A ketogenic diet has just a small number of carbohydrates. Protein and fats are the two sources of energy for individuals who are on this sort of diet.
A fully plant-based diet is free of animal derivatives, meaning it is often rather high in carbs. So, it is potentially trickier for vegans to be on keto diets. Even so, they can do so with thorough planning. Here, we will discuss how to be on a vegan ketogenic diet, the potential advantages of it, and the risks in doing it.
What Does A Vegan Ketogenic Diet Mean?
It is just a vegan version of a usual keto diet. It considerably limits carb intake and allows just plant-based food items. It has high amounts of fats, enough protein, and has no product derived from animals.
When there is a lack of carbs to utilize for energy, the human body enters a phase of ketosis where it should burn fat to have energy.
Several individuals are on the diet to reduce overall body fat and weight. They get much of their fat from animal derivatives, with high amounts of fat and low quantities of carbs. Vegans eat no animal derivative, so they should have much high fat and lots of plant-based food items, to get into ketosis.
What Are Its Advantages And Risks?
There exists no study that examines the advantages of this form of a ketogenic diet. Anyhow, many pieces of research have looked at the potential effects of an entirely plant-based diet and a ketogenic diet.
A randomized control trial (RCT) from 2014 explored how an eco-Atkins diet affects users. It is like a ketogenic diet in that both limit carb intake and bring about ketosis. Participants of the study followed either a high-carb vegetarian diet, including dairy products and eggs or a low-carb vegan diet.
The aforesaid vegan diet comprised 26% energy from carbs, 43% energy from fat and 31% energy from protein. On the other hand, the vegetarian diet comprised 58% energy from carbs, 25% energy from fat, and 16% energy from protein. The study discovered that the former diet resulted in a greater loss of weight, and greater reductions in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The discovery suggests that vegan diets that are very low in carbs result in more of the factors that increase the chance of heart disease.
Two of the other potential benefits are a reduced possibility of both diabetes and certain forms of cancer.
A study from 2014 on over 96,000 individuals suggests that vegans experience the following benefits.
- A 75% decline in the possibility of hypertension
- A 47% to 78% reduced chance of adult-onset diabetes
- A 14% reduced possibility of cancer
The research discovered that every vegan male had lesser chances of heart issues and of mortality due to cardiovascular conditions as compared to female vegans.
The diet is much more restrictive as compared to a usual vegan diet or standard ketogenic diet, so you should take more care when preparing meals. You are likely to experience the risks in following both diets.
Many researchers know the possible effects of a ketogenic diet that can last up to 24 months. Anyhow, the longer-term health results are not certain since there is not enough research about the diet.
Some individuals are likely to find it tricky to keep following a diet low in carbs for a long time. Some of the risks of the diet are as follows.
- Constipation because of insufficiency of fiber
- Kidney stones
- Heart disease because of excessive saturated fat
- Nutritional deficiency
It is not an appropriate diet for certain groups of individuals, including pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, or those who have the following issues.
- A past of disordered forms of eating
- Gallbladder conditions
- Pancreas issues
- Thyroid disorders
- Liver issues
When adjusting to the ketogenic diet and getting into ketosis, individuals are likely to experience ‘keto flu’, and by extension, the following complications.
- Difficulty focusing
- Mood swings
- Low energy
- Sleep issues
- Stomach issues
Being on a fully plant-based diet could be beneficial to health in many regards if you plan it well. As per the US-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, when properly planned, the aforesaid diet is healthy in all phases of life.
Anyhow, not planning it carefully means the diet could have only low amounts of essential nutrients, like iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin D to name some.
Followers of a vegan ketogenic diet should contemplate taking mineral and vitamin supplements, to confirm that they obtain sufficient essential nutrients. It is also important for them to talk to a medical professional before starting to follow this form of diet.