The ketogenic diet or “keto” has been trending for a while since it has many benefits both for people who want to lose weight and for those who want to have a healthier lifestyle in general.
This kind of diet consists of reducing carbohydrate consumption drastically and replacing them with fats. It sounds strange: to increase fat intake if you want to reduce weight or be healthier, right?
As it turns out, this promotes a chemical process called ketosis that consists of the liver transforming fats into ketones, making the body, in general, more efficient since it reduces blood sugar levels and can provide more energy to the being.
Most keto diets usually supplant carbohydrates for large quantities of meat, so we decided to investigate whether it was possible to perform the ketogenic regimen in a plant-based diet and how to supplant animal products by vegan foods.
Vegan diets usually have a higher intake of carbohydrates than those with meats and also, their fat intake is usually lower.
To generate ketosis in the liver we must increase the consumption of good fats, no hydrogenated fats!
The first thing is to check what foods we should incorporate into our diet for this:
- Extra virgin olive oil: It’s literally liquid gold. Not only is it one of the healthiest oils for consumption but it tastes delicious. You should be careful when using it for cooking as it’s an oil that burns at lower temperatures than other edible oils, so keep an eye on it when you cook!
- Nuts: Peanuts, nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, you name it! All nuts provide a good amount of healthy fats to the body and also give a crunchy touch to any meal and are ideal to take as a snack.
- Coconut oil: Like olive oil, coconut oil is one of the healthiest of the wrold. It must always be a cold-pressed and extra virgin to obtain its benefits without risk.
You can use this oil in many preparations as it will give a tropical and sweet touch to any preparation where you add it.
- Seeds: Chia, flax, sesame seeds are the most famous, full of good fats and also add color, texture, and flavor to your meals.
How to supplant proteins is always one of the biggest doubts, especially to those who start a vegetarian diet.
The good thing about the ketogenic regimen is that it does not require as high protein intake as an athlete would do, for example.
However, we must replace the consumption of carbohydrates with proteins and also achieve satiety, so below we indicate what foods you can include in your diet:
- Legumes: beans, chickpeas, and lentils. There are many varieties and you can use them in various ways, either in a simple dish as a side dish or as the star of a dish, you can even make vegetarian burgers with them.
- Tofu: It’s a derivative of soy full of protein so it’s an option that you can add in your food if your body tolerates it. In any case, you should use it sparingly.
- Peas, kale, spinach, and broccoli are high-protein vegetables that you can add to your dishes and combine in many ways.
- Pieces of pure cocoa: you must take into account that they are not chocolate or cocoa or any other combination or derivative. Cocoa is high in fiber, contains proteins but also has an effect on the body similar to coffee so you should consume it in moderation. Check that it does not contain added sugars.
Other foods that you can and should add to your keto-vegan regimen are avocados and olives, they are full of good fats and taste delicious. Also, you must add citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit.
You should also avoid the consumption of sugars, so remember to check the label of each product and use the correct proportions to obtain the required quantities and put your liver to work to the fullest.