In this comprehensive guide to vegetarian keto diet items, we will discuss what to eat, what not to eat and offer some delicious recipes for vegetarians on a keto diet to try. Following a vegetarian keto diet is possible, but you’ll want to make sure that you are getting enough protein. Most people need between 90 – 140g of protein per day, depending on your height and weight. While animal protein sources contain all 9 essential amino acids, you can still get a complete protein by combining plant protein sources with eggs or dairy. The keto diet requires you to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, while increasing your protein and fat intake. Before embarking on a keto diet, make sure to familiarize yourself with your macros. Here is a great guide to get you started from Trifecta Nutrition.
What to Eat
It might be a good idea for you to create and keep a list of foods that you can eat on a vegetarian keto diet. This will make meal planning, grocery shopping and of course eating, simple.
- Eggs: Two large eggs contain 14g of protein and 1g of carbs. You can eat eggs in a variety of ways to keep it interesting. Try hard-boiled eggs for a snack; scrambled or over-easy for breakfast; egg salad for lunch; or poached eggs on top of your dinnertime meal.
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is typically higher in protein than regular yogurt because it is strained. You’ll want to consume plain Greek yogurt to avoid added sugar. You can add cinnamon, sugar-free sweeteners or berries to add some flavor. You can also cook with Greek yogurt to add protein to your meal.
- Nut Butters: Peanut and almond butter offer protein and a low net carb count. A great snack is nut butter with celery! You can also add peanut butter powder to a smoothie or your Greek yogurt.
- Dairy: Cottage cheese, soft cheese, and hard cheeses are great sources of protein and add healthy fats to your keto diet. Parmesan cheese is also high in protein and can be added to a plate of veggies to make a complete protein.
- Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are a complete protein source! They are also high in fiber and rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Sprinkle hemp hearts on any meal, add to a smoothie or Greek yogurt…lots of ways to consume healthy hemp seeds.
- Nuts: Most nuts are low carb and contain a small amount of protein. Combine them with an animal protein source, like cottage cheese or eggs, to make a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
- Vegetables: Non-starchy vegetables are key to a vegetarian keto diet. Check out this list for the best low carb vegetables. Typically, vegetables that grow above the ground are lower in carbohydrates. Reach for green vegetables like zucchini, asparagus and kale.
- Low Carb Pasta: LC Foods offers 4 varieties of low carb pasta! Made from soy, this pasta is super high in protein and very low in carbs. It’s filling and versatile, so you can make all kinds of meals with it.
What to Avoid
Here is a generalized list of what foods to avoid when following a vegetarian and keto diet. You can add these to your list so that you know which food items to avoid when shopping or eating out.
- High Carb Fruits: Low carb and keto diets are traditionally low in fruit consumption due to the high amounts of sugar in fruit. Berries are usually a safe bet, but blueberries contain 12 net carbs per 100 grams. Check out this list to determine which fruits fit your daily carb consumption.
- Legumes: Beans and legumes are too high in carbs to fit in a keto diet. However, soy products are lower in carbs and you may want to include tofu, tempeh and edamame as good sources of protein with low carb counts.
- Grains: You’ll want to avoid grains like oatmeal and bread due to the high carb counts. Vegetarian diets traditionally rely on grains and carbs, so this is a bit more challenging on a keto vegetarian diet. You can check out LC Foods’ variety of low carb products that replace high carb grains like bread, bagels, biscuits and even pizza shells.
- Starchy vegetables: Generally speaking, vegetables that grow underground, like potatoes, carrots and parsnips are higher in carbs than other vegetables that grow above the ground.
- Milk: Unless you are using LC Foods’ low carb milk mix, you will want to avoid milk due to the high carbohydrate count.
Recipes to Try
Here are a few vegetarian keto recipes for you to try out! LC Foods offers a variety of low carb replacements for traditionally high carb food items. All of our products are high protein, high fiber and low carb. Many contain a hearty dose of healthy fats to keep you in ketosis too. LC Foods can help give you more variety in your vegetarian keto diet.
Sources: Diet Doctor and Healthline