Vegan Wonder

Unlock the Power of Vegan Keto: Delicious Low-Carb, High-Fat Plant-Based Meals

If you’re a vegan who is intrigued by the ketogenic diet but not sure how to combine the two, look no further. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to create mouth-watering, nutrient-dense meals that will keep you in a state of fat-burning bliss. Here’s how to enjoy the best of both worlds and take your health to new heights.

The Vegan Keto Advantage

The ketogenic diet (often referred to as “keto”) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that can provide numerous health benefits. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, causing the body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis. In this state, the body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. This can lead to weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, and a host of other health benefits.

The vegan diet, on the other hand, is a plant-based diet that excludes all animal products. It is often chosen for ethical, environmental, or health reasons. While a well-planned vegan diet can be very healthy, it can be challenging to get enough protein and certain nutrients, such as iron and vitamin B12, without animal products.

By combining the ketogenic diet with a vegan lifestyle, you can enjoy the benefits of both. A vegan keto diet can provide all the benefits of ketosis while also offering the ethical, environmental, and health advantages of a plant-based diet. It can be a bit tricky to navigate at first, but with some knowledge and planning, it can be a delicious and sustainable way of eating.

Principles of Ketosis

To understand how a vegan keto diet works, you first need to know the basics of the ketogenic diet. When you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake, your body goes into a state of ketosis. This means it starts burning fat for energy instead of carbs. The liver converts fat into molecules called ketones, which are then used as energy by the body.

The exact macronutrient ratios needed to reach ketosis can vary from person to person. However, a general guideline is to aim for 70% of your daily calorie intake from fat, 25% from protein, and less than 5% from carbs.

It’s important to note that everyone is different, and some people may need to adjust these ratios to achieve ketosis. It can take some trial and error to find what works best for you. Keep in mind that it may take several days to a week or two to fully adapt to a ketogenic diet and enter ketosis. During this time, you may experience some mild side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, or fatigue, commonly referred to as the “keto flu.” (More on this later.)

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the ketogenic diet let’s discuss the benefits of a vegan diet. A well-planned vegan diet can be very healthy. Plant-based foods are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also typically lower in saturated fat than animal products.

One of the main challenges of a vegan diet is getting enough protein. However, with careful planning, it is possible to meet your protein needs through plant-based sources. Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts, and seeds are all good sources of protein. It’s also important to eat a variety of plant-based foods to ensure you’re getting all the essential amino acids your body needs.

Another challenge of a vegan diet is getting enough iron and vitamin B12. Iron is important for making red blood cells, while vitamin B12 is needed for nerve function and the production of red blood cells. Animal products are the best sources of these nutrients, so it can be challenging to get enough on a vegan diet. However, there are plant-based sources of iron and vitamin B12. Iron-rich plant foods include spinach, lentils, chickpeas, and fortified cereals. Vitamin B12 can be obtained through fortified plant milks, nutritional yeast, and certain algae supplements.

Besides the health benefits, many people choose a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons. They want to reduce animal suffering and do their part to address climate change and animal welfare issues. A vegan diet is also more sustainable than an animal-based diet, as it requires fewer resources like water and land.

Mastering Vegan Keto Macros

Now that we’ve covered the basics of both the ketogenic diet and veganism let’s discuss how to combine the two. The main challenge of a vegan keto diet is getting enough fat while keeping carbs low. Fat should make up around 70% of your daily calorie intake, so you’ll need to eat a lot of high-fat plant-based foods.

One way to calculate your macronutrient ratios is to use an online keto calculator. Simply enter your age, sex, weight, and activity level, and the calculator will give you an estimate of how many calories, grams of fat, protein, and carbs you need to meet your daily energy needs and enter ketosis. Keep in mind that these are just estimates and you may need to adjust your macronutrient ratios based on how your body responds.

To lose weight on a ketogenic diet, you’ll need to create a calorie deficit. This means you need to eat fewer calories than your body uses. A general guideline is to aim for a 500-calorie deficit per day. However, on a vegan keto diet, you may find that you feel better eating at or slightly above your maintenance calories. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

When planning your meals, focus on nutrient-dense, whole foods. This will help you get all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need while still keeping carbs low. Some good options for high-fat plant-based foods include:

  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)
  • Avocados
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Nut butters (almond, peanut, sunflower)
  • Dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa solids)

In addition to high-fat plant-based foods, you can also eat low-carb vegetables and fruits. Some good options include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Lemons and limes

You can also get creative with plant-based alternatives to animal products. For example, you can use:

  • Tofu or tempeh as a source of protein
  • Nutritional yeast as a source of vitamin B12 and a cheesy flavor
  • Coconut milk as a source of healthy fats
  • Soy or almond milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D

It’s important to note that some plant-based foods contain natural sugars and can be higher in carbs than you might think. For example, sweet potatoes, corn, and pineapple all contain more carbs than you might expect. It’s best to limit these foods or only eat them in small amounts.

It can take some trial and error to find the right balance of macronutrients on a vegan keto diet. Some people may need to eat more fat or fewer carbs than others to reach ketosis. Listen to your body and adjust your diet accordingly. If you’re struggling to lose weight or enter ketosis, you may need to eat less or more calories than you think. A food diary or tracking app can help you keep track of what you’re eating and how it’s affecting your body.

Vegan Keto Meal Planning

Now that we’ve covered the basics of a vegan keto diet let’s talk about how to put it into practice. One of the biggest challenges of any diet is meal planning. You want to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need while also sticking to your macronutrient ratios. Here are some ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that should help you get started.

Breakfast Ideas

Chia Pudding with Berries: Mix together 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, top with sliced strawberries and a handful of almonds.

Avocado Toast with Tofu Scramble: Mash together 1/2 avocado, salt, and pepper. Spread on a slice of gluten-free bread. Cook 1/2 a block of tofu with olive oil, garlic, and turmeric. Top with fresh greens and salsa.

Lunch and Dinner Ideas

Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry: Cook 1 head cauliflower rice in olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, and carrots. Cook until softened. Add soy sauce and sesame seeds to taste. Serve with sliced avocado.

Zucchini Noodle Bolognese: Cook 1 pound ground tempeh with olive oil, garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt. Serve over zucchini noodles.

Roasted Vegetable Medley with Tahini Dressing: Roast a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts, in olive oil and salt until tender. Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, salt, and olive oil to make a dressing. Drizzle over roasted vegetables.

Snacks and Desserts

Vegan keto diets can be challenging when it comes to snacks and desserts. Most treats are high in carbs, so you need to be creative if you want to enjoy something sweet without breaking your diet. Here are some ideas for vegan keto-friendly snacks and desserts:

  • Keto Nut Butter Cups: Melt sugar-free chocolate over a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in nut butter. Pour into silicone molds and refrigerate until set.
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Spread raw pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 300°F until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Coconut Chia Pudding: Mix together 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse: Blend 1 ripe avocado, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt until smooth.

When it comes to snacks, focus on whole foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados. These are all high in fat and relatively low in carbs.

Troubleshooting and Tips

Now that you know how to start a vegan keto diet let’s discuss some common challenges and how to overcome them.

Dealing with Keto Flu

As mentioned earlier, transitioning to a ketogenic diet can cause some mild side effects, commonly referred to as the “keto flu.” Symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty sleeping

These symptoms are usually temporary and go away once your body has adapted to using fat for energy instead of carbs. However, they can be unpleasant. To minimize the chances of getting keto flu, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating enough salt. You may also want to consider taking an electrolyte supplement.

If you do experience keto flu, there are some things you can do to feel better:

  • Drink plenty of water and electrolytes. You may want to consider using a salt lamp to help you absorb more salt.
  • Get plenty of rest. Fatigue is a common symptom of keto flu, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  • Eat more fat. If you’re not getting enough fat on a ketogenic diet, you may experience energy crashes. Make sure you’re eating enough high-fat plant-based foods.
  • Consider taking a Magnesium supplement. Many people experience muscle cramps when starting a ketogenic diet, which is often due to magnesium deficiency.

If your symptoms are severe or persist for more than a week, you may want to consult a healthcare professional. While rare, there are some medical conditions that can make it difficult for people to enter ketosis or cause symptoms similar to keto flu.

Increasing Fiber Intake

One challenge of a vegan keto diet is getting enough fiber while keeping carbs low. Fiber is important for digestive health and can help you feel full and satisfied. Many plant-based foods are high in fiber, but they also contain natural sugars, which can make it difficult to keep carbs low.

To get around this, you may want to focus on low-carb vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli. You can also eat nuts and seeds in moderation, as they are high in both fiber and healthy fats.

Another option is to use a fiber supplement. Psyllium husk is a popular option that can help increase fiber intake without adding many carbs. Just make sure to drink plenty of water when taking a fiber supplement to prevent constipation.

If you’re struggling to get enough fiber on a vegan keto diet, you may need to eat more vegetables or consider using a fiber supplement.

Meal Prepping Strategies

Meal prepping is a great way to save time and ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need on a vegan keto diet. Here are some tips for meal prepping:

  • Cook in batches. For example, if you’re making zucchini noodles with marinara sauce, cook enough for several meals.
  • Use a meal prep service. There are several companies that offer vegan keto meal prep services. This can be a convenient option if you don’t have time to cook or don’t want to plan out your meals.
  • Freeze leftovers. If you cook more than you need for one meal, freeze the extras for later. This can save time and help you avoid ordering takeout.

Meal prepping can be a great way to save time and ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need on a vegan keto diet. By cooking in batches, using a meal prep service, or freezing leftovers, you can easily have healthy, delicious meals ready to go.

Dining Out and Travel Tips

Dining out or traveling can be challenging when you’re on a strict diet. However, with a little planning, you should be able to stick to your vegan keto diet even when you’re not at home.

  • Research restaurants beforehand. Check the menu online and call the restaurant to ask about options. Many restaurants now offer plant-based options, but you may need to make some modifications to keep it low-carb.
  • Bring snacks. If you’re traveling or going to be out for the day, bring your own snacks. This can help you avoid temptation and ensure you have something to eat if you’re not able to find a good option.
  • Stay flexible. If you’re unable to find a good option, be open to modifying your diet for the day. For example, you may need to eat more fat or fewer carbs than usual to make up for it.

Dining out or traveling can be challenging on any diet, but with a little planning, you should be able to stick to your vegan keto diet even when you’re not at home. By researching restaurants beforehand, bringing snacks, and staying flexible, you can enjoy your trip or night out without derailing your progress.


A vegan keto diet can be a powerful combination of two popular dietary approaches. By eliminating animal products and focusing on whole, plant-based foods, you can enjoy the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a vegan diet while also reaping the rewards of a high-fat, low-carb lifestyle. With some careful planning and creativity in the kitchen, you can easily meet your nutritional needs while staying in ketosis.