Vegetarian Keto Diet: Basic Guide,1-day Sample Menu, Benefits

Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by Richard

The vegetarian keto diet consists of a nutritional plan where the nutritional aspects of vegetarianism and the ketogenic diet are combined.

It should be noted that most vegetarians consume food of animal origin, such as eggs and dairy products, but avoid eating meat and fish.

On the other hand, the ketogenic diet limits carbohydrate intake to an amount between 20 and 50 grams per day.

Very low carbohydrate intake produces a metabolic state in which the body begins to burn fat to produce energy instead of glucose.

During a common ketogenic diet, about 70% of total daily calories should come from fat, including sources such as oil, meat, fish, and dairy products.

However, the vegetarian keto diet eliminates the consumption of meat and fish, consuming other healthy fats, such as coconut oil, eggs, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Article written by Dr. Helcio Ferreira. Comments (in green) by Richard Quick.

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What Is The Ketogenic Diet, and How Should It Start?

The ketogenic diet is planned to burn fat, from fat and protein, instead of carbohydrates, through a metabolic process called ketosis.

In the traditional diet, carbohydrates provide the necessary energy through the production of glucose. In the ketogenic diet, the body obtains energy from the metabolization of fats and the production of ketone bodies.

The ketogenic diet has been endorsed by various scientific studies that affirm its benefits as a therapeutic diet for weight loss, especially in people suffering from obesity.

In addition, it also allows to reduce and relieve the symptoms of various degenerative diseases. Such as Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s diseases.

Low carb diets such as a vegetarian ketogenic diet can also provide important benefits to prevent diabetes and reduce the effect of your symptoms. It can also lower cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. [1]

What Would A Vegetarian Keto Diet Be Like?

The first thing to do, to eat a keto diet as a vegetarian, is to start distinguishing between simple and complex carbohydrates.

One of the frequent mistakes in vegetarians is that they base their diet on flour and cereals, which can cause them to gain weight.

To reduce carbohydrate intake and thus maintain a keto diet, you must distinguish between good and bad. In addition to taking into account what are the appropriate amounts you should consume each day.

What Low Carb Foods Can You Eat In The Vegetarian Keto Diet?

Since the key to the keto diet is to reduce carbohydrate intake, you should find those vegetarian foods that provide the most nutrients with low carbohydrate content.

Some of these options are those derived from soy, such as tofu, tempeh, or soy protein powder, in addition to vegetables, the basis of any healthy vegetarian diet.

With all these foods, you can create vegetarian menus that allow you to follow the keto diet and make your body begin to burn fat instead of carbohydrates and thus lose weight.

Hemp hearts (hemp seeds) are very low glycemic and contain only 2 grams of carbohydrates per 1/4 cup (30 grams) of seeds. [4]

Also, half of those carbohydrates are fibers, which your gut bacteria need.

Keto Vegetarian Diet Tips

To make the diet more effective, you will have to take into account some things. For example, the size of your dishes and the foods you eat.

Try to be somewhat moderate so as not to exceed your personal calorie intake goal. Which should be around 1,400 or 1,500 a day, depending on your physical activity.

The second most important tip is that if you exercise every day, you will not only lose weight faster and faster, but you will be much healthier and fitter.

Finally, we recommend that if you have any disease or condition that should be consulted with a doctor, go to him before starting this diet. Have your doctor give you the necessary instructions that pertain to your medical history.

Vegetarian Keto Diet: Is It Possible?

Vegetarians can make the keto diet without any problem. Although the main challenge will be to get adequate protein sources to meet your daily requirements. That is, without exceeding the maximum daily carbohydrate intake.

Although meat and animal-derived proteins provide the necessary energy during the ketogenic diet, it is possible to find foods that can replace those energy sources.

Following a vegetarian ketogenic diet can provide all the advantages of eliminating the consumption of animal proteins and processed foods.

Decreasing the consumption of processed foods can help decrease chronic inflammation, abdominal gas inflammation, and digestive problems. [2]

Essentially, a diet based on vegetable consumption can help you develop healthy eating habits with important detoxification properties.

Healthy Fats For The Vegetarian Keto Diet

Healthy fats are an important source of energy and commonly have low carbohydrate content. So they should be included as the main source of energy.

Richard says: Healthy fats include these three all time favorites: olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados. However, hemp seed oil and flax seed oil are two of my favorites.

Following a vegetarian ketogenic diet can represent a significant change because it is very different from following a common vegetarian diet.

During the vegetarian ketogenic diet, you will not be able to replace animal foods with simple carbohydrates. Or with high amounts of starch and sugar, such as pasta, bread or cookies.

It is also not recommended to excessively eat large amounts of beans, due to their high carbohydrate content.

That is why it is necessary to follow a guide on how to eat properly on a vegetarian ketogenic diet.

Important Foods For The Vegetarian Keto Diet

Proteins and fats are an important source of energy to maintain ketosis after depriving carbohydrate intake. Foods high in healthy fats are important to get the necessary energy.

The main sources of energy with low carbohydrate content are:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado

Personally, I don’t like coconut oil. So, I take flaxseed oil. 

Dairy Products For The Vegetarian Ketogenic Diet

Dairy products are an excellent nutritional option that you can include as a vegetarian in the ketogenic diet.

It is important to select the right dairy products with the necessary nutrients to maintain ketosis.

When choosing a dairy product, be sure to choose low carb options, and avoid sugary products with excessive artificial components.

The best options such as dairy foods for the vegetarian keto diet are those that concentrate the greatest amount of protein and fat. Such as yogurt, cottage cheese, butter, and fermented dairy products.

You should avoid processed chocolate drinks, milk, and sugar-flavored yogurts.

The Dairy Products That You Can Include In Your Vegetarian Keto Diet Are:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese

Low Carb Vegetable Options

Vegetables do not provide significant amounts of fat. When selecting vegetables, you must ensure that they are low in carbohydrates and do not contain excessive amounts of starch.

The most appropriate vegetables are:

  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Celery

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Sources Of Protein For The Vegetarian Ketogenic Diet

The foods allowed in the vegetarian ketogenic diet that provides protein are the following:

  • Egg whites
  • natural yogurt
  • white cheeses
  • Whole dried fruits such as nuts, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios
  • Soy and its derivatives, such as soy milk and tofu.
  • Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas.
  • Mushrooms
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, peas, kale, and spinach.
  • Quinoa
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pure cocoa
  • Spirulina
  • Meat substitutes: tempeh, seitan, quorn, and soy.

Quorn contains 51% Mycoprotein which is made from mushrooms. Mushrooms provide sulfur compounds that are absolutely necessary for good health.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of kinds of mushrooms. I do not know what kinds of mushrooms that are used in these products.

Nuts and Seeds For The Vegetarian Keto Diet

Nuts and seeds can provide significant amounts of healthy fats for energy during the ketogenic diet, but you should be careful because of their high carbohydrate content. A small portion of nuts as snacks or to include in your recipes will be enough.

The most appropriate nuts or seeds are:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds

The Best Sources Of Protein For The Vegan Ketogenic Diet

Eating enough protein to maintain muscle mass is already quite difficult in any vegetarian diet.

So, it can be a complete challenge to combine veganism with the ketogenic diet, because veganism excludes all protein sources of animal origin.

Also, the daily consumption of carbohydrates should be considerably reduced. Which limits the amount of proteins from vegetables, such as legumes.

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Protein Foods For The Vegetarian Ketogenic Diet

  1. Tofu

The popular tofu of oriental cuisine is an excellent way to replace the most common meat products, due to its high content of vegetable proteins provided by soybeans. It also adds calcium and other nutrients.

Its neutral taste is a characteristic that makes it better to absorb the flavors of spices and other vegetable ingredients.

If you season and marinate your tofu wisely before cooking it, it will be delicious to include in your recipes.

  • Tempeh

Tempeh, food of Indonesian origin, is based on fermented soybeans, which makes it a more digestive food.

Its texture is grainy and firmer than that of tofu. Do not press it to remove excess water. Just cut it and grind it in a food processor to consume it as a substitute for fish or ground meat.

If you feel that it tastes a little bitter, steam it a few minutes before eating it.

  • Seitan

Preparation of macrobiotic cuisine that became popular with the name “wheat meat.”

It is made based on gluten, a group of compounds found in wheat that represent up to 90% of the protein intake of that cereal.

Soy sauce and seaweed reinforce its vegan protein content, while ginger and garlic provide flavor, aroma, and nutrients. It is very low in fat and contains iron.

It is contraindicated in people with gluten sensitivity.

Hemp hearts (hemp seeds) provide a source of complete protein, with 10 grams of protein in just 1/4 cup of hemp hearts. [4]

Hemp hearts provide ALL of the amino acids that your body requires to build the proteins your body needs.

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Vegetarian Keto Meal Plan


  • Breakfast: Keto porridge made with whole coconut milk, with ground flax seeds, chia seeds, and unsweetened grated coconut.
  • Lunch: Vegan cream with low-carb vegetable soup.
  • Dinner: Cauliflower stir fry with rice and tofu.


  • Breakfast: Scrambled tofu with vegan cheese and avocado.
  • Lunch: Zucchini noodles with nut pesto and vegan cheese.
  • Dinner: Vegan nut chili with vegan cheese and avocado slices.

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  • Breakfast: Chia pudding with whole coconut milk and sliced ​​almonds.
  • Lunch: Creamy coconut and cauliflower soup.
  • Dinner: Shirataki noodles with mushrooms and Alfredo vegan sauce.


  • Breakfast: Whole coconut yogurt with nuts, seeds, and unsweetened grated coconut.
  • Lunch: Tofu, vegetables, and coconut curry.
  • Dinner: Pizza with cauliflower dough with non-starchy vegetables and vegan cheese.


  • Breakfast: Scrambled tofu with vegan cheese, mushrooms, and spinach.
  • Lunch: Vegetable and tofu salad with avocado dressing.
  • Dinner: Eggplant Lasagna with vegan cheese.


  • Breakfast: Smoothie vegan keto with whole coconut milk, almond butter, coconut powder, and vegan protein powder.
  • Lunch: Vegetable and tofu salad with avocado dressing.
  • Dinner: Rice and fried cauliflower.


  • Breakfast: Coconut, almond, and chia pudding.
  • Lunch: Green salad with tempeh and avocado, vegan cheese, non-starchy vegetables, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Dinner: Cauliflower with vegan cheese.

Vegan Keto Snacks

Try these snacks to keep your appetite at bay between meals:

  • Sliced ​​cucumber with vegan cheese cream
  • Coconut fat bombs (high-fat snacks with coconut butter, coconut oil, and grated coconut)
  • Nuts and coconut bars
  • Coconut milk and cocoa smoothie
  • Mixed nuts, seeds, and unsweetened coconut
  • Dried coconut flakes
  • Toasted Pumpkin Pipes (toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • Celery sticks with almond butter
  • Coconut milk yogurt with chopped almonds
  • Olives stuffed with vegan cheese
  • Guacamole and sliced ​​pepper
  • Tater cauliflower tots
  • Coconut cream with berries

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Supplements For The Vegetarian Ketogenic Diet

The vegetarian ketogenic diet allows the consumption of animal products such as eggs and dairy products. Which allows the incorporation of critical nutrients for a good state of health.

These nutrients include vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and iron. It is possible that, even if these are provided, it is done insufficiently, making it necessary to use a supplement. [3]

  1. B12 vitamin

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is essential in some cellular replication processes since it is involved in the formation and regulation of DNA.

Also, in the development of myelin sheaths of neuron extensions, as well as in the formation of blood cells in the bone marrow.

This vitamin is normally obtained mainly from the intake of products of animal origin.

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Its elaboration occurs from bacteria that live in symbiosis with their animal hosts. For this reason, when suppressing the consumption of animal proteins and fats, it is necessary to supplement this vitamin.

  • Calcium

Calcium is an important mineral of the intracellular matrix, and is involved in a wide variety of metabolic processes.

That is in addition to being the main mineral component of the bone mineral matrix. It is found mainly in dairy products and meat.

Although many vegetables contain calcium, this is in a form that has little bioavailability. That is, it is not completely absorbed at the intestinal level.

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So vegetarian diets usually require that it be given as a supplement to prevent the appearance of disorders such as osteopenia.

Tips For Beginner Vegetarians

  • Sweeteners can be used to sweeten food and drinks.
  • You can use all the dried spices you want.
  • The use of some supplements such as vitamin B 12 and calcium supplements may be necessary.
  • The carbohydrates to be used must be low glycemic (without starch).
  • The fruits allowed to be used as a source of carbohydrates are blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

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  1. Ketogenic Diet

2. Vegetarian diets: what are the advantages?

3. Vegan diets: practical advice for athletes and exercisers

4. Hemp hearts

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Vegetarian Keto Diet: Basic Guide,1-day Sample Menu, Benefits
A vegan keto diet can be more of a challenge than a vegetarian keto diet, but the benefits to your waistline and health are worth it. Knowing what foods to eat and how to prepare them is the biggest obstacle to success. So, here is what you need to get started towards that thin, vibrant, healthy body, you desire so much.
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