Is a Vegan Keto Diet Possible? Here's What You Need to Know

Lizzy Rosenberg - Author

Dec. 18 2020, Published 11:42 a.m. ET

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Diets tend to come and go; however, one that's become increasingly popular over the last few years is the keto diet. While eating high amounts of fat and protein — and little-to-no carbohydrates — followers of the keto diet are supposedly able to lose weight more easily than others by achieving "ketosis," a physical state that is believed to burn body fat instead of carbohydrates.

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As the keto diet prohibits followers from consuming several plant-based, carb-laden staples, is it possible to follow a vegan and keto diet at the same time? We've researched if overlapping the two diets is possible, but take note: those interested should definitely consult a doctor before resorting to any type of weight loss diet.

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Can vegans follow the keto diet?

Because the vegan diet excludes animal products and heavily relies on carbohydrates for sustenance, one might think a vegan keto diet isn't possible, though that isn't the case. As per Onnit, vegans can reach the fat-burning physical state of "ketosis" by relying on plant-based fats, including: nuts, nut-based oils and butters; avocados and avocado oil; seeds, seed butters, and oils; olives; and approved vegetables. You may, however, have to cut out a few of your favorite plant-based staples.

Soy-based products are a point of contention for those abiding by a keto diet. A website called Keto Summit claims that soy-based products including soy milk and tofu are not keto-friendly for a few reasons: because they are processed foods, because they contain phytoestrogens (which have been proven to reduce breast cancer risk), and because they contain phytates (which can also play a role in preventing and treating breast cancer). Other sources such as Big Man's World, however, claim soy is a solid keto protein source.

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Obviously, pasta, bread, and rice are considered "foods to avoid" in the keto diet, along with "high sugar" fruits such as bananas and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, according to Diet Doctor. Beer, juices, sodas, candy, and any high sugar desserts are also banned from the keto diet.

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Are more vegans starting to resort to the keto diet?

It's difficult to say if both veganism and keto are becoming increasingly popular on their own, or if more vegans are turning to the keto diiet. However, the first vegan keto branded milk was just unleashed by a Texas-based brand called Mooala. According to Veg News, the dairy-free varieties are coconut cream-based, and they come in four tasty flavors, including: Cinnamon Roll, Chocolaty Chip, Vanilla Crème, and Original, of course. 

Although most nut milks are inherently keto, this is the first keto-branded milk being that's being marketed specifically as vegan, which leads us to believe more vegans are turning to the keto diet... or else, more people are just finally deciding to stop supporting the dairy industry, as it's been wreaking havoc on the environment for many years now.

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A vegan diet is also proven to come with several health benefits, from preventing heart disease to promoting weight loss. Many also resort to a vegan keto diet for the same reasons, but extensive research has not been done on intersecting the two diets, according to Healthline.

It seems as though following keto-vegan diets is totally doable, but as we said, if you do decide to start a new diet — whether it's keto, vegan or both — definitely consult your doctor beforehand to figure out what's best for your body.

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