Can you be a keto vegan?
Have you been thinking about becoming a keto vegan? Maybe you are asking yourself what keto vegan is? Are you ready to eliminate meat on keto? If you are vegan, perhaps you feel skeptical about going keto and didn’t even think keto existed without meat? If any of this sounds like you, then you have come to the right article! In this blog post, I am going to go through what a keto vegan entails, and then you can decide whether it is right for you or not. If it is something you want to do, then there are many great benefits to eliminating meat! However, I am here to tell you; it is not for everyone ( myself included)!
What is a keto vegan?
When you choose to go keto vegan, you opt to eliminate all meat and dairy sources from your ketogenic diet. If you are already a vegan, this means cutting way back on your bean intake and eliminating starches. If you are keto, then this means you will need to eliminate all meat and dairy. So what do you eat for protein on a keto vegan diet? You will turn to tofu, tempeh, and vegetables. In some keto vegan plans, they include a small number of beans. The hard part is that all of these protein sources have carbs in them, so it is an intricate balance. You will have to learn to get enough protein while keeping your carbs low at the same time.
This is why I say that it is challenging to keep your carbs under 20-30 total carbs on a keto vegan diet! If you do that, you will also be sacrificing protein, which is very hard on your body. If you are choosing to be a keto vegan, I think a more realistic goal for carbs would 30-50 net carbs or even more.
Is keto vegan right for you?
If you are interested in becoming a keto vegan, then that is entirely up to you! I think that there are many benefits to being a keto vegan; one of the biggest ones is decreased inflammation. If I had to choose, I would say that being a keto vegetarian is probably more optimal because at least you can still eat eggs. Overall, a keto pescatarian option even better because fish is included, which adds an additional source of omega-3 and helps with B vitamins! Please read my article on the Three Benefits of a Low Carb Vegetarian Diet.
Now, if you have an allergy to eggs and fish or can’t #deal with eating dairy/seafood, yes, keto vegan is perfect. There is nothing wrong with choosing to be a keto vegan! However, I think that specific individuals with an MTHFR deficiency may need to incorporate animal-based protein in their diets. I will explain further down below!
Have you tried to be a keto vegan or even vegan but have found that it makes you feel exhausted? If so, then I would highly recommend you have your clinician test you for an MTHFR deficiency. You may be saying, “what? “Let me briefly explain what MTHFR does for your body. You can think of MTHFR as an enzyme used to convert folic acid (vitamin B9) into folate’s active form, methyl-folate (5MTHF), and it is essential for B12.
Methylation is the biochemical superhighway that helps with your detoxification system, brain, gut, and immune health. If you have an MTHFR mutation, you may be at increased risk of chronic brain, hormonal, digestive, and autoimmune conditions if you don’t consume meat. Choline and vitamin B9 (folate) and B12 are essential for healthy methylation pathways. These nutrients are abundantly found in fish.1
These B vitamins are also found very richly in organ meats, beef, venison. If you are someone who does have this MTHFR deficiency, then if you do without these foods, it may be challenging for methylation to occur in your body. As a result, you will have a lot of fatigue and could develop vitamin B12 or folic acid types anemia and other ailments over time.
Supplementation with B Vitamins
Now, you may ask, “Can I supplement with B vitamins to help the methylation? “Sure! That is fine! But, one thing you must ask yourself is this, “If I can’t get these nutrients naturally from the foods I’m eating, is my diet optimal for my body?” Many vegans do turn to B vitamin supplementation to prevent anemias. However, if you have a MTHFR deficiency, it may make it more difficult and not ideal for you in the long run.
My Keto Vegan Story
Okay, so let me tell you my keto vegan story. I did a keto vegan diet for about two months and did enjoy it. I even came up with like 14 days of meal plans and recipes ( which I will feature soon)! However, I had to stop. The main reason that I aborted was that I was exhausted! Yes, I noticed a lot of my aches and pains improved! However, I had to ask myself, “Is it worth it if I am walking around like a zombie and tired?” No! It was not.
I even had my iron and ferritin levels tested by my chiropractor, Brett. She told me that I was becoming anemic and needed to supplement with B vitamins. I did do this, and it did help; however, I thought, “Do I want to have to supplement the rest of my life?” After long contemplation, I thought, “No,” and decided that I would instead get the nutrients from foods. So, I then decided to incorporate meat back into my diet.
Do you think I was disappointed? No, I was not. I can always do spurts of keto vegan for maybe a week or two to calm inflammation. However, I decided that it was not a long term lifestyle for me.
Keto Vegan for you
Now, just because I can’t be a keto vegan does not mean you can’t! I do think that there are a lot of tremendous benefits. I even really enjoyed the recipes! However, saying that, I feel like you need to use caution when doing a keto vegan diet. If you even think you have an MTHFR deficiency, get it checked out with a health care provider. If you do have a MTHFR deficiency, you will have to supplement if you choose to be a keto vegan. Even if you do not have this MTHFR deficiency, you still may need to supplement with B vitamins if you want to be a keto vegan. Or you may decide, “Hey, it’s not worth it, and I would rather get my B vitamins naturally from food.” It is entirely up to you! I don’t think that there is a right or wrong answer!
Your keto journey
In conclusion, the path you decide to go on when making your keto voyage is up to you. In my blog, I am pro keto vegan, vegetarian, or original keto! I am here to help you with whatever step you may choose. After all, the ultimate goal is to get you to better health! Soon, I hope to be getting a Work with Me page up, so I can do consultations one on one with you! I am also going to be starting a youtube channel soon and featuring interviews shortly. In the meantime, you can also listen to my podcast, Keto diet and chakra balance for your health.