A Plant-Based Keto Diet is Not Only Possible, But Much Healthier

When most people think of a keto diet, they might picture a diet of heavy cream, red meat and cheese. What if it were possible to put your body in the same fat-burning ketosis without the risk of raising cholesterol levels, coronary artery disease or raised mortality? Not only is it possible, it is much healthier, according to experts.

It seems totally contradictory, but you can actually be on a keto diet, while remaining completely plant based—and your body will thank you for it.

The standard keto diet calls for low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein and high-fat intake. “This can sometimes work for people to lose weight and gain energy in the short term,” said Functional Medicine Practitioner and author of “Ketorian,” Dr. Will Cole IFMCP, DC, “but has potential long-term health impacts that concern me.”

Like anyone probably would be, I am also weary of any diet telling me to consume high amounts of what has been found to be a main cause of heart disease— the leading cause of death in America. When the keto diet is done through mostly animal sources, studies have shown higher mortality rates— yikes!

The study also found that the same ratio of carbs, protein and fat consumed in plant sources like veggies, whole-grain breads, peanut-butter and nuts lead to a lower mortality rate. The low-carb diet that puts your body in ketosis can be done without eating all the animal products and therefore not putting your body at risk.

This take on keto has a multitude of health benefits. One is that you won’t go hangry anymore. You and your partner will be thankful for that! You may also have increased focus and decreased mental fogginess. Energy will be longer-lasting, rather than in short spurts as it might have been when your body ran on sugar. Once your body is used to running on fat, you will be able to go longer without eating.

A plant-based version of the keto diet may be more sustainable in the long run than the traditional keto diet. As Dr. Cole puts it “ketotarianism,” is “meant to be a healthy lifestyle for anyone looking to explore the health benefits of ketosis.”

So what would you eat on a plant-based keto diet? Healthy oils like avocado, coconut, extra-virgin olive, pumpkin seed and walnut will help you get the fat intake for the day. Other healthy fat sources include avocados, coconut butter and coconut cream.

To get your body into ketosis you will need to limit your grain, legume and fruit intakes. You should be eating low-carb nuts, veggies and fruits.

Macadamia nuts, walnuts, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries and blueberries are just a handful of the low-carb, healthy goodness. Seeds are also an excellent source of low-carb, plant-based protein. Try adding hemp, flax or chia to your next meal.

The keto diet isn’t for everyone, but those wanting a healthier and safer route may find that trying it plant-based is the way to go.