Here’s Exactly How to Eat a Vegetarian Keto Diet
Here’s a common misconception for you: You have to eat meat to follow the keto diet. While it’s true that because a traditional keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet in which animal products like meat, poultry, fish, and dairy are regularly consumed, you can eat a vegetarian keto diet and still reap the same results. And if you’re looking for what foods you can buy that are keto-compliant, check out the 37 Best Keto Groceries.
“The ketogenic diet sets up the body to burn fat as its primary source of energy rather than carbohydrates—this is ketosis,” says Maddi Lupul, MS, RD at eMeals.
The key to achieving and maintaining this fat-burning state is to follow a macronutrient breakdown of 70-75 percent of your calories coming from fat, 20 percent from protein, and 5 percent or less from carbs, says Lupul. In other words, there are no specific guidelines as to what types of foods you have to eat to meet these nutrients, other than whole, unprocessed foods. Meat and other dairy products certainly make hitting these goals a little easier, but it’s not a requirement of the diet.
In fact, for Dr. Will Cole, a leading functional-medicine expert, IFMCP, DC, and author of the upcoming book The Inflammation Spectrum and the developer of Ketotarian, a plant-based keto diet plan, a proper vegetarian keto diet will not only yield all the benefits of a traditional keto diet, but also eliminate all of the inflammatory foods people often struggle with (i.e. dairy, processed meats, and artificial sweeteners).
“I am a big fan of the ketogenic diet, but find that going plant-centric takes advantage of the health benefits of both conventional keto diets and plant-based diets,” says Dr. Cole. Plus, as long as you are actively planning your meals, satiety is also a non-issue. “A typical day for me might include a chia pudding breakfast bowl, frittata pizza for lunch, and grilled cauliflower steaks for dinner. These meals are rich in healthy fats and nutrients, which keep me full for longer.”