Vegetarian Keto diet: Benefits, foods to eat (and avoid), side-effects
You have probably already heard of the Ketogenic diet, one of the hottest diet buzzwords. The Keto diet encourages increased consumption of healthy fats, protein and lower intake of carbohydrates, to promote healthy weight loss. Although this particular diet recommends a lot of meats, it still has plenty to offer to vegetarians. Here's all you need to know about Keto diet for vegetarians.
But first, here's how the Keto diet works
The Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet, that aims at drastically reducing carbohydrates intake, and replacing it with fat/protein consumption. Such reduction in carbs leads your body to a metabolic state, known as ketosis. This helps your body to efficiently burn fat for energy. Additionally, it converts fat into ketones in the liver, thus contributing to energy supply to the brain.
These are the benefits of following the Keto diet
The Keto diet is known to offer various health-boosting benefits. It can help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels in the body, and promote healthy weight loss. It might also reduce risk of major health issues like certain cancers, heart disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Top foods to eat on vegetarian Keto-diet: Nuts and seeds
Rich in healthy mono-unsaturated fats, and low on carbohydrates, crunchy and delicious nuts and seeds are a great pick for vegetarians, who wish to follow the Keto diet. Some of the best available options are walnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, among others. Furthermore, they can also help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the body.
Have a good amount of dairy and leafy green veggies
Dairy: Go for good-quality dairy products (free from extra calories/flavors) in your vegetarian keto diet plan for a health boost. Some of the best picks are butter, cheese, plain yogurt, and milk. Leafy green veggies: Aim for as much of low-carb, leafy green veggies in your daily diet as possible. Some of the best buys are celery, cucumber, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, among others.
Include more of Avocado and coconut oil in your diet
Avocado: Avocado can be a great addition to a vegetarian Keto diet, as it contains good amount of healthy fats, while being considerably low on carbohydrates. It is also rich in potassium, magnesium, and other essential nutrients. Coconut oil: Rich in fatty acids, and low on carbohydrates, coconut oil can help you shed unwanted kilos, fast. Coconut milk, coconut water are also good alternatives.
Other top foods you should consider
In addition to the food items that have been mentioned, you should also look to increase your intake of all healthy oils (olive oil, avocado oil), non-starchy veggies (read broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms), berries and condiments (spices, salt, herbs, butter, and ghee).
But, stay away from these food items
When on a (vegetarian) Keto diet, you obviously need to completely cut your consumption of foods like meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood. Also, since you need to reduce your carbs consumption, try to avoid foods items like grains and starches, sweeteners, sugary drinks, beans and legumes, most fruits, high-carb alcoholic drinks (read beer and wine), and high-carb sauces and condiments.
The other side: Side effects of the Keto diet
When switching on to a Keto diet, there might be some side effects, as your body takes time to adapt. This is known as the Keto flu. Symptoms include poor energy, improper mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues and nausea. To minimize these effects, you may try a low-carb diet for the first couple of weeks, before turning to a completely zero-carb diet.