Vegan vs Keto: Everything You Need To Know
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Originally Posted On: https://www.geniusgourmet.com/blogs/keto/vegan-vs-keto-everything-you-need-to-know
Anyone that has gone on a diet to improve their health has seen the debates on the benefits of different diets. One of the biggest ongoing discussions is the vegan vs keto debate.
A vegan diet prohibits animal products while the keto diet prohibits carbs. Strong arguments exist that support the superiority of either diet if you want to lose weight or improve your health.
Each diet has its advantages and drawbacks so it may be difficult to decide on one. Keep reading for the complete guide on vegan vs keto diets so you can decide what would work for you.
What Is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is a plant-based diet that doesn’t include eating any animal products like meat, eggs, or dairy. Strict vegans also avoid any processed foods made using animal products. These include foods made from gelatin such as Jell-O, candy, and some types of bread and bagels.
So, what can vegans eat? Well, the diet allows all plant-based foods. These include all fruits and vegetables as well as seeds and nuts. Vegans can also eat sugary and starchy snacks like chips, biscuits, cake, etc─ which poses a problem for weight maintenance.
Most vegans chose the lifestyle for religious or ideological reasons. Their strong belief that eating animals is wrong makes it easier for vegans not to be tempted to eat animal products.
Why People Choose Vegan Diets
There is a growing concern about the environmental problems created by farming animals. The production of animal feeds and manure processing place a great strain on the environment and contribute to climate change. For instance, natural trees have been cleared from large tracts of land so that animal feed can be grown.
Many people are opting to be vegan do so to reduce their carbon footprint. Other people prefer not to eat animal products for health reasons. Animal products, especially inorganic ones, cause certain diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
Animal products expose us to saturated fats, estrogen, and pathogenic microorganisms that can cause disease. Some people are also allergic to lactose in dairy so going vegan is healthier for them.
At the same time, a diet that is heavy on meat and dairy can cause the displacement of fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates from our diet. So, we miss out on essential nutrients, vitamins, and fiber that we get from eating them. Many vegans switched their diets to avoid the health problems associated with eating animals.
There is another group of people that use the vegan diet simply as a weight-loss tool. But if you love meat, eggs, and dairy, sticking to a vegan diet simply to lose weight can be quite hard. You would probably revert to your original way of eating once you achieve your goal weight and gain back the weight lost.
What Is a Keto Diet?
A ketogenic (keto) diet is one where you eat 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. The diet aims to put your body into a fat-burning metabolic state called ketosis.
When we eat a normal diet, the body gets energy from burning the carbs we have consumed and converts any extra calories to fat reserves. Cutting down on or eliminating carbs from the diet forces the body to derive its energy from its fat reserves. This results in rapid weight loss.
To achieve ketosis, keto dieters eat a lot of meat, butter, and full-fat dairy. They only eat less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day. So keto dieters avoid foods like potatoes, pasta, rice, wheat, and grains.
For instance, a bagel has 44 grams of carbs so eating one could put you over your carb threshold. So, if you love bread and pasta or chips and French fries the keto diet will be hell for you. Other tasty foods like burgers, pizza, tacos, and burritos are also a no-go zone. Keto dieters often curb their cravings and any hunger pangs with keto shakes and keto bars.
Why Do People Choose to Follow a Keto Diet?
The motivation for many people is weight loss. Other than intermittent fasting, keto is viewed as the most effective diet for rapid weight loss. But many doctors don’t recommend it as a long-term diet solution.
Ketosis isn’t the body’s natural way of being so can be quite stressful for us. Rather than subjecting our bodies to extreme stress, it may be healthier to practice portion control and eat a varied, nutritious diet. Being aware of this can help you to use the diet as a tool in the right way.
Vegan vs Keto Comparison
So which diet is better for us? Vegan or keto? Well, everyone’s body is different so it is impossible to blindly recommend one diet over the other.
You have to know which foods work best for your body and which foods to eat for optimal health and energy. If you’re a meat and dairy lover and have no qualms about eating it, a vegan diet would be unnecessary torture. Meanwhile, a keto diet would be hard to follow if you are opposed to eating meat.
The keto diet is quite expensive when compared to a vegan diet. High-fat foods like bacon, avocadoes, and nuts cost much more than vegan foods like beans and fruits. Also because most generic snacks are carb-heavy, you have to buy special keto snacks or keto chips to avoid cheating.
Long-term compliance to a keto diet is also much lower than compliance to a vegan diet. Many people stick to a diet vegan for the rest of their lives because they strongly believe it is wrong or unhealthy to eat meat and animal products.
A keto diet can have some side effects called the “keto flu”. Some people experience headaches, nausea, constipation, fatigue, and problems sleeping within a few days of starting a keto diet. For some, the symptoms go away but for others, the symptoms persist until they stop the diet. The low energy, crankiness, and discomfort that arises from following the Keto diet make it unpopular with many people.
Another consideration when deciding on keto vs vegan is that a vegan diet may be easier to follow than the keto diet. Many meat alternatives can feed the cravings that you may have for meat. The substitutes for many carb foods aren’t as satisfying as the real thing.
Vegan or Keto for Inflammation
Inflammation occurs in our bodies whenever we ingest or come in contact with invading microbes, plant pollen, or chemicals. But sometimes inflammation can occur even without these threats which causes extreme discomfort.
Doctors have found that our diets are a major cause of inflammation and avoiding certain foods can reduce the condition. Both vegan and keto diets can reduce inflammation as long as you avoid certain inflammatory foods. Keto is a good diet to reduce inflammation as it limited problematic foods like wheat, corn, and sugar.
But those on the keto should also avoid processed meats and steak to organic produce. The vegan diet is a great tool to battle inflammation as one can eat loads of fruits and vegetables. But vegans must avoid processed and sugary foods and stick to whole foods.
Vegan vs Keto for Weight Loss
If you’re looking to lose weight and get rid of it fast then ketosis is the obvious winner of the keto vs vegan debate. The Keto diet causes rapid weight loss the first few months after starting it. This is due to a combination of water and fat loss when the body burns up its fat reserves for fuel.
But research shows that after one year the weight loss effects of keto will slow down. It then becomes just as effective as the vegan diet or any other diet used for weight loss. You should account for your body adapting and be able to make changes to adjust.
The vegan diet is a lifestyle or way of living. To lose weight on the vegan diet one must observe potion control and calorie restriction. Some people gain weight when they switch to the vegan diet as they see it as a free ticket to eat sugary or starchy vegan junk food.
Vegan vs Keto for Health
Both vegan and keto diets can improve your health. The keto diet cuts carbs from the diet so can help combat type 2 diabetes and heart disease. People lose weight on the diet so it prevents obesity and all the diseases related to it such as high blood pressure. Doctors also recommend the diet to manage certain health conditions like epilepsy, colitis, and Crohn’s.
But many health experts are against using the keto diet for long-term weight management. Some of the foods allowed in the diet are high in saturated fat and their overconsumption may cause heart disease and other health problems. Carbohydrates are also an important food group that our bodies need to function optimally.
They have fiber which helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome and keeps us fuller for longer. Your body may also suffer from the lack of certain nutrients, vitamins, and phytochemicals found in starchy vegetables such as leafy greens. Permanently cutting carbohydrates from your diet is unsustainable and may have long-term health effects.
On the other hand, the vegan diet has long been praised for its health benefits. Cutting out meats and animal products from your diet reduces your risk of getting heart disease and type 2 diabetes. While the keto diet can be prescribed to cure these conditions, the vegan diet prevents you from getting them.
Fruits and vegetables are also packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the keto diet misses. All these nutrients keep your body and immune system strong and healthy so you can fight off diseases. However, you can substitute these with daily supplements to make sure your body remains balanced.
Can You Be Vegan and Do Keto?
You may be wondering if you can combine the benefits of both vegan and keto diets by doing both at the same time. The answer is a big yes.
Keto diets are conducive for meat and dairy eaters. But vegans that want the weight loss benefits of ketosis can also (with some difficulty) follow a keto diet. This would involve eating high-fat plant-based foods like coconuts, avocadoes, and nuts and seeds.
Keto dieters keep their energy high by eating fatty meats so duplicating this will be hard for vegans. Vegan-keto dieters will need to eat high protein plant foods like tofu and tempeh. Avocadoes and coconut oil will also be great sources of energy.
You’ll need to meticulously plan your meals and ensure you are sticking to the nutrient macros to maintain a state of ketosis. It will also be very difficult to find restaurants serving foods that are both vegan and keto. So, most of your meals will be homemade.
Something else to add to your diet would be a multivitamin supplement. This will help ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals missing from this restrictive diet. It is not advisable to follow a vegan keto diet for a long time. Once you reach your goal weight, it would be healthier to transition to a regular vegan diet.
Choose the Diet That’s Right for You
Vegan and keto diets can both help you lose weight and improve your health. The keto diet is ideal if you are a meat and dairy eater and want to lose weight fast. The vegan diet is better if you are ideologically opposed to eating meaty and other animal products.
But the key to permanent weight loss is sustaining a healthy diet as part of your lifestyle. So, before you settle on a vegan vs keto diet it is better to think about which diet better suits your body chemistry as well as your lifestyle.
What can you live without for a long time, carbs or meat? For many, the vegan lifestyle is more sustainable so they can follow the diet for the rest of their lives. This leads to permanent health and weight loss benefits.
Overall, it’s best to choose the diet that you think works well with your body and lifestyle. If you’re following a keto diet and need some healthy and delicious snacks, check out our online shop today.