a complete vegetarian guide to the ketogenic diet

If there ever was a yearly diet trend, 2017 (and heading into 2018) was the year for the ketogenic diet. Because there are so many questions surrounding the ketogenic diet, we put together a complete vegetarian guide to the ketogenic diet for you today.

what is “keto?”

You have likely heard the term “keto” floating around. It stands for “ketogenic” and/or “ketosis.”

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Ketosis is a metabolic state the body goes into from a reduction of carbs.

Healthline says, “When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain.” And according to them, some signs and symptoms of it include:

  1. increased ketones in the blood
  2. increased ketones in the breath or urine
  3. short-term fatigue
  4. insomnia

Ketosis changes the way your body metabolizes fat, urging your liver to create ketones to fuel your cells rather than forcing them to rely on the sugar from carb, Maria Emmerich explains. “This can be extremely beneficial to the function of many organs, as well as your general metabolic health,” Emmerich says. (source)

what is the ketogenic diet?

According to Healthline, there are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:

  • Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
  • Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
  • High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

Only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively.

why choose a ketogenic diet?

People choose the ketogenic diet for many reasons, some of which include:

  • weight loss
  • reduced risk for Type 2 Diabetes
  • reduced risk of heart disease
  • help protect against cancer
  • fight brain disease
  • live longer

In 2008, The Mayo Clinic even touted the diet as a viable option for helping kids with epilepsy become seizure free.

foods to enjoy on the ketogenic diet

Starting on a ketogenic diet? You can use THIS calculator to help determine how much you should eat. And once you have an idea about how much, you can start understanding what to eat.

**This is not a comprehensive food list, but instead some ideas to get you started. Remember, our food lists also don’t include meat or fish, which are fairly standard and all-inclusive on the Ketogenic diet.

Click HERE to save these food ideas for later.


  1. butter (not margarine)
  2. ghee
  3. kefir
  4. full-fat cottage cheese
  5. full-fat cream cheese
  6. full-fat yogurt
  7. heavy whipping cream
  8. raw full-fat cheese


  1. avocado
  2. berries like blackberry, blueberry, strawberry (in small quantities)
  3. olive
  4. lemon
  5. lime


  1. green beans

 nuts & seeds

** all to be eaten in moderation

  1. almonds
  2. cashews
  3. chia seeds
  4. hazelnuts
  5. hempseeds 
  6. macadamias
  7. pecans
  8. pine nuts
  9. pistachios
  10. pumpkin seeds
  11. sesame seeds
  12. sunflower seeds
  13. walnuts


  1. arugula
  2. asparagus
  3. broccoli
  4. cabbage
  5. cauliflower
  6. chard
  7. cucumber
  8. fennel
  9. garlic
  10. kale
  11. leeks
  12. lettuce
  13. mushroom
  14. mustard green
  15. parsley
  16. radish
  17. scallion
  18. seaweed
  19. spinach
  20. turnip greens
  21. watercress
  22. zucchini

 oils and fats

  1. avocado oil
  2. buttery coconut oil
  3. coconut manna
  4. hemp oil
  5. liquid coconut oil
  6. liquid coconut oil with garlic 
  7. olive oil
  8. macadamia oil
  9. MCT Oil
  10. red palm oil 
  11. refined coconut oil
  12. shortening
  13. virgin coconut oil


  • 100% dark chocolate
  • almond meal and almond flour
  • cacao nibs
  • cacao powder
  • coconut aminos
  • coconut flour
  • eggs
  • monk fruit
  • mustard
  • tamari sauce
  • vinegars (without added sugars)
  • shredded coconut

getting started: 17 vegetarian ketogenic diet recipes

There is no shortage of ketogenic diet recipes out there. We have 17 to get you started:

  1. MCT Coffee. Try this on to start your day. 
  2. Low Carb Falafel with Tahini Sauce.
  3. Crustless Spinach Quiche.
  4. Pumpkin Spice Keto Fat Bomb.
  5. Vegan Keto Bagel Thins.
  6. Buttery Coconut Oil Coffee. Or maybe you’re looking for a coffee that leaves a buttery flavor in your mouth? This coffee recipe will do the trick. 
  7. Gluten-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup.
  8. Iced MCT Coffee. No matter the time of year, this Iced MCT Coffee could be the perfect start to your day or afternoon pick-me-up.
  9. Low Carb Blueberry Muffins.
  10. Avocado, Chia, and Cacao Keto Smoothie.
  11. Paleo Coconut Butter Bites. Simply just remove the maple syrup to make these keto.
  12. Keto Spinach and Goat Cheese Pie.
  13. Deviled Eggs with Red Palm Oil Aioli
  14. Coconut Oil Mayonnaise.
  15. Low Carb Fried Mac and Cheese.
  16. Basic Chia Pudding
  17. Low Carb “Potato” Salad.

Have you ever tried the Ketogenic Diet? How about as a Vegetarian? We would love your thoughts in the comments below.

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