Vegan Keto Diet: Food List, Meal Plan, Benefits and Risks

Vegan Keto is becoming popular for people who prefer plant-based diets but want the benefits of ketosis. While this approach can be challenging, it is possible with proper planning. This comprehensive article will discuss the benefits, food list, and a simple meal plan to get you started.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Vegan Keto is the vegan way to induce ketosis.
  • It sticks to the keto macros using only plant-based options.
  • It shows promise for weight loss, blood sugar and blood pressure regulation, heart health, and cancer prevention, and can be more affordable in the long run.
  • Vegan Keto focuses on plant-based fats and allows vegan meat alternatives but does not allow grains, legumes, and starchy foods.
  • Careful planning and adherence to the keto macros are crucial to maintaining ketosis when doing Vegan Keto. 
  • Vegan Keto is prone to micronutrient deficiency, making supplementation necessary for some populations.

Table of Contents:

What Is the Vegan Keto Diet?

The Vegan Keto Diet combines veganism and the ketogenic diet. At its core, the diet eliminates all animal-derived products while emphasizing a low-carbohydrate and high-fat intake to induce a state of ketosis.

When in ketosis, the body will use fat for energy instead of glucose.1 By restricting carbohydrate intake, the Vegan Keto diet encourages fat loss.

The difference between traditional and Vegan Keto is the absence of all animal products, including meat, eggs, and dairy, in Vegan Keto. It only focuses on plant-based fat and protein.

Vegan Keto follows the following keto macros:

  • Carbohydrates: 5-10%
  • Protein: 15-20%
  • Fat: 70-75%

While Vegan Keto is not impossible, it is far more restrictive than traditional keto, making it more challenging to maintain ketosis.

vegan keto diet

Benefits of Vegan Keto

Before diving into the benefits, it’s crucial to note that there are not many studies on vegan keto, and the discussion below is based on data on keto and vegan diets, respectively.

Aids Weight Loss

Scientific studies support the efficacy of the Vegan Keto in facilitating weight loss. By restricting carbohydrate intake and promoting a state of ketosis, the body shifts to utilizing stored fat for energy. 

Both the vegan2 and keto diets have shown benefits for weight loss.3 Combined, the low carbohydrates and emphasis on whole foods promise a sustainable weight loss regimen. 

Reduces Blood Sugar Levels

Vegan Keto improves glycemic control. Studies highlight the correlation between carbohydrate restriction and reduced blood glucose levels.4 

Aside from glucose control, the keto diet has been proven to lower insulin resistance,5 which plays a role in diabetes control.

Studies also support the vegan diet’s ability to lower insulin resistance,6 but it can elevate triglyceride levels. Keto resolves this issue and promotes better insulin sensitivity. 

Regulates Blood Pressure

The focus on plant-based, low-carbohydrate, and unprocessed foods often results in low sodium intake, associated with improvements in systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings.7 

Improves Heart Health

Research reveals the potential cardiovascular benefits of the Vegan Keto. The diet’s emphasis on healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats from avocados8 and omega-3 fatty acids from nuts and seeds,9 has been linked to improved lipid profiles. 

Studies on ketosis also suggest a reduction in cardiovascular risk markers, including lower levels of triglycerides and improved HDL cholesterol levels.10

Lowers Cancer Risks

While research on the specific impact of the Vegan Keto Diet on cancer risks is ongoing, individual diet components have shown promise in cancer prevention.

Plant-based diets are associated with a decreased risk of certain cancers, like colorectal and breast cancer,11 and the metabolic state of ketosis also shows potential anti-cancer effects and improves quality of life.12 

Can Be Affordable

Contrary to the assumption that plant-based diets are expensive, they can be economically feasible in the long run. 

Vegan Keto can be cost-effective by prioritizing whole, locally produced foods and avoiding costly specialty items.

No Additives or Preservatives

The lack of additives in Vegan Keto offers numerous benefits. Regular consumption of artificial ingredients and preservatives may disrupt the gut microbiota, resulting in insulin resistance.13 

Moreover, prolonged use of artificial sweeteners14 has also been proven to increase the risks of developing cancer.15 

Vegan Keto Food List

This section will provide the Vegan Keto food list to help you start. The food list consists of nutritional information per 100 grams. The carbohydrates listed are net carbs.

vegan keto food meal prep

Vegan Meats:

  • Tofu: 3g carbs, 17g protein, and 9g fat.
  • Tempeh: 7.6g carbs, 20g protein, and 11g fat
  • Seitan: 7g carbs, 75g protein, and 1.9g fat 
  • Beyond Meat (plant-based patties, highly processed, not recommended ): 5g carbs, 20g protein, and 19g fat

Vegan Fat:

  • Avocado: 8.5g carbs, 2g protein, and 14.7g fat.
  • Coconut (Shredded): 6.2g carbs, 3.3g protein, and 33.5g fat 
  • Cacao Nibs: 3.6g carbs, 14.3g protein, and 42.9g fat
  • Coconut cream: 0g carbs, 1.6g protein, 19.7g fat


  • Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, MCT oil: 100% fat with no carbs and protein

High-Protein Vegetables:

  • Broccoli: 7g carbs, 2.8g protein, and 0.4g fat
  • Spinach (Cooked): 3.6g carbs, 2.9g protein, and 0.4g fat
  • Kale (Raw): 0.3g carbs, 2.9g protein, and 1.5g fat.
  • Brussels Sprouts: 5.2g carbs, 3.4g protein, and 0.3g fat
  • Cabbage (Raw): 3.5g carbs, 1.3g protein, and 0.1g fat

Low-Carb Vegetables:

  • Zucchini: 3.1g carbs, 1.2g protein, and 0.3g fat
  • Cauliflower (Raw): 5g carbs, 2g protein, and 0.3g fat
  • Bell Peppers (Red): 4.3g carbs, 0.8g protein, and 0.2g fat 
  • Asparagus: 3.9g carbs, 2.2g protein, and 0.1g fat 
  • Eggplant: 6g carbs, 1g protein, and 0.2g fat
  • Mushrooms: 3.2g carbs, 3.1g protein, 0.3g fat

Nuts and Seeds:

  • Almonds: 9.1g carbs, 21.2g protein, and 49.9g fat
  • Chia Seeds: 7.7g carbs, 16.5g protein, and 30.7g fat
  • Flaxseeds: 1.6g carbs, 18.3g protein, and 42.2g fat
  • Walnuts: 7g carbs, 15.2g protein, and 65.2g fat
  • Pumpkin Seeds: 8.2g carbs, 29.8g protein, and 49g fat

Fermented Foods:

  • Sauerkraut: 1.3g carbs, 0.9g protein, and 0.1g fat 
  • Kimchi: 0.8g carbs, 1.1g protein, and 0.5g fat
  • Natto: 7.3g carbs, 19.4g protein, and 11g fat

Low-Carb Fruits:

  • Berries (e.g., Strawberries, Blueberries): Roughly 5-10g carbs, 0.7-2g protein, and 0.4-0.5g fat per 100 grams


  • Water, tea, and coffee – unsweetened, contains 0 carbs. 
  • Unsweetened Almond milk: 0.4g carbs, 0.4g protein, 1g fat

Low-Carb Sweeteners:

  • Stevia: 0.2g carbs, 0g protein, and 0g fat
  • Erythritol: 4g carbs, 0g protein, and 0g fat
  • Monk Fruit: 4g carbs, 0g protein, and 0g fat

Foods to Avoid

  • Grains: Wheat, rice, barley, oats, quinoa, rye, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, couscous
  • Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, peas, pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, adzuki beans, mung beans
  • Starchy Foods: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, butternut squash, cassava, plantains, yams, taro, acorn squash, pumpkin
  • High-Carb Vegetables: Carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, acorn squash, sweet corn, rutabaga, peas, artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes
  • High-Sugar Fruits: Bananas, grapes, mangoes, pineapple, cherries, lychee, kiwi, papaya, persimmons
  • High-Carb Beverages: Regular sodas, fruit juices, energy drinks, sweetened iced tea, flavored lattes, sports drinks, sweetened milk alternatives, sweetened cocktails, regular beer, pre-packaged smoothies
  • Regular Sweeteners: Sugar (white, brown), high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, molasses, cane sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, malt syrup

Vegan Keto Meal Plan

MondayAvocado and spinach smoothie with unsweetened almond milk and chia seeds.Zucchini noodles with vegan pesto made from basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, and olive oil.Grilled tofu steaks with asparagus and a side of cauliflower rice.
TuesdayChia seed pudding made with almond milk, topped with sliced strawberries and crushed walnuts.Salad with mixed greens, cucumber, avocado, and a vegan vinaigrette dressing.Stir-fried tempeh with broccoli, bell peppers, and kale in coconut oil.
WednesdayVegan omelet made with silken tofu, spinach, mushrooms, and nutritional yeast.Cauliflower and walnut taco bowls with guacamole and salsa.Chia seed pudding is made with almond milk, sliced strawberries, and crushed walnuts.
ThursdaySmoothie bowl with unsweetened almond milk, berries, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.Avocado and arugula salad with a lemon tahini dressing.Seitan stir-fry with low-carb vegetables like bok choy, bell peppers, and snap peas.
FridayCoconut milk chia pudding topped with sliced almonds and raspberries.Cabbage wraps filled with avocado, tempeh, and shredded carrots.Portobello mushroom caps stuffed with vegan creamed spinach.
SaturdayVegan keto pancakes made with almond flour, topped with sugar-free syrup.Zoodle (zucchini noodles) salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, and a vegan Caesar dressing.Grilled portobello mushrooms with a side of sautéed kale and garlic.
SundaySmoothie with coconut milk, kale, and a scoop of vegan protein powder.Broccoli and almond soup with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.Vegan curry with tofu, cauliflower, and spinach served over cauliflower rice.

How to Follow a Vegan Keto Diet

  1. Find Vegan Alternatives and Substitutes: Identify plant-based alternatives for traditional animal products, such as tofu, tempeh, coconut creme, or almond butter.
  2. Prioritize Fats: Emphasize healthy fats from plant sources like avocados, coconut oil, and nuts. Research vegan dishes that incorporate more fats. 
  3. Strictly Follow Keto Macros: Adhering to the keto macros is crucial to maintaining ketosis, especially when following Vegan Keto. 
  4. Create Weekly Meal Plans: Meal plans make adherence easier and prevent one from losing track of the macros. Research on vegan dishes that you like and adjust the ingredients to fit your preferences. 
  5. Consider Supplementation: Supplementation is necessary to prevent micronutrient deficiencies. Talk to your healthcare provider for proper recommendations. 

Downsides and Risks

Possible Nutrient Deficiency

Due to the exclusion of animal products, specific nutrients, such as vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, may be insufficient. 

With this, experts urge the importance of meticulous dietary planning and, when necessary, targeted supplementation to mitigate the risk of deficiencies.

Keto Adaptation Symptoms

Keto adaptation may manifest symptoms known as keto flu, including fatigue, irritability, and dizziness. While these symptoms are generally temporary, proper adjustments and increased hydration are needed.

Challenges in Maintaining Ketosis

Plants naturally contain carbohydrates, so sticking to a plant-based diet poses a challenge in restricting carbohydrates enough to sustain ketosis. Testing your ketone levels regularly will help you determine your state of ketosis. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is keto possible for vegans?

Yes, keto is possible for vegans with proper meal planning and strict adherence to the keto macros. 

How do vegans get protein on keto?

Tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts and seeds, and vegan meat alternatives are some of the vegan options that are rich in protein.

Can you eat beans on vegan keto?

Beans, legumes, and grains are not allowed on Vegan Keto as they are high in carbohydrates.

Will I lose more weight on vegan keto?

There are no studies on the difference in weight loss between traditional keto and Vegan Keto. However, both diets promise weight loss.


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Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

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