what is keto vegan

What is Keto Vegan? Exploring the Low-Carb, Plant-Based Diet.

Are you curious about the keto vegan diet? Perhaps you’ve heard about it from friends or seen it mentioned online. This low-carb, plant-based diet has been gaining popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why.

Put simply, the keto vegan diet is a way of eating that combines the principles of a ketogenic diet with those of a vegan diet. This means that followers of this diet abstain from animal products while also limiting their carbohydrate intake in order to achieve a state of ketosis.

The benefits of this diet are numerous, including weight loss, improved heart health, and more stable blood sugar levels. It’s also a great way to reduce your environmental impact and support animal welfare.

If you’re curious about what is keto vegan and how to get started, keep reading. We’ll explore this diet in more detail, including the foods to eat and avoid, recipe ideas, and common challenges you may face.

What is a Keto Vegan Diet?

A keto vegan diet is a low-carb, high-fat meal plan that is entirely plant-based. This diet combines the principles of a vegan, which forbids the consumption of all animal products, with the ketogenic diet, which focuses on high-fat intake to induce ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fat for energy instead of glucose.

The basic idea behind the keto vegan diet is to lower carb intake and increase healthy fat consumption, encouraging the body to enter ketosis while still maintaining a plant-based lifestyle. Unlike a traditional ketogenic diet that encourages the consumption of animal products like meat and dairy, a keto vegan diet relies on plant-based sources for healthy fats and protein.

What does the Keto Vegan diet entail?

Food Category Allowed on the Keto Vegan Diet Restricted on the Keto Vegan Diet
Fats and Oils Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, nuts and seeds, nut butter, olives, coconut cream, vegan butter Butter, cheese, lard, tallow, ghee, mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, animal fat
Protein Tempeh, tofu, seitan, legumes (peas, beans, lentils), nuts, seeds, nut butter, vegan protein powder, vegan meat substitutes Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, whey protein
Dairy Alternatives Unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, soy milk, vegan cheese Cow’s milk, cream, half-and-half, yogurt
Vegetables Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, garlic, eggplant, cucumber, celery Starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn), carrots, peas, beets
Fruits Berries, avocados, tomatoes, olives Tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, banana), apples, pears, grapes, melons, citrus fruits, dried fruits, fruit juice
Grains and Legumes Quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, mung beans, peanuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds Wheat, rice, oats, barley, corn, bread, pasta, cereals, soybeans

A keto vegan diet involves consuming foods that are low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats. This means that the majority of your daily caloric intake should come from plant-based fat sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut oil.

To achieve a state of ketosis, you’ll need to limit your carbohydrate intake to approximately 20-50 grams per day, depending on your individual needs. This typically involves avoiding grains, sugars, and starchy vegetables and opting for non-starchy vegetables and plant-based protein sources instead.

It’s essential to balance your macronutrient intake to ensure that you’re getting enough protein and healthy fats while keeping carb intake low. Meal planning and tracking your food intake can help you achieve this balance.

Benefits of a Keto Vegan Diet

A keto vegan diet offers several health benefits. This section will delve into some of the most significant advantages of this diet.

Benefit Description
Weight Loss One of the primary benefits of a keto vegan diet is its ability to aid in weight loss. By following a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet, individuals can achieve a state of ketosis where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This can lead to a significant reduction in body weight, including abdominal fat.
Improved Heart Health A keto vegan diet may also lead to improved heart health. By limiting carbohydrate intake, individuals can reduce their triglyceride levels and increase their levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. This can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Improved Digestion Another benefit of a keto vegan diet is improved digestion. By consuming a high amount of fibrous, plant-based foods, individuals can ensure regular bowel movements and reduce the risk of digestive issues such as constipation and bloating.
Reduced Risk of Certain Diseases Research has shown that following a keto vegan diet may reduce the risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. By reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fats and vegetables, individuals can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation in the body, both of which can lower the risk of disease.

Overall, a keto vegan diet offers several potential health benefits for those who follow it. However, as with any major dietary change, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine whether this diet is right for you.

How to Start a Keto Vegan Diet

Starting a new diet can be overwhelming, but with a few simple steps, it can be a smooth transition to a keto vegan lifestyle. Here are some tips to get started:

1. Educate Yourself

Before starting any new diet, it’s important to understand the principles and guidelines. This will help you make informed choices when planning your meals and snacks. Take some time to research keto vegan and familiarize yourself with the foods that are allowed and restricted.

2. Plan Your Meals

Meal planning is an essential element of any successful diet. Take some time each week to plan your meals and snacks so that you’re prepared and less likely to reach for unhealthy options. Create a shopping list and stock your kitchen with keto vegan-friendly foods.

Allowed Foods Restricted Foods
Leafy greens Grains (wheat, rice, etc.)
Low-carb vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) Sugar and sweets (cakes, cookies, etc.)
Plant-based oils (coconut, olive, etc.) Fruit (bananas, apples, etc.)

3. Find a Support System

Having a support system can help you stay motivated and on track. Find a friend or family member who is also interested in keto vegan or join an online community to connect with others who share your goals.

4. Don’t Overlook Protein

Protein is an important nutrient that helps keep you full and satisfied. Incorporate protein-rich foods such as tofu, tempeh, and legumes into your meals and snacks to ensure you’re meeting your daily requirements.

5. Keep It Simple

Starting a new diet can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep your meals simple and try not to overcomplicate things. Experiment with different flavour combinations and don’t be afraid to try new foods.

By following these simple tips, you can successfully make the transition to a keto vegan lifestyle and reap the many benefits that come with it.

Delicious Vegan Keto Recipes

Following a keto vegan diet might seem challenging at first, but there are plenty of tasty and easy-to-prepare recipes that fit within this diet. We’ve gathered a selection of delicious vegan keto recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to help you get started.


Recipe Ingredients Instructions
Vegan Keto Breakfast Porridge Chia seeds, coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla extract, stevia, cinnamon, shredded coconut, slivered almonds Mix chia seeds, coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla extract, and stevia together and let it sit for 10 minutes. Add cinnamon, shredded coconut and slivered almonds on top and enjoy.
Vegan Keto Pancakes Coconut flour, baking powder, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, chia seeds, coconut oil Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Separately, mix almond milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and chia seeds together. Combine wet and dry ingredients and add coconut oil to the mixture. Cook in a non-stick pan until golden brown.


  • Vegan Keto Salad with Tofu: Tofu, avocado, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Vegan Keto Soup: Coconut oil, garlic, ginger, cauliflower, vegetable broth, almond milk, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.


Recipe Ingredients Instructions
Vegan Keto Cauliflower Rice Bowl Cauliflower rice, tofu, kale, avocado, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook cauliflower rice in a pan with olive oil. Separately, cook tofu until slightly brown. Add kale and cherry tomatoes to the pan with the cauliflower rice and cook until the vegetables are slightly tender. Serve with sliced avocado on top.
Vegan Keto “Chicken” and Broccoli Alfredo Hearts of palm, nutritional yeast, garlic, broccoli, almond milk, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Blend hearts of palm, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt and pepper together in a food processor until smooth. Separately, cook broccoli in olive oil until slightly tender. Add the blended mixture and almond milk to the pan with the broccoli and cook until heated through.


  • Vegan Keto Smoothie: Avocado, coconut milk, almond butter, spinach, vanilla extract, stevia, ice cubes.
  • Vegan Keto Crackers: Almond flour, flaxseed meal, salt, olive oil, water.

A Sample Vegan Keto Meal Plan

For those who are new to the keto vegan diet, planning meals can seem overwhelming. But with a little guidance and creativity, it’s easy to come up with delicious and satisfying meals that follow the principles of this diet. Here is a one-week sample meal plan to get you started:

Day Meal
  • Breakfast: Tofu scramble with spinach, mushrooms, and avocado
  • Lunch: Cauliflower rice bowl with grilled tofu, roasted vegetables, and cilantro lime dressing
  • Dinner: Vegan keto lasagna with zucchini noodles and cashew cheese
  • Snack: Homemade kale chips
  • Breakfast: Smoothie made with almond milk, spinach, frozen berries, and vegan protein powder
  • Lunch: Salad with mixed greens, avocado, cucumber, sunflower seeds, and a tahini dressing
  • Dinner: Portobello mushroom burgers with lettuce wraps and a side of roasted broccoli
  • Snack: Vegan keto coconut yogurt with berries and shredded coconut
  • Breakfast: Coconut flour pancakes with almond butter and sugar-free syrup
  • Lunch: Zucchini noodles with pesto, cherry tomatoes, and grilled tempeh
  • Dinner: Vegan keto chili with avocado and vegan sour cream
  • Snack: Raw walnuts and a piece of fruit
  • Breakfast: Chia seed pudding with coconut milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract
  • Lunch: Tofu poke bowl with cauliflower rice, edamame, and avocado
  • Dinner: Stir-fry with tofu, broccoli, bell peppers, and a sesame soy sauce
  • Snack: Vegan keto protein bar
  • Breakfast: Vegan keto protein smoothie with spinach, frozen berries, and coconut milk
  • Lunch: Grilled portobello mushroom salad with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic vinaigrette
  • Dinner: Vegan keto pizza with a cauliflower crust, cashew cheese, and vegetables
  • Snack: Raw veggies and guacamole
  • Breakfast: Vegan keto breakfast burrito with tofu scramble, avocado, and salsa
  • Lunch: Soup made with coconut milk, vegetables, and vegan protein
  • Dinner: Vegan keto sushi rolls with cauliflower rice, avocado, and cucumber
  • Snack: Homemade coconut milk yogurt with nuts and seeds
  • Breakfast: Vegan keto waffles with almond butter and berries
  • Lunch: Salad with mixed greens, tofu, avocado, and a lemon vinaigrette
  • Dinner: Vegan keto shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash and vegetables
  • Snack: Raw veggies and hummus

Of course, this is just a sample and can be modified to suit your taste and dietary needs. The key is to focus on low-carb, high-fat plant-based foods and experiment with different flavour combinations. Happy eating!

Best Vegan Keto Snacks

Snacking can be a challenge when following a keto vegan diet, but it’s still possible to satisfy cravings with delicious and healthy options. Here are some ideas for vegan keto-friendly snacks:

Snack Ingredients
Kale chips Fresh kale leaves, olive oil, salt, nutritional yeast
Avocado and cucumber slices Ripe avocado, cucumber, lemon juice, salt, pepper
Roasted nuts and seeds Almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, spices
Coconut yogurt with berries Coconut yogurt, mixed berries, chia seeds, vanilla extract, stevia

For a sweet treat, try making your own keto-friendly desserts using ingredients such as coconut flour, almond flour, and sugar substitutes like stevia or erythritol. Some ideas include:

  • Keto chocolate mousse
  • Coconut flour cookies
  • Chia pudding with almond milk
  • Peanut butter fat bombs

Remember to always read labels and check the nutritional information of any packaged snacks you buy, as some products may contain hidden sugars or other non-keto-friendly ingredients.


If you’re on the go and need a quick snack, consider bringing along some portable options like a small bag of nuts or seeds, or pre-cut veggies with hummus.

Foods to Eat on a Keto Vegan Diet

Following a keto vegan diet involves consuming foods that are low in carbs but high in healthy fats and protein. Here’s a list of foods that are allowed on this diet:

Food Group Foods
Non-Starchy Vegetables Spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, lettuce, cabbage, radish, eggplant, tomato, onion, garlic, celery, green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas
Healthy Fats Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, nuts and seeds, coconut cream, avocado, olives, nut butter, vegan cheese, vegan butter, non-dairy creamer, vegan mayo
Protein Sources Tempeh, tofu, seitan, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, soybeans, vegan protein powder
Low-Carb Fruits Avocado, coconut, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, tomatoes
Beverages Water, herbal tea, black coffee, unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, flax milk

While these foods form the bulk of a keto vegan diet, it’s important to keep a balance and eat a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrients.

Sample Day on a Keto Vegan Diet

Here’s an example of what a day on a keto vegan diet might look like:

  • Breakfast: Avocado and tofu scramble with a side of sautéed spinach
  • Lunch: Vegan Caesar salad with tempeh and avocado
  • Snack: Handful of mixed nuts
  • Dinner: Cauliflower rice stir-fry with tofu, broccoli, and cashews
  • Snack: Coconut yogurt with mixed berries

It’s important to note that while this is a low-carb diet, it’s not a no-carb diet. Incorporating a moderate amount of healthy carbs from sources such as fruits and non-starchy vegetables is essential to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

Foods to Avoid on a Keto Vegan Diet

While the keto vegan diet allows for a wide variety of foods, there are some items that should be avoided to maintain the correct macronutrient ratios and to stay in ketosis.

Here are some foods to steer clear of when following a keto vegan diet:

Food Why to avoid Alternatives
Grains (including bread, pasta, rice) High in carbohydrates Cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, coconut flour
Legumes (including beans, peas, lentils) High in carbohydrates Tofu, tempeh, nuts
High-carb fruits (including bananas, mangoes, papayas) High in carbohydrates Berries, avocado, olives
Sugar (including honey, maple syrup, agave) High in carbohydrates Stevia, erythritol, monk fruit
Processed foods Often contain hidden carbs and unhealthy fats Whole foods and homemade meals

By avoiding these foods and opting for low-carb, plant-based alternatives, you can stay on track with your keto vegan diet and maximise its benefits.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Like any diet, the keto vegan diet may present some challenges. Here are a few common ones and how to overcome them:


One of the most common challenges of any diet is cravings. When following a keto vegan diet, it’s common to crave carb-heavy foods, such as bread, pasta, and rice. However, there are plenty of delicious and low-carb alternatives that you can enjoy, such as cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, and almond flour bread. You can even enjoy keto-friendly sweet treats, such as avocado chocolate mousse or coconut flour pancakes.

Eating Out

Eating out can be challenging on a keto vegan diet, as many restaurant options are high in carbs or contain animal products. However, most restaurants will have vegan options that can be modified to be keto-friendly. For example, you can order a salad with a vegan protein source, such as tofu, and ask for a side of olive oil or avocado to add healthy fats to the meal. You can also research restaurant menus ahead of time to see what options are available and plan your meal accordingly.

Meeting Nutrient Needs

One concern with a keto vegan diet is that it may be difficult to meet all of your nutrient needs without careful planning. It’s important to incorporate a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and non-starchy vegetables. You may also want to consider taking a vegan multivitamin or supplementing with specific nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Consulting a registered dietitian can also help ensure you’re meeting your nutrient needs.

Getting Enough Protein

Another concern with a vegan diet is getting enough protein. However, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources that can be incorporated into a keto vegan diet, such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, and nuts and seeds. It’s important to include protein at each meal to help keep you feeling satiated and to support muscle growth and repair.

The keto vegan diet may take some getting used to, but with careful planning and delicious recipes, it can be a sustainable and healthy way of eating. By staying mindful of your nutrient needs and incorporating a variety of low-carb, plant-based foods, you can reap the benefits of this diet while enjoying a range of tasty meals and snacks.

FAQ about Keto Vegan

Here are some frequently asked questions about the keto vegan diet:

Is a keto vegan diet safe?

Yes, a keto vegan diet is generally safe for most people. However, as with any diet, it’s important to ensure you’re still getting all the necessary nutrients you need to maintain good health. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can also be helpful in ensuring you’re meeting all your nutritional requirements while following this diet.

Can athletes follow a keto vegan diet?

Yes, athletes can follow a keto vegan diet, but it’s important to ensure they’re getting enough protein and calories to support their physical activity. This may require some additional planning and meal prep to ensure they’re meeting their nutritional needs.

How does a keto vegan diet compare to other low-carb diets?

A keto vegan diet is similar to other low-carb diets in that it restricts carbohydrates and focuses on healthy fats and protein. However, the vegan aspect means that animal products are not allowed, making it a more restrictive diet in terms of food choices. Additionally, the emphasis on plant-based foods means that the micronutrient content of this diet may differ from other low-carb diets.

Can I eat fruit on a keto vegan diet?

Fruit is generally higher in carbohydrates than other plant-based foods, which means it may need to be limited on a keto vegan diet. However, small amounts of low-carb fruits such as berries can be incorporated into the diet in moderation.

How long does it take to see results on a keto vegan diet?

Results can vary from person to person, but many people report seeing weight loss and improved health markers within a few weeks of starting a keto vegan diet. However, it’s important to note that sustainable weight loss and health improvements may take longer and require a continued commitment to this dietary approach.

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