Is Vegan Keto Possible? Safe? Sustainable? A Doctor Weighs In

So, Vegan is old news. Keto is also old news. But Vegan Keto might be new to you. You’re probably a vegan who has decided to start the Keto diet. And you’re wondering if this combination is even possible, if it’s safe to do, and whether you will be able to stick to it in the long run.

Let’s go through all of these questions, one at a time.

Is the Vegan Keto Diet Possible?

While Vegan Keto is possible, it’s also going to be difficult. Because you’re going to be following two strict methods of dieting. You will have a harder time knowing what to eat to remain in ketosis while also remaining vegan, without missing all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

What Is Vegan Keto?

Simply put, it’s when a vegan person decides to do the Keto diet.

Vegan person: a person who does not eat animals’ meat nor animal’s products. (I wrote it in bold because that’s what differentiate a vegan from a vegetarian, if you confuse the two)

Keto Dieter: This is a person who gets their body into a state where it starts to burn the body’s fat to create Ketone bodies as a source of fuel. You achieve that state when you are getting your daily calories as follows:

60-70% from Fat, 25% from Protein, and 5-10% from Carbohydrates.

It’s basically high fat, moderate protein, and very low carb.

So combining these two methods of eating will have you doing “Vegan Keto”.

What Can and Can’t I Eat on Vegan Keto?

As you can imagine from what we’ve said so far, being a Vegan Keto diet will allow you to eat only what can be permitted on both these diets together.

For example, cheese is Keto-friendly, but it’s not Vegan-friendly, so it’s not allowed.

Fruits are Vegan, but since they are high in sugar, they should be limited on a Keto diet, and therefore on a Vegan Keto Diet.

To make things simpler for you, I have compiled lists of foods you can eat and foods you can not eat if you decide to go with Vegan Keto. To keep it from becoming a super-long list, I tried to only include what is most important for you to note, and by reading through them, you will grow a sense of knowing which foods you can add and which you should limit or cut out completely.

Foods To Include On Vegan Keto

  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds.
  • Nut Butter and Seed Butter: Peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, cashew butter.
  • Tofu and tempeh.
  • Low-carb vegetables: Zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms.
  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale.
  • Mushrooms
  • Coconut products: Full-fat coconut milk, coconut cream, unsweetened coconut.
  • Oils: Olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil, nut oil, coconut oil.
  • Vegan full-fat dairy substitutes: Coconut yogurt, coconut butter, cashew cheese, vegan cream cheese.
  • Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries; in moderation.
  • Avocados
  • Condiments: Nutritional yeast, fresh herbs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, spices.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: stevia, erythritol.

Foods To Avoid On Vegan Keto

  • All Sorts of Animal Meats: beef, pork, lamp, chicken, fish, shellfish.
  • Animal-based Products: dairy, eggs, whey protein powder.
  • Grains: wheat, corn, rice.
  • Legumes: lentils, black beans, peas.
  • Sugar-based products: honey, maple syrup, candy.
  • Fruit: apples, bananas, oranges and other high-sugar fruits (remember, berries are allowed)
  • Starchy Vegetables: potato, beetroots, corns, cassava and sweet potatos

Is Vegan Keto Diet Safe?

Unfortunately, there are currently no studies that specifically look at Vegan Keto. However, there are studies on each of them alone proving that each can provide several health benefits. And there are dozens of anecdotes reporting amazing results when following this diet the healthy way.

I have also looked through a study that proves the multiple benefits of a low-carb (not keto) vegan diet, including relatively rapid weight loss, reductions of LDL-C and triglycerides

What concerns some people though, is that since this diet restricts a big variation of foods, it can make you deficient in some key micro and macronutrients. And in the rest of this article, we will prove to you that it doesn’t have to.

Is Vegan Keto Sustainable?

Vegan Keto is only sustainable when you study all the macro and micronutrients you need on a daily basis and try to get enough of them. If you fail to do that, you might suffer from nutrient deficiencies that will force to discontinue the diet.

The most important nutrients that are harder to get on a Vegan Keto diet are fat, protein and omega-3.

Down below, we will be addressing these macro and micronutrients that you have to make the effort to make sure you’re getting while on a Vegan Keto diet.


Common foods you would normally get Omega-3 from, but can’t on Vegan Keto:

Eggs, milk, yogurt, salmon, sardines, tuna, oatmeal.

Foods rich of it that you can and should include in your diet:

  • Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans and peanuts.
  • Seeds: Chia seeds, ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds..etc.
  • Soybeans
  • Oils: canola oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil.
  • Tahini.
  • Avocados.
  • Leafy green vegetables: kale, broccoli.
  • Tofu


Common foods you would normally get it from but can’t on Vegan Keto:

Eggs, chicken, dairy, fish, red meat, oats, beans, lentils.

Foods rich of protein that you can and should include in your diet:

  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Nuts: especially Pecans and almonds
  • Seeds: Especially Chia and Hemp.

Chia Seeds, for example, packs in every ounce:

138 Calories

5g of Protein

9g of Fat

12g of Total Carbs

10g of Fiber

2g of Net Carbs

  • Leafy green vegetables: kale and broccoli.
  • Protein Powder: especially pea protein powder. It’s crucial for you to invest in a pea protein. This one is my absolute favorite. Click to see its current price on Amazon.

Since protein is arguably the most important nutrient on vegan keto, I have created some tables that demonstrate the protein amount of the most important vegan foods, to help you out the next time you’re doing some shopping.

FoodServing SizeProtein
Almond Milk1 cup (240 ml.)1g
Black BeansHalf cup, cooked (85g)7.5g

Some keto-friendly nuts:

FoodServing SizeProtein
Almonds1 ounce (28g)6g
Almond flour1/4 cup (25g)6g
Brazil nuts1 ounce (28g)5g
Cashews1 ounce (28g)4g
Macadamias1 ounce (28g)2g
Hazelnuts1 ounce (28g)6g
Pecans1 ounce (28g)2.7g
Pistachios1 ounce (28g)7.5g
Walnuts1 ounce (28g)4g

Some seeds:

FoodServing SizeProtein
Chia seeds1/4 cup (30g)5g
Pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup (30g)9g
Sesame seeds2 tablespoons (18g)3.2g
Sunflower seeds1/4 cup (30g)6g
Hemp seeds1/4 cup (30g)9g

Some nut & seed butters

FoodServing SizeProtein
Coconut butter1 tablespoon (16g)1g
Almond butter1 tablespoon (16g)3.5g
Cashew butter1 tablespoon (16g)3g
Macadamia butter1 tablespoon (14g)2g
Sunflower seed butter1 tablespoon (16g)2.8g
Tahini1 tablespoon (15g)2.6g


Common foods you would normally get it from but can’t on Vegan Keto:

Butter, ghee, red meat, and eggs.

Foods rich of fat that you can and should include in your diet:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Coconut butter
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame seed oil
  • MCT oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Cashew butter
  • Macadamias
  • Macadamia butter
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans

Pecans, for example, pack in every ounce:
196 Calories
20g of Fat
3g of Protein
4g of Total Carbs
3g of Fiber
1g of Net Carbs

  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Tahini
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado

And since has to be the biggest part of your plate at each meal, it can also be hard to know how to get enough of it. That’s why I have also compiled some lists to help you make the best choices next time you’re meal-prepping.

Note: I have also here added both the calorie and carbs contents.


FoodServing SizeCaloriesFatTotal CarbsFiberNet Carbs
Coconut Oil1 tablespoon (14g)12013.9g0g0g0g
Olive oil1 tablespoon (14g)12014g0g0g0g
Flaxseed oil1 tablespoon (14g)12014g0g0g0g
Sesame seed oil1 tablespoon (14g)12014g0g0g0g
MCT oil1 tablespoon (15g)13014g0g0g0g

Some nuts:

FoodServing SizeCaloriesFatTotal CarbsFiberNet Carbs
Almonds1 ounce (28g)16514g6g3.5g2.5g
Almond flour1/4 cup (25g)15011g6g3g3g
Brazil nuts1 ounce (28g)18518g3g2g1g
Cashews1 ounce (28g)15012g10g1g9g
Macadamias1 ounce (28g)20723g4g0.5g1.5g
Hazelnuts1 ounce (28g)22022g8g4g4g
Pecans1 ounce (28g)20120g4g3g1g
Pistachios1 ounce (28g)15012g7.5g3g4.5g
Walnuts1 ounce (28g)19018g4g2g2g

Some seeds:

FoodServing SizeCaloriesFatTotal CarbsFiberNet Carbs
Chia seeds1/4 cup (30g)14510g12g10g2g
Pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup (30g)18014g4g3g1g
Sesame seeds2 tablespoons (18g)1039g4g2g2g
Sunflower seeds1/4 cup (30g)16015g6g3g3g
Hemp seeds1/4 cup (30g)15514g2g1g1g

Some nut and seed butter:

FoodServing SizeCaloriesFatTotal CarbsFiberNet Carbs
Coconut butter1 tablespoon (16g)10510.5g4g2.5g1.5g
Almond butter1 tablespoon (16g)989g3g1.51.5g
Cashew butter1 tablespoon (16g)948g4.5g0.5g4g
Macadamia butter1 tablespoon (14g)9710g2g1g1g
Sunflower seed butter1 tablespoon (16g)999g4g1g3g
Tahini1 tablespoon (15g)898g3g1g2g

Some coconut products:

FoodServing SizeCaloriesFatTotal CarbsFiberNet Carbs
Coconut Oil1 tablespoon (14g)12013.9g0g0g0g
Coconut butter1 tablespoon (16g)10510.5g4g2.5g1.5g
Shredded Coconut 1/4 cup (20g)717g3g2g1g


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Nabeel Kallas

I'm a medical doctor with a lot of passion for Keto & Intermittent Fasting. They have completely changed my life and I am beyond honored to help you experience that same change. I'm ready when you are. Read more here.

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