Can vegetarians follow a keto diet?
Keto diet is for everybody. Meat can be part of the diet. It can be avoided entirely as well. You can follow the keto diet as a vegetarian too. Keto diet is even for vegans. You just have to understand ketosis in depth.
The focus of the diet is just to keep carbs low. Thus, vegetarianism will never come in the way of transforming into a keto diet. Nevertheless, a few challenges do exist for vegetarians. They usually get most of their proteins from beans, lentils, etc… These are foods that have a high level of carbs. For instance, 24 grams of protein from the kidney comes with 25 grams of net carbs. Such food items are a no-go when following the keto diet.
The ‘fruity’ issue…
Fruits are the delicate part of the keto diet. They contain natural sugars, which are absolutely good for you. Nevertheless, high sugar content and carbs cannot help your ketosis and fat loss. There are a few fruits, which you must absolutely avoid when you are keto person. There are a few fruits you can have in abundance and a few more you can consume in moderation.
Moreover, vegetarians tend to eat more fruits which are high in sugar. It has to be replaced with low carb vegetables and alternative fruits. Before we get to list of safe and unsafe fruits, you need to understand ketosis. Ketones, the desired compounds of ketosis are produced in the liver. Fruits go so close to the liver. Anything that affects the liver is thus going to have a dramatic impact on ketone production.
Moreover, fruits contain fructose, which is consumed entirely by the liver. The other carbs, glucose is used only by about 20% by the liver. Fructose cannot be burned out by the muscles. They turn into free fatty acids and, ultimately fats.
Besides fruits, whenever we consume carbs, our body inevitably consumes glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that comes from regular carbohydrates. It strings together into something known as glycogen, which is later used as fuel. The excess is stored on the skeletal muscle system.
Let’s break down the keto diet for vegetarians in detail. We will discuss vegetables, fruits, and foods that are preferred in keto.
The low carb vegetables you should focus really are spinach, mustard greens, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc… The general rule is to go with any vegetable, that’s dark and leafy. You can also use high carb vegetables sparingly. The more colorful the vegetable, the more carbs it tends to contain.
You can include avocados, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc… in a keto diet. For instance, avocados have more fats in ratio to its fructose content. When it comes to the berries, the net carb is low. Above all, you can only consume these fruits in moderation.
Protein is the key to any diet. If in case, you don’t get enough protein from your diet of choice, including whey protein. If you are a sweet vegetarian, you can consider including eggs and nuts.
Nevertheless, nuts or seeds give you tiring carbs. Introduce more physical workout in your lifestyle to work that out.