Key Facts You Need to Know About the Vegetarian Keto Diet

Who should consider the keto diet—regular or vegetarian?

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According to dietitians, there are several types of people who should consider the keto diet. While many people look to the diet for weight loss, the keto plan has other potential health benefits. Those with epilepsy may see improvement on the diet; people with diabetes may also see drastic changes in their health. However, notes Diane Vizthum, a dietitian at the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at Johns Hopkins, people with chronic health issues should be under the care of a doctor when starting these programs because of the need to monitor their medications. And, she added, anyone who is undertaking a new diet regimen should make his or her physician aware of it. Find out the 10 things doctors want you to know about the keto diet.

“If you are considering starting any kind of ketogenic diet, you should discuss it first with your doctor. The diet may be harmful if you have existing kidney, liver, or heart disease. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure and are on medications, you should be in close contact with your physician to monitor changes and adjust medications as needed,” Vizthum says.

Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says, “Following a vegetarian diet is not dangerous and can have many health benefits. A balanced vegetarian diet provides all essential nutrients and is lower in saturated fat.” Learn the 10 ways the keto diet can backfire.

What can you eat as a ketotarian?

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The vegetarian keto diet menu will include leafy greens and aboveground vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and green beans, as well as high-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, avocados, berries, sweeteners, oils, and fats. According to Vizthum, ketotarians should ensure that they fit plenty of nuts, seeds (including flax and chia), tofu, seitan, tempeh, eggs, cheese, cream, vegetables, avocados, olives, olive oil, canola oil, and butter into their diets for optimal results. You can make “treats” to help cravings, like chocolate avocado ice cream, from compliant ingredients.

What should you avoid?

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The list is very similar to the regular keto diet (except you’re avoiding meat): Be sure to steer clear of grains, sugar, fruit (except for occasional berries), and tubers, like yams and sweet potatoes, while following the vegetarian keto diet. Here’s what you need to know about the keto diet before you start.

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