The most popular diet of our time is probably the ketogenic diet—a style of eating that goes heavy on the fats and strictly low on the carbs. And it comes with some impressive benefits —reduced triglyceride levels in the bloodstream, improved cholesterol levels, reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, and healthy weight loss. But do you really know what a keto diet involves? Here’s a look at the basics, including what being keto means as a vegan. You must curb your carbs.
The hallmark of a keto diet is that it requires you to keep your net carbohydrate intake to under 30 grams a day. That’s it! For reference, 30 grams of carbs is the equivalent of one banana. No additional fruits, starchy veggies or crackers—that’s all the carbs you get for the day. Why so few carbs?
The point of a keto diet is to put your body into ketosis —a metabolic state in which the body switches from using carbs as its primary energy source and uses all those readily available fats (ketones) instead. In order to do this, you effectively have to take carbs off the table, so bye-bye, bread. Why burn fat for energy?
Why are we switching our primary fuel source from carbs to fat, anyway? Because the keto diet allows your body to burn fat more easily, it’s an effective way to get rid of stubborn body fat. People also report better blood sugar balance, more energy and clearer thinking as a result of this type of eating.
Of course, you’re not only eating fat. It’s recommended that you also consume a moderate amount of protein each day as well as lots of non-starchy veggies. Yes, you still eat veggies on a keto diet. Of course, the transition can be tough.
The first week or two of switching to strict keto diet can cause some unpleasant side effects known as the keto flu . That means body aches, poor sleep, fatigue, brain fog, constipation, indigestion, irritability and moodiness.
And let’s not forget keto breath! During those first weeks, the high amount of ketones released in your breath as your body adjusts causes it to really stink, but don’t worry. It’s only temporary).
Sill, many people feel the health benefits outweigh the unpleasantries. So, can vegans go keto?
Keto isn’t just for carnivorous eaters. Vegans can enjoy the benefits of going keto, too, but with some precautions.
It takes careful planning to be vegan and successfully embark on a keto diet. When going keto, vegans can consume lots of high fat plant-based products, such as nuts, coconut milk and avocados in addition to low-carb protein sources, like tofu, seeds and tempeh. But with the drastically limited diet, it might be beneficial to consult with a nutritionist to ensure a healthy nutrient balance or to follow a sample plan .
This vegan keto grocery list will also help you as you embark on your new eating adventure.
Regardless of your diet, some good dietary lessons you can learn from keto is to embrace fats a little more and to really load up on the non-starchy veggies. Eat more greens—as many as you possibly can—and you’ll feel better, no matter what diet you follow.
Have you gone keto as a vegan? Share your experience with the Care2 community below. We ‘ d love to hear! Related on Care2
Images via Getty
Click here to view original web page at Can Vegans Go Keto? Let’s Look at the Basics.