How to lose weight with a Vegetarian Keto Diet

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The Keto diet for vegetarians

Believe it or not, a vegetarian diet is the rage today, as more and more people have started to
believe that a vegetarian diet is the healthiest. Studies have also backed up the theory and
proved that a vegetarian diet helps in reducing chances of some prevalent diseases like
diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments more than a diet that contains non-vegetarian foods.
In the case of a ketogenic diet or a keto diet, it has been found to be more effective than a
vegetarian one and has been found to aid against the severity of several chronic diseases
like PCOS, Alzheimer’s, Certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, epilepsy and more. But,
what if you are a vegetarian and want to reap the benefits of a keto diet?

Is it possible to follow a Vegetarian Ketogenic Diet?

Yes,it is definitely possible to follow a Vegetarian Keto diet by keeping some things in mind while chalking out the diet plan.

What is a Keto Diet ?

The Keto diet works on the formula of ketosis. A state where the body derives its much
needed energy from the fats and not carbohydrates. Hence, the diet required you to source
your 80 to 90% of your daily calories need from fats, 5 to 10% from proteins and 5 to 10%
from carbohydrates. In a normal diet we all derive the daily calorie need primarily  from
The meat has no role to play in a Vegetarian Keto Diet, the focus is entirely on the fat intake.
So,where will get these fats come from?

Let’s handle this all important component of a Vegetarian Keto Diet first – the fat.

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Nuts and seeds are classic examples of bounty of healthy fats and proteins. But, also at the same time
there are certain nuts that are rich in carbs too, hence you need to be very careful in choosing
the right ones.
Here are some high-fat and low-carb options in nuts :

  1. Walnuts
  2. Brazil nuts
  3. Macademia nuts
  4. Almonds
  5. Peanuts
  6. Chia and Flax seeds


Apart from nuts, you get healthy fats from oils too. Always prefer to go for a cold-pressed

one as it is the the healthiest method of getting one. Some great examples of good fat sources of oils are :
  1. Avocado Oil
  2. Flax seed oil
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Coconut Oil

Dairy is another option that people look towards to, but at the same time being high in fat, it
is high in protein also, and hence you cannot go for it in full throttle. Instead, it is better to
look for and include non-dairy options like:
  1. Cocoa Butter
  2. Olives
  3. Avocados
  4. Coconut Cream
Now that we know how to source the fats you need for a vegetarian keto diet ,the next component of the diet is -Proteins. While your animal protein source is cut out, you will have to depend on
plant-based proteins and there are plenty of good options:

Tempeh –
  1. Tempeh – A fermented form of soybeans made into a cake form.
  2. Natto – A fermented soybean product served with soy sauce, Karashi mustard and Japanese bunching onion.
  3. Nuts and seeds
  4. Nutritional yeast
  5. Nut based  unsweetened yogurt
    Wikipedia – Natto with Karashi mustard
The last but not the least, you will also require carbohydrates, it has to be healthy and vegetarian source that should contain a good amount of healthy fibre too to keep you full and metabolism working. Here is a list of some carbohydrate rich fruits and vegetables for vegetarian Keto Diet Followers :
  1. Spinach
  2. Kale
  3. Lettuce
  4. Green Beans
  5. Asparagus 
  6. Broccoli
  7. Cucumber
  8. Cauliflower 
  9.  Bell peppers
  10. Onions
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Berries 
Tofu and Bell peppers are a good option for Vegan Keto Diet


What about the different types of vegetarians and what can they do?

As in the other category, there are many types of vegetarian followers – from the ones who
are very strict to the ones who are more liberal. Let’s know them and how can they manage
with Keto diet.

1.The Vegans: are those vegetarians who do not consumes any sort of animal based or

animal related products, even dairy or honey. They are entirely dependent on plant
based foods.
2.The Pescatarians: apart from being vegetarian, they eat dairy, eggs and seafoods also.
This is not a fully vegetarian type and also does not pose any threat to deficiencies as
thorough the sources that happily get all that the body needs.
3.The lacto-ovo Vegetarians: these type eats dairy and eggs and avoids seafood fish,
poultry and meat. It is the most common type of vegetarian people in most of the
4.The Lacto Vegetarians: these types apart from vegetarian sources only takes dairy and
avoids all other types of food. It is the most common type of vegetarian in India.

Which type of Vegetarian style works best with keto diet?

Contrary to popular misconception, Keto Diet is possible with all types of vegetarians, but it is best for the ones that can incorporate more of food groups, so that a wider selection can be enjoyed.
As per experts,
Keto does not go well with vegetarians because of the proteins.
We all need proteins with all essential amino acids – and most of which the body cannot
produce by itself and has to be supplied to the body through foods. And more importantly,
animal sources provides all the essential amino acids and plant sources provide only a
few amino acids.
Since, all plant foods are not the same and have different levels and types of amino acids,
vegetarians have to rely on a thoughtful combination of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds to get
all the essential amino acids.
One of the best example of Vegetarian Keto diet s the Eco-Keto, which is a low carb diet,
based entirely on plant food sources- it not only contains lesser carbs, but also includes
grains and provides the body with the right dosage of proteins and carbs needed for a
Ketogenic diet plan.

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The 5 steps of rocking a Ketogenic Vegetarian Diet

1.Make sure that you eat at least 3 servings of vegetables throughout the day.
2.Always choose to use only healthy options of cooking oil and salad dressing.
3. Instead of salt, try to use herbs and spices to flavour your dishes and salads.
4. Restrict your carbohydrate intake.
5. Must not only focus entirely on healthy fats – ensure protein sources also.
6.Vegetarians on the maximum rely on grains and legumes for their source of nutrients. When
your food intake is restricted in a diet, specially in the case of a keto diet and vegetarian, ensure that
the body gets adequate quantity of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc,
magnesium and B vitamins.

I wish to thank Dt. Ashu Gupta for her contribution and inputs towards this article.

Ms. Ashu Gupta is the founder of “Ashu Gupta’s Diet Clinic ” and an acclaimed dietitian and
nutritionist. Her desire to see people around her live a life full of good health and happiness
made her pursue a career in food, health and nutrition. She staunchly believes that healthy
living is not about just eating plain and tasteless foods or following strict guidelines with a
lot of restrictions, but it is about enjoying life to the fullest with certain lifestyle modifications
and enjoying all the good foods.

Dt. Ashu Gupta

She is an active member of Indian Diabetic Association and has been appraised for her
contributions by being conferred with the Best Dietician Award and Developing Country Sponsorship Award at Lulfost 17th World Congress on Food Science and Technology at Montreal, CANADA.

She not only suggests and designs diets for people, but helps them make practical changes and
modifications in their daily lifestyle while making dieting an enjoyable experience through her motto ‘Food From Your Own Kitchen ‘.

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