- If not supplemented, there can be deficiencies of iron, zinc, and B12.
- Plants store starch and sugar as energy whereas animals stores these as fats
- The list of plants products with high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs is highly restricted
- It might not be the best diet for people with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as obesity
Therapeutic considerations if you are on vegan ketogenic diets:
Plant-based diets are healthy, but this does not mean they should be taken without caution. In fact, people with special conditions are sensitive to certain chemicals and also have sensitive digestive systems. If either of the above is the case, cereals should be soaked overnight to reduce the concentration of phytic acid. Those with a sensitive digestive system should use powdered or ground plant products like nuts and other types of flours.
Are you bold about your choice for a vegan ketogenic diet?
Vegan ketogenic diets are not very popular. Some people will even take water in a restaurant for fear of disclosing that they are on a vegan ketogenic diet. Majority of your friends might think it’s an unfounded choice, but you must enlighten them about the diet. Thus, tell them all about its health benefits, its impact on nature, how friendly it is to animals. Certainly, the cruelty which animals go through in the name of the food is pathetic.
In fact, all people would turn to vegan keto diets if they are truly concerned about future generations. These diets are important for brain health and they also combat some types of cancers. However, the diets are hard to follow and might not be the best on several occasions. For example, you might have to carry food while going out. In spite of all these, the challenges should not hinder you from continuing with a vegan ketogenic diet.