Going vegan is a healthy choice, and it also requires some dietary diligence. Vegans need to be more mindful of how they get iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3s, and vitamin B12. Sometimes—and especially when it comes to B12—a supplement is needed.
Those drawbacks aside, there may be sound health perks to a vegan diet, too:
- A healthy weight. People who follow a plant-based diet may be leaner than those who eat animal products, and vegans have been found to be the leanest.
- Protect against cancer. One study found that eating vegan offered the most protection against cancer than any other diet. Also, all those fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains deliver disease-fighting phytochemicals.
- A healthier heart. Research suggests that compared to a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet could offer even more protection for your heart—particularly around cholesterol levels (though going vegetarian has been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, too).
- Lower diabetes risk. In one study, compared to vegans, meat eaters doubled their risk of diabetes.
The ketogenic diet doesn’t have the same health accolades—mostly due to its fat-heavy, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate composition. But going keto is incredibly trendy, and also it can help someone lose weight—and fast.
On the keto diet, about 5 percent of calories come from carbohydrates. Sixty to 70 percent of calories come from fat, and the remaining (25 to 35 percent) are for protein. The goal is to shift your body into ketosis—and state in which it burns fat for energy.
Knowing this, can you pair Vegan and Keto eating patterns?
When you look at what a vegan dieter relies on heavily (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts) and compare that to the fat-focused keto diet, the idea of eating “vegan keto” seems a bit like an oxymoron. But although the two diets seem to be at odds, it is feasible. Also, a quick Amazon search offers up a lot of books and cookbooks to guide consumers on their vegan keto journey.
What you eat on a Vegan Keto diet:
Plant-based fats. Hemp seed oil, avocado and its oil, unsweetened coconut and coconut oil, olives and their oil.
Plant-based proteins. Hemp hearts or hemp protein powder, tofu, seitan, tempeh. When it comes to faux meat, be sure to read the ingredient list for sneaky sugars and also check the nutrition label for the carb count.
Seeds. Hemp seeds, along with all seeds are a good choice as they’re fatty, fairly low in carbs, and often full of fiber, which brings your net carb count down.
Nuts. All nuts are a worthy choice, but pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamias are go-tos as they’re higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates compared to other nuts.
Low-carb veggies. Cauliflower, zucchini, Swiss chard, mushrooms, asparagus, celery, spinach, bok choy, broccoli rabe, cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and lettuces (arugula, green and red leaf, endive, romaine, etc.).
Berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. They aren’t actually low-carb, but they offer a lot of fiber, which brings your net carbs down. Skip blueberries.
What you should avoid—or limit—on a Vegan Keto diet
It’s also equally as important for you to be mindful of what you can’t eat. After all, if you’re going to go through the trouble of getting your body into ketosis (it’s not easy and takes time), you want to stay in ketosis. Here’s what to limit or avoid:
- potatoes (white and sweet)
- most fruit
- starchy vegetables (corn, peas, winter squash)
The bottom line on Vegan Keto
Combining vegan and keto diets will require more planning than most diets. In theory, it could help you improve your health—though there doesn’t seem to be any research that evaluated vegan keto eating patterns yet.
Hemp Seed-Based Ingredients and a Vegan Keto Diet
For food products companies looking to address the desire of some consumers to address both Vegan and Keto, perhaps in one household sharing products, choosing Victory Hemp protein, especially our innovative V-70 Hemp Protein can give you a leg up: it is low in carbohydrates, offers decent amounts of iron and calcium (two nutrients that vegans can fall short on), and also delivers fat (key for a keto diet).
With nutritious hemp seed-based proteins and oils, you can eliminate many of the ancillary ingredients and chemicals that make other plant-based proteins ‘work’ such as flavor masking agents.
To learn more about the advantages of hemp our innovative seed-based ingredients, go here.