My motto in life is that anything is possible – if you want something badly enough then you can make it happen. In this case, if you want to combine the Keto and Plant Based diets – then of course you can. It might be a little tricky at times, in the sense that the food you consume can be slightly more limited than if you were just following one of the diets –but it is totally possible.
What is a Keto Diet?
The Keto diet/way of living consists of eating foods that are high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. When on a Keto diet, the body adapts from using carbs to using fats to burn energy. When this happens, your body is said to be in a state of ‘Ketosis’.
What is a Plant Based diet?
A Plant Based diet is a diet based on eating plants. A Plant Based diet involves eating foods that are whole and unrefined such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and legumes. The Plant Based diet minimises/excludes (for more extreme takers to the diet) eating foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and refined foods like sugar and oils.
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How can be both Keto and Plant Based?
It’s quite simple really to be on a Keto and Plant Based diet, and if you follow the general rules below – you can do it! This isn’t me saying it’s going to be easy either, as I mentioned before, it can be rather restrictive but it can be done. Nowadays (wow I sound old), there are so many different types of dietary requirements which vary by person to person, it feels like the new norm to make your own rules for your own diet.
- Limit your carb in-take as you would do for the Keto diet to roughly less than 35g each day. (Between 25 – 50g is what is recommended)
- Eat lots of low carb vegetables to help fill you up as you would do for the Keto diet (and Plant Based diet)
- Don’t consume any meat or fish or other animal products as you wouldn’t for a Plant Based diet
- Consume 25% of your calories from Plant Based proteins. You’d consume 25% of your calories on protein on the Keto diet, and because you’re eating Plant based, this would need to come from Plant Based proteins e.g. Pea Protein
- Consume 70% of your calories on fats as you would on the Keto diet, but from Plant Based fats.
What can I eat?
At this point in this post, you may be wondering…ok so what on earth can I eat on a Keto and Plant Based diet! Although at first the rules may feel a little complicated, of course they might be if you are going from eating whatever you like every day to a lifestyle change like this. However, in a nut-shell, you basically just need to eat Plant Based, low carb foods that are high in fat. Here is a comprehensive list below of the main food types to give you some inspiration:
Low carb and high volume veggies are the ones to opt for such as zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli. I am a massive fan of cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles I must say! Remember to also get the greens in with kale and spinach. These will help to keep the iron levels up too.
Stick with meat alternatives such as tofu and tempeh. Tempeh is currently one of the foods on my radar! I have noticed a few brands in my local health food stores which I am yet to try. I just need to master how to cook it first! Many vegan restaurants also substitute meats with different types of mushrooms and there are actually so many different types of mushrooms (as I discovered in Harris Farm on Friday). I tested out the Shimeji mushrooms which were delicious and I cooked them how I would normal button mushrooms!’
Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts are a great way to get your fats in and super versatile. Nuts are also relatively low in carbs as most of the carbs in nuts comes from fibre which means that the net carbs are pretty low. If you’re looking to avoid the carbs (remember they have to be kept low on the Keto diet), then stay away/have moderate amounts of cashews as these have higher carb content. Nuts also contain good amounts of fats: Brazil nuts, macadamias and pine nuts have some of the higher levels. As a warning, if you eat too many nuts the calories can creep up. Try and stick to a handful (this is something I struggle with) where possible. If you want to know which nuts are the lowest in carbs, then look no further.
On a Plant Based diet, you cannot eat any animal by-products which sadly means that dairy is no more. However, you still need to choose dairy alternatives that are high in fat. You can eat coconut yoghurt (just make sure it is coconut based and not coconut flavoured – marketing can be deceiving). Also vegan chesses (I do love a cashew cheese) and coconut cream. Your local wholefood store should have a good few dairy alternative options.
Aside from these main ‘buckets’ of food that you can eat on a Plant Based and Keto diet, you can also eat foods high in fats. Examples would include avocado and coconut oil which are bursting with good fats and vitamin. Fermented foods are also a good bet, as are sea vegetables (e.g. kelp) and berries.
What about Protein?
You may have read also that it can be hard to get your protein in when you’re on a Plant Based diet, and even more so when you are restricting it with the combination of Keto and Plant based. I would definitely recommend considering a Plant Based protein powder to help get your protein levels up. I’ve been reading a lot about Hemp lately and why Hemp is a good source of protein.
In conclusion, it is absolutely possible to be on a Keto and Plant Based diet. I would say with a strong will and a solid mindset it will come as easy. Once you have a few recipes up your sleeve that you can swap in on a weekly basis – you’ll be set to go. My advice is to do your research, create some shopping lists and give it a go! Good luck ☺