Combining Veganism with a Ketogenic Diet

Before I start off this post, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself.

My name is Carol, I am 22, and I'm a medical student. I've always had an interest in diet, fitness, and health, therefore, I have been trying out different diets and different exercise plans all my life.

Once I turned 18, my parents finally allowed me to try out a vegan diet. I was ecstatic! I could improve my health, try out something new, AND help the environment!

After 3 years of veganism, I decided that I wanted to (once again), try something new. I wasn't missing meat, fish, or even dairy, my main problem was I had started to rely too heavily on carbohydrates when it came to cooking. This diet based on heavy loads of carbohydrates not only left me less energized, it also left me uninspired to cook. While considering the cons of a carbohydrate-based diet, I kept thinking about how unready and unwilling I was to quit veganism. Although I had always taken special care to fuel my diet with some protein, such as tofu or soya beans, I felt like there was still something missing in my diet.

So, I started doing some research! How could I fill my diet with exciting new ingredients while staying true to my vegan diet? It's fair to say I didn't have to search long before coming across some pretty dire studies (1).

As I kept searching, more studies about the benefits of a high-fat diet kept popping up (2,3). I have always worried about my cholesterol levels since nearly everyone in my family seems to have a propensity to having high-cholesterol levels, so after checking out some articles and publications by KetoVale, I was armed with all the information that, eventually, led me to decide to try this diet.

So, once again, I kept digging into how to incorporate a high-fat component into my already existing Vegan diet. And that's how I came across the Ketogenic Diet! This diet has one primary goal: to shift your metabolism from using glucose to using ketones as the primary energy source through the consumption of fats. I was immediately impressed with the amount of thoroughly conducted research on this topic and, most importantly, on the results obtained (4,5)!

Armed with this newfound knowledge, and a willingness to try out combining Veganism with a Ketogenic Diet, I went to the supermarket. How could I add non-animal fat to my diet?

Perhaps out of knowledge, I was surprised by the endless ways and products that would allow me to successfully include fat in my diet! From avocado oil and coconut oil, to chia seeds and flaxseeds, I was ready to try it all!

I ended up coming home that day with several different vegetable oils and spreads, spinach, avocados, tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, pecan nuts, macadamias, walnuts, hazelnuts, and more! I was pumped and ready to start cooking!

The fact that I didn't have to rely on carbohydrates to make a delicious meal was amazing! By relying more heavily on the fatty and green portion of my meal, I felt more satisfied and more energized after each meal.

It has been over 1 year since I first started combining these two diets, and I couldn't be happier with the results. Without changing my exercise routine, I managed to gain 5 kilos of muscle mass and lose 2 kilos of fat mass. On top of that, my cholesterol levels have gone down, I have more energy and I can focus for longer periods of time.

Whether you are looking for a new diet to try out, or whether you are ready to make a complete lifestyle change, my recommendation is to try out the Ketogenic Diet. It could not be simpler to follow, more delicious, or more rewarding.

I hope you all enjoyed my short story and are inspired to experience something new.


REFERENCES

(1)   Carbohydrate intake and resistance-based exercise: are current recommendations reflective of actual need (Escobar et al., 2016), https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/div-classtitlecarbohydrate-intake-and-resistance-based-exercise-are-current-recommendations-reflective-of-actual-needdiv/45C97BD7A99949777E3474E50709A7DA

(2)   Re-Examining High-Fat Diets for Sports Performance: Did We Call the ‘Nail in the Coffin’ Too Soon? (Burke, 2015), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4672014/

(3)   Evidence that supports the prescription of low-carbohydrate high-fat diets: a narrative review (Noakes and Windt, 2016), http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/2/133.full

(4)   The effects of ketogenic dieting on skeletal muscle and fat mass (Rauch et al., 2014), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4271639/

(5)   Ketogenic diets and physical performance (Phinney, 2004), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524027/