What is a Keto diet?
The keto diet is a super low carbohydrate diet plan in which you have to restrict your daily carbohydrate consumption to 20 g for a faster and better result. It is a high-fat, low-carb diet.
The primary source of energy in our body is carbohydrates. It is directly broken down into glucose or stored as glycogen in our liver and breaks down into glucose by glycogenolysis and enters into the bloodstream.
You have to cut the daily net carb intake to 20-50 grams in ketogenic diets.
So, from where your body will get energy, and how will you perform your daily routine? Here is the answer.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a process going inside your body when you lower your daily carb intake. After glucose, our body prefers fatty acids to be burnt and produce energy. Ketone bodies are the product of fatty acid breakdowns.
When we are maintaining a low-carb diet, our body does not have enough glucose to produce energy, leading to the rise of ketone bodies in our bloodstream. This metabolic state is known as Ketosis.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Keto Diets
If you are planning to switch to a keto diet, you should be aware of some facts that are asked as questions very frequently. Here they are.
1. Can everyone follow the Keto diet?
A Keto diet is undoubtedly a healthy diet plan but not to be followed by everyone. Do not go for the keto diet, if
1.1 You are under 21 (male) or 18 (female) years of age
Even below 25, you are at such a young age, and you have enough time to lose weight. Go for exercises and any other meal plan.
1.2 You are under some medications
If you have some severe medical conditions, like- type 1 diabetes, severe heart disease, depression, and some eating disorders, in such conditions, if you want to go for a keto diet, you should consult with a doctor.
1.3 Pregnant or lactating mother
Pregnant or lactating mothers should avoid this type of meal plan as they need all kinds of nutrition in the proper amount.
2. Why should I follow the Keto diet?
2.1 To lose weight
The ketogenic diet plan is the most popular because it helps in our weight loss journey faster.
The main goal of it is to burn the excess fat. So, if you want to lose weight faster, you should follow the keto diet.
2.2 To get rid of acne problems
If you have acne and are following a keto diet, you may observe a change in the acne count and marks at the end of the diet plan. They decreased after almost 3 months.
2.3 To control Diabetic problems.
The keto diet plan helps in blood sugar control, and as a consequence, type 2 diabetes is under control.
2.4 Cardiovascular disease
It helps control the good cholesterol level and thus can control cardiovascular disease.
3. Downsides of keto diets?
Although this diet plan has so many positive reviews, it has many downsides.
3.1 Calorie deficit
Like other weight loss diet plans, the keto diet is also a calorie-deficit diet. In the earlier days of the diet plan, you may feel low in energy, but you will be habituated to the low-calorie intake after some days.
3.3 Keto flu
The Keto diet led to the Keto flu for many people who followed this. But this is not such a severe condition. You may feel nausea, headache, and fatigue.
It may appear for the first 2 or 3 days and last for 4 to 5 days. After you are accustomed to the high-fat, low-carb diet plan, this will disappear gradually.
As the daily carb intake is restricted, one may have constipation by following this diet plan. To avoid this, one should consume enough dietary fiber and leafy greens.
As the water weight is lost in the first 1 or 2 weeks of this meal plan, you may experience dehydration. To avoid this, you will have to drink a lot of water regularly.
4. What are net carbs?
If you are on a keto diet, you have to keep track of the net carbs. The net carbs are simply the number of dietary carbohydrates excluding the dietary fiber.
For example, 1 cup of Broccoli contains 6 g of dietary carbs and 2 g of fiber. So the net carbs are 4 g per 1 cup of serving.
If you are following a keto vegetarian diet, you should be more careful of your net carbs as there is generally more carb intake than a non-vegetarian keto diet.
So, you should follow a healthy vegetarian keto diet.
4.1 Keto Macro
Your daily carb allotment should be 5-7%
A healthy keto diet meal plan should contain 60-70% fats per day
The daily protein intake should be 25%
5. For how long should I continue the vegetarian keto diet?
A keto diet is a diet plan that should not be followed beyond 40 days at a stretch. However, you can follow it for 1 month also.
You may get a faster result in the first two weeks as the water weight is lost. And in the next few weeks, the progress of weight loss may seem slower.
But patience is the key!
Types of keto meal plan
1. Non-vegetarian keto meal plan
The primary type of keto diet is a non-vegetarian keto meal plan. As the protein-rich options are high in the case of non-vegetarian keto meal plans, like- chicken, fish, and meat, it is the most popular keto diet plan.
2. Vegetarian keto diet
The protein and healthy fats-rich options are not so vast in the vegetarian keto meal plan option, so it is not so popular. Still, here you will get a lot more vegetarian keto diet recipes that you will definitely like.
Types of Vegetarian Diets
There are five types of vegetarian diets. Some consume animal products, and some don’t even consume dairy products.
Here is the list of different types of vegetarian diets, categorized from least to most animal products consumed
People leading a vegan lifestyle only consume plant-based food and avoid animal products like eggs, meat, seafood, fish, dairy, and sometimes honey as well.
The only animal product consumed by ovo-vegetarians is an egg.
3. Lacto vegetarian
They eat dairy products but avoid other animal products, like- eggs, meat, fish, seafood, and chicken.
Indian vegetarians mostly follow this type of vegetarian diet plan.
4. Lacto-ovo vegetarian
This type of vegetarian diet includes eggs and dairy products but is meat-free, poultry-free, and fish and seafood-free.
This type of vegetarian diet plan is widespread in Western countries.
They are like semi-vegetarians. They eat eggs, dairy products, fish, and seafood but avoid meat and chicken.
Vegetarian keto meal plan
We will mainly focus on the Ovo-vegetarian keto meal plan and the lacto-vegetarian keto diet.
But before going to the meal plans and the recipes, you must have a clear idea about what you should eat and avoid in this vegetarian keto diet plan.
The food industry is growing faster, and there are so many options available nowadays for vegetarian keto diets.
Here is the list of foods you can have as a part of these low-carb diets.
1. Healthy fats
Use oils containing healthy fats for cooking. They decrease the chances of heart disease. It includes
1.1 Olive oil
Olive oil is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The predominant monounsaturated fatty acid in olive oil is oleic acid.
Olive oil also contains a large number of antioxidants. Olive oil contains vitamins E and K also. It helps in preventing heart disease.
1.2 Avocado oil
Avocado oil is full of healthy fats. Avocado oil is suitable for a high-fat diet as it gives 124 calories per 1 tablespoon (14 g).
Avocado oil is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
1.3 Coconut oil
Coconut oil is almost 100% fat. 1 tablespoon coconut oil gives 117 calories.
Coconut oil has so many health benefits, like- it may increase fat burning, it may have antimicrobial properties. So, coconut oil is the right choice.
There are so many other options available also, for example:
1.4 Oil made of Macadamia nuts
Palm oil and MCT oil
2. Low-carb vegetables
As the net carbs intake should be less than 50 g per day, you should take low-carb veggies. You should include green leafy low-carb vegetables in your daily diet.
It will also help you to prevent constipation. Here is the list of vegetables you may consider:
It is rich in minerals, like- iron, potassium, and magnesium, with 1 gram of net carb per serving.
It has good amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and minerals like potassium. It gives 3 grams of net carbs per serving. It can also be eaten as zucchini noodles.
It is a fruit filled with healthy fats. It is also an excellent potassium, magnesium, and fiber source, with 2 grams of net carbs per serving.
2.4 Brussels sprouts:
They are rich in vitamin C & potassium. They provide 5 grams of net carbs per serving.
This is an excellent vitamin C and fiber source and the perfect keto-friendly substitute for starchy vegetables like potatoes.
They give 4 grams of net carbs per serving.
This is an excellent vitamin C, vitamin K, minerals, and folate source. The net carbs per serving are 5 grams only.
You can also consider cabbage, bell papers, Broccoli, and mushrooms in this list.
There are so many varieties of nuts that one can have during the vegetarian ketogenic diet. But you should have them in a limited amount per day. They are:
Almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and Brazil nuts.
4. Milk substitute:
If you are ovo vegetarian or do not want to consume milk, you may like to consider including- almond milk, and coconut milk.
5. Fermented foods:
Yogurt, Greek yogurt, tofu
Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
7. Nut butter:
Almond, peanut, pecan, and hazelnut butter.
8. Full-fat dairy products:
Milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Spirulina, protein powders.
10. Low-carb fruits:
Berries and lemons can be taken, but they should be taken in moderation.
11. Herbs and seasonings:
Basil, paprika, pepper, turmeric, sodium-rich salt (you may use Himalayan pink salt), oregano.
Foods to avoid
The main thing you should avoid is sugar as it is a low-carb diet. As this is a vegetarian keto diet, the non-vegetarian keto diet items, like- meat, chicken, seafood, and fish will also be eliminated.
Here is the list.
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: Hard and soft drinks, like- soda, sweet tea, sports drinks, juice, and energy drinks
- Whole grains: Wheat, Rice, millet, rye, barley.
- Whole foods: Whole foods made from whole grains-bread, rice, quinoa, oats, and pasta should be avoided.
- Legumes: Legumes and lentils, such as beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas
- Fruits: High-carb fruits, like- apples, bananas, oranges, berries, melons, apricots, plums, and peaches
- Condiments: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ketchup, marinades, and sweetened salad dressings
- Processed foods: Processed foods, like granola, chips, cookies, crackers, and baked goods contain trans fats, which are not at all good for health.
- Sweeteners: brown sugar, white sugar, honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar
- Alcoholic beverages: beer, wine, and sweetened cocktails
Some Vegetarian keto diet meal plan
If you plan to follow the ketogenic diet, here are 2 excellent 1-week healthy vegetarian keto diet meal plans.
One of them is for the lacto-vegetarian diet, and the other is for the Lacto-ovo vegetarian keto diet.
1. Keto diet meal plans for Lacto Vegetarians
In this vegetarian keto meal plan, eggs are not included. Here is a sample meal plan for 1 week.
Breakfast: You may start your day with chia seed pudding made with coconut milk and nuts.
Lunch: For lunch, you can have full-fat paneer (cottage cheese) and green leafy vegetable salad.
Snacks: If you are hungry between your two meals, you may have a cup of full-fat buttermilk or Greek yogurt.
Dinner: You can have cauliflower breadsticks at dinner, but it doesn’t contain bread! Amazing right? You can check out the recipe here.
Breakfast: Protein shake made of protein powder and any milk substitute or full-fat milk.
Lunch: Low-carb pumpkin soup with sour cream.
Dinner: Zucchini noodles with a little amount of full-fat cheese.
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with 2 or 3 soaked almonds.
Lunch: A bowl of leafy green vegetable salad with avocado.
Dinner: Basil and tomato soup.
Breakfast: Protein powder shake
Lunch: Scramble paneer with lettuce or spinach.
Dinner: Zucchini noodles.
Breakfast: Coconut milk with nuts.
Lunch: Simple Greek salad.
Dinner: Parmesan cauliflower sticks. Check out the recipe here.
Breakfast: Protein powder shake
Lunch: Red coconut curry
Snacks: Keto mac and cheese. Check out the recipe here.
Dinner: Green leafy vegetable salad.
Breakfast: Full-fat coconut milk with chia seeds.
Lunch: Mushroom Risotto with cauliflower rice. Check out the recipe.
Dinner: Vegetables and tofu salad.
2. Keto diet plan for Lacto-ovo vegetarians
In this type of vegetarian keto diet, dairy products, as well as eggs, are included. Here is the 1-week sample meal plan.
Breakfast: 2 whole-boiled eggs.
Lunch: Green leafy vegetable salad with a cup of full-fat buttermilk.
Snacks: 1 cup of boiled Broccoli
Dinner: Grilled eggplant
Breakfast: Some soaked almonds
Lunch: Spinach, herb, and feta wrap.
Dinner: Scramble paneer with vegetable salad.
Breakfast: Baked avocado egg
Lunch: Cauliflower breadsticks
Dinner: Red coconut curry
Breakfast: Protein shake
Lunch: Salad with green vegetables and tofu
Dinner: Spinach, herb, and feta wrap.
Lunch: 1 bowl of cabbage or lettuce with cucumber and tomatoes.
Breakfast: Smoothies made of almond milk with flax seeds or chia seeds.
Lunch: Parmesan cauliflower stick.
Dinner: Basil and tomato soup
Breakfast: Scramble egg with cheese
Lunch: Simple Greek salad
Dinner: Coconut curry
Some keto vegetarian recipes
If you want to learn more about healthy keto recipes, you may refer to this article.
What about keto exercises?
While you are following a healthy keto diet meal plan, you may do some home exercises to promote weight loss.
In the first few days, you may feel low in energy, but after you are accustomed to your healthy keto diet, it won’t cause many problems.
But if you are feeling low on some days, you can skip the exercise. Always listen to your body.
Some healthy tips:
- Here are some healthy and beneficial tips for you:
- You should have a good understanding of your macros.
- Track your calories roughly.
- Don’t go by calories all the time. Sometimes measure your weight also.
- Make intelligent food choices.
- During the vegetarian keto diet, your body will be undergoing nutritional deficiencies. If you are consuming enough leafy green vegetables, it’s okay. Otherwise, you can have multivitamin tablets after consulting with a doctor.
- Do not use reheated oil. This increases the risk of heart disease.
- Always try to have refeed days every 10-14 days of the vegetarian keto diet. On these days, you will be having a 400-500 gram carb intake in a day, which basically will be your kind of cheat day.
Some myths about the vegetarian ketogenic diet
- I should not consume protein powder
As you are on a vegetarian ketogenic diet and not eating meat, you should have protein powders to fulfill your daily protein requirement.
- I’m on a carb limit. My energy level must be going down
Your daily carb allotment is very low, but it doesn’t mean you are on a low energy level. The calorific value of fats is much higher than carbs.
So, the keto diet gives you a feeling of fullness and less hunger.
- I’ll regain all my unwanted fats after I end this keto diet
The main agenda of any keto diet is to cut the excess fat in your body. When you end the keto diet, you will feel much better than before.
And after that, when you continue your proper diet plan, you will be in better condition than before.
So, I hope that now you know about the vegetarian keto diet and some healthy vegetarian keto recipes. If you are looking forward to a healthy vegetarian ketogenic diet, refer to this, but this is a sample diet plan.
It is always better to consult a certified nutritionist or a doctor before picking up any meal plan.
Also check out, Most Amazing Cucumber Tomato Salad Benefits