An Overview of a Plant Based Keto Diet
Some people may consider a plant based keto diet restrictive, but we are here to show you how easy it can be. You can definitely follow a keto diet while remaining 100% plant based. By following a plant based keto diet you can get healthy, lose weight, help out the planet and be an advocate for animals! (1)
Plant Based Keto Diet Rules:
- Limit your entire carbohydrate consumption to a maximum of 35 grams or less per day
- Eliminate all animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and cheese
- Eat an abundance of low carb vegetables
- Get a minimum of 70% of your calories from plant based fat sources
- Consume approximately 25% of your calories from plant based protein sources
- Supplement with vitamin and minerals that you may be lacking such as B12, B6, DHA, EAP, Iron, Taurine, Zinc and vitamin D3 (2)
How To Limit Carbs on a Plant Based Keto Diet
It seems challenging to restrict carbohydrate consumption on a daily basis, so how are you supposed to do it following a plant based keto diet? Here is a basic list of high carb foods that you should completely eliminate immediately:
Do Not Eat These Foods on a Plant Based Keto Diet
- Grains – cereal, corn, rice, wheat, etc.
- Legumes – black beans, peas, lentils, etc.
- Sugar – agave, honey, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit – apples, bananas, pineapple, etc.
- Tubers – potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, etc.
Eat These Foods on a Plant Based Keto Diet
Here is a list of low carb plant based foods that you can eat on a plant based keto diet:
- Plant-Based “meats” – tempeh, tofu, seitan, etc.
- Mushrooms – button, morels, cremini, etc.
- Leafy greens – collards, kale, spinach, etc.
- Above ground vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, etc.
- High fat plant based “dairy” – coconut cream, plant based cheese, unsweetened coconut yogurt
- Nuts / Seeds – almonds, cashews, macadamia, hemp seeds, etc.
- Berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
- Fermented foods – sauerkraut, Kimchi, natto, pickled vegetables, etc.
- Sea vegetables – kelp, dulse, arame, etc.
- Sweeteners – erythritol, monk fruit, stevia, etc.
- Fats – avocado, coconut oil, MCT oil, etc.
How to Eat Enough Fat on a Plant Based Keto Diet
Here is a list of the fats and oils that you can eat while on a plant based keto diet:
Coconut oil is perfect for making desserts, fat bombs, and cooking/baking under 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It provides both medium and long chain fatty acids that are ideal fuel sources for the keto diet.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, contains large amounts of antioxidants, and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Avocado oil contains a higher amount of healthy monounsaturated fats than any other commonly available oil on the market. It also boasts the highest smoke point at 520 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it perfect for baking, cooking and deep-frying.
This oil is derived from palm and coconut oil. MCT oil is loaded with medium chain triglycerides that are saturated fatty acids, which go directly to the liver where they are converted into ketones for fuel. If you need an immediate energy boost, simply add MCT oil into your salads, sauces, smoothies, coffee or tea.
High Fat Foods for a Plant Based Keto Diet
Avocado is the perfect food for a plant based keto diet. It is high in monounsaturated fats, and is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A perfect plant based dessert is as simple as blending avocado together with cacao powder, vanilla extract, and stevia.
Nuts are packed with many different types of essential fats. Macadamia and cashews are the best for a plant based keto diet because they contain the highest amount of monounsaturated fats and have the lowest amount of omega 6 fats. One tip with nuts though – be aware of how many carbs they contain and limit your consumption accordingly.
Flax, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower are excellent choices for a plant based keto diet. They do contain higher levels of omega 6 fats so eat them in moderation only.
Protein Sources for a Plant Based Keto Diet
You can still get enough protein even though you have to avoid beans, lentils and peas. Here are your options:
Tofu is made from soybeans and it is high in both calcium and protein. It has a unique bland flavor, which makes it perfect for absorbing any spices or marinade you choose. If you like a meaty texture simply buy the extra firm variety and press it until all of the water has been expelled. Or you can also freeze it and then press it when it defrosts.
Tempeh has a grainy texture and is much more firm than tofu. It is made from fermented soybeans. Unlike tofu, you do not need to press out the water. Simply cut it up, grind it or slice it and cook. Sometimes it can be bitter so to avoid that simply steam it for a few minutes prior to cooking.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten, tamari (soy sauce), garlic, ginger and seaweed. It is high in protein, low in fat and it’s loaded with iron. It contains a high amount of gluten so if you are gluten free, it’s best to avoid this option.
Processed Plant Based Meats
There are quite a few processed plant based meat options on the market. Make sure to carefully read the ingredient list and carbohydrate content. Make sure it doesn’t have added sugars and look for one with the least amount of ingredients.
Nuts / Seeds
Nuts are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals!
The nuts and seeds with the highest protein (per 100g) are:
- Pumpkin seeds – 30 grams of protein
- Pistachios – 21 grams of protein
- Almonds – 21 grams of protein
- Sunflower seeds – 19 grams of protein
- Flaxseeds – 18 grams of protein
Make sure to be aware of the carb content (per 100 grams):
- Pumpkin seeds – 54 grams of carbs
- Pistachios – 28 grams of carbs
- Almonds – 22 grams of carbs
- Sunflower seeds – 20 grams of carbs
- Flaxseeds – 29 grams of carbs
Plant Based Protein Powder
Plant-Based protein powder will go a long way towards achieving your protein intake on a plant based keto diet. You don’t need to have a shake with every meal. Just make sure to have a smoothie once per day or add a flavorless pea protein to sauces, burgers, or nice cream.
Sample Plant Based Keto Diet Meal Plan with Recipes
Plant Based Keto Breakfast Recipe:
Hemp Seed Breakfast Bowl
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seed
- Cinnamon, frozen berries and Stevia to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl except the berries. Add one half cup of boiling water to the mixture and allow it to thicken and cool slightly. When it has cooled sufficiently, add berries to the top and enjoy!
Plant Based Keto Lunch Recipe:
Santa Fe Cauliflower Rice
- 3 cups Cauliflower Florets (stems removed and washed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 3-4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1 jalapeno (finely chopped)
- 2 medium Tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 3/4 cup diced Bell Peppers
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika Powder (or red chilli powder)
- 1 tablespoon chopped Coriander (or Cilantro)
- Salt to taste
- More cilantro, sliced avocados, jalapenos, lime juice etc for topping
- Add cauliflower pieces to a food processor or chop until pieces are tiny like rice. Don’t over process.
- Heat skillet to medium high and add oil, onions, garlic, and jalapenos. Stir-fry until onion is translucent and garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, cumin, paprika and salt to the pan. Cook tomatoes until they soften. Add peppers and cauliflower to the pan and stir to combine. Sauté for five minutes.
- Top with your choice of toppings and enjoy.
Plant Based Keto Dinner Recipe:
Plant Based Egg Roll Bowl
- 1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- 2 portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T toasted sesame oil
- 1-2 T coconut aminos
- 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
- Salt (if needed)
- 1/4 cup green onions (optional for garnish)
- In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add onion and toasted sesame oil. Cover and cook for several minutes until the onions soften.
- Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook for approximately 7-10 minutes, making sure to stir.
- Taste. Add salt if necessary.
- Serve with toasted sesame seeds and green onions as garnish.
Plant Based Keto Dessert Recipe:
Plant Based Keto Fudge
- 2 ounces sugar free chocolate (or 2 ounces baker’s chocolate with 10 drops liquid stevia)
- ½ cup nut butter of your choice (macadamia and cashew are good choices)
- Line container with wax or parchment paper
- Melt chocolate and nut butter together. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Pour mixture into lined container and chill for 45 minutes until hard.
- Remove from refrigerator, cut into pieces and enjoy.