As a ‘plump’ vegan who also finds they don’t process simple carbs and sugars well I have decided to look into the keto diet … my non-vegan friend swears by it!
So… Can a vegan follow a Keto Diet? Yes, they can but it will need careful planning to ensure you are getting the right nutrients and fats. If your vegan diet is healthy you may not need to follow a keto diet!
What is a Keto diet?
A Keto diet is a diet comprising of …
- 20% protein
- 70% fat
- 10% carbs
The Atkins diet is a popular Keto diet. The diet encourages the body to burn body fat rather than carbs. Our bodies will burn cars first as it takes less energy than burning fat.
What are the benefits of a keto diet?
Obviously, we aren’t doctors and you should work with your doctor to ensure your insulin intake is correct since it will likely change and you will need less if you follow this type of diet!
Carbs raise blood sugar levels the most and keto diets are low in carbs so they eliminate large rises in blood sugar levels.
If blood sugars are well controlled and maintained for a number of years the risks associated with diabetes can be significantly reduced!
- If you have type 2 diabetes Keto can help to lower and stabilise your blood sugars.
- If you have type 1 diabetes Keto can help to reduce your blood sugar levels and help to improve blood sugar control.
Keto diets can help with weight loss since it takes more work to turn fat into energy than carbs and so this speeds up weight loss.
Also being relatively high in protein you will feel fuller so will naturally eat less.
When following a keto diet higher levels of a blood protein called adiponectin have been recorded and this is shown to help with blood sugar levels and also the metabolism of fats.
I have an autoimmune disorder and so this is interesting for me!
Following a keto diet can reduce inflammation!
Excess carbs and sugar can cause inflammation.
Excess sugar [the body converts simple carbs to sugar] raises our levels of insulin and raises inflammation markers and causes the body to make free radicals which inflame blood vessel linings and stimulate an autoimmune response.
It can trigger chronic disease!
Two of my worst flares have been after I have followed a low carb diet for a sustained amount of time and then reverted back to my usual high carb/sugar diet!
Being in ketosis can help with inflammation and pain
- it calms the nervous system
- decreases reactive oxygen species which contributes to inflammation
- increases adenosine, which is a natural chemical that is known to fight inflammation and act as a painkiller!
When we go into ketosis there are three ketone bodies released, one is called ‘beta-hydroxybutyrate’ and recent research is showing that it can block NLRP3 inflammasome, this is an immune system receptor which is linked to inflammation.
NLRP3 reacts to threats in the body like toxins, infection and too much glucose so if we choose to eat inflammatory foods daily this will cause it to be hyperactive! We need it but we don’t want it on red alert!
So can vegans make it work?
I am excited I have had a suspicion that my symptoms are worse when I eat a high carb sugary diet! But I also kept pushing it away as another fad!
I followed a few years ago a keto diet Exante Lost my excess weight and then went back to my old habits! I felt amazing after the first few days on it and then a month after I stopped I went into one of my worst flares! I had a massive autoimmune response and couldn’t get it under control for months!
I am on meds now to keep it under control and although I don’t experience the more visible signs of disease, swollen eyes, lips, nose! rash, hair loss. I still suffer from pain, fatigue, sun sensitivity, etc imagine eating keto could be a game-changer!
I have had to give up work I live a ‘less than’ life always careful not to ‘overdo things’ always letting people down or just not committing to things incase I can’t do it after all! If this worked it could be life-changing!
So Exante has a vegan range so I’m going to kick start with that! But it’s not the way to live forever!! I do feel it will kick start me and give my poor body a rest and help me lose some weight but what about the food weeks and afterwards is vegan keto a thing?
Yes, you can follow a keto diet as a vegan! The same principles apply …
70% Good fats
Omega 3 fats… vegans can’t get this from fish but we can get them from
- algae and seaweed … its where the fish get them!
- hemp seed
- coconut oil
- avocado oil
- olive oil
- nuts and seeds
- cocoa butter
- edamame beans
- kidney beans
- vegan supplements
- dark leafy greens
- sugar-free plant kinds of milk.
This is not by any means an exhaustive list and I will add to it as my knowledge improves!
I implore you to do your research and consult with your doctor but also bear in mind Doctors aren’t always so knowledgeable about diet however they can keep a check on your health while you try this!
All my doctors were kind of ‘mmm not really sure there is a link!’ but having researched and also observed my symptoms and food intake I think for me there is! So I am going to try this out! For me, it is far more than a weight thing I am so keen to try to get control of my body again!
I think this is worth a shot! So I will come back and update in a week to let you know how I am going!
Chat soon! 30/07/19
Hey, so a week has passed and I have followed a low carb high protein diet. Here’s what I ate…
- exante shakes x4
- new potato
Notes: Lots of pain in the night, little sleep, woken with swollen joints and pain in joints and muscle pain.
- 3 x exante shakes
- carrots and vegan mayo
- apple and peanut butter [natural no added sugar or oils]
Notes: Slept a bit better, less muscle pain, woken with lots of joint pain and general body aches, in alot of pain all day zero energy!
- Exante x2
- salad, vegan mayo, vegan sausages
- peanut balls get this recipe of awesomeness here
Notes: Really bad night but less pain today, still no energy.
- Exante x3
- Dark chocolate
- vegan burger
- vegan mayo
Notes: Slept better, still sore, crashed around 2pm and in intense pain until around 3 am!
- Exante x2
- vegan sausages
Notes: Horrible pain last night slept very badly, woken tired and angry! Really uncomfortable all day but then by this evening felt a bit better… keto flu?
- Exante x 3
- vegan meatballs
- peanut butter and apple
Notes: Better night still struggled to get to sleep, woken in less pain and had more energy today, after not being able to do much all week I had the headspace and energy to do some touch-up painting and deep clean the bathroom!
- Exante x3
- peanut butter and apple
Notes: Much better night, still needed painkillers to sleep, but then slept really well, woken with sore swollen fingers but not too bad. Had a lot more energy and a clearer head managed some gardening, decluttering and to defrost the freezer, that job has been on my todo list for months!
All in all I have a clearer head and more energy, I am still in pain but last two days only taken painkillers at night, I usually take them regularly during the day and then strong ones at night time! A good start but I can have good days and bad days so we will see, having a clearer head to plan my time and get stuff done is awesome that rarely happens!
Oh and I lost 5lbs!
Chat soon 07/08/19