How to Do Keto As a Vegetarian

Inline_VegetarianThis is one of the most common queries I receive: How do I go keto as a vegetarian?

One way to go keto as a vegetarian is to stop being vegetarian. You begin as a vegetarian, make the conscious decision to go keto, and then cease vegetarianism. Seriously, just try it out. A little animal won’t hurt you. Promise.

Okay, jokes aside: How do you go keto while remaining vegetarian?

Once you let the dust settle and consider the proposition with a calm, clear mind, going keto as a vegetarian isn’t all that outlandish.

Most low-carb diets are hard to do as a vegetarian because protein is a big component, and quality protein is harder to obtain without meat in your diet. The focus of keto is carbs and fat—less of the former, more of the latter—and not so much the protein. There are plenty of ways to reduce carbs and increase fat while remaining vegetarian, and if you keep a few things in mind, you actually have a lot of freedom. More than you’d think.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when constructing your diet. After this, everything else is gravy.

Eat Eggs

This is pretty non-negotiable, at least if you’re trying to optimize your keto vegetarian diet.

Eggs provide long chain omega-3 fatty acids. You have to choose the right eggs, of course. Your average battery-farmed corn-and-soy-fed chickens won’t produce omega-3-rich eggs. If you’re lucky, they’ll have some ALA. But for the animal-based omega-3s that we truly need, you must eat pastured eggs or eggs from chickens on a special diet designed to boost levels of long chain omega-3s.

Eggs provide potent animal protein. I know I just said that protein isn’t a big concern on keto. But you still need a solid source of animal protein, and egg protein is one of the most bioavailable ones in existence.

Eggs provide choline. Our livers go through a lot of choline when they metabolize fats, and you’re going to be metabolizing a lot of fat. Without enough choline, we run the risk of developing fatty liver disease and compromising overall liver function.

Eggs provide vitamin B12. Five average grocery store eggs net you over 100% of the RDA.

Eggs provide retinol. Retinol is the animal-based type of vitamin A that our bodies use far more readily than plant-based vitamin A.

Look for “Super Eggs.” Sometimes Whole Foods carries a brand of egg called the Super Egg. Laid by chickens fed a special diet that includes algae, fish, and specific minerals, each egg has 125 mg of DHA (4.3x a normal egg), 250 IU of vitamin D (6x), 4.7 IU of vitamin E (6x), 378 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin (1.5x), 1.2 mcg of B12 (2.5x), 185 mg of choline, 20 mcg of selenium (1.25x), 0.8 mg of zinc, and 35 mcg of folate. They taste great and make staying nourished on a vegetarian keto diet much easier.

Find the Dairy That Works For You

Some folks simply can’t eat any type of dairy. Okay. But make sure that’s the case and you’re not just exercising a preference. In populations without traditional access to dairy in whom adult genetic tolerance of dairy never developed, vegetarianism was absent. East Asians, Southeast Asians, most of Africa and the Americas—they were not vegetarians. Then, consider the most successful vegetarian cultures, like in India. Dairy plays a major and constant role in their diet. From yogurts to cheeses to milk to cream, they probably wouldn’t have been successful vegetarians without it.

It’s easy to understand why. Dairy is a reliable, delicious source of healthy fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid, important minerals like calcium, and bioavailable protein like whey. Ferment your dairy and you introduce probiotics, lower the lactose, and create novel nutrients like vitamin K2. Dairy is the perfect accompaniment to a keto diet.

If you have no issue with dairy, great. Go wild. Make it a significant part of your diet. If you do have legitimate issues with dairy, figure out what kind of dairy you can consume. Most people can get away with fermented dairy, like yogurt and kefir, and hard, aged cheeses, like pecorino romano, aged gouda, and parmigiano reggiano.

Take creatine, carnosine, and taurine. These are micronutrients found only in meat.

Take niacin and thiamine. These are really hard to obtain without eating starches or animals or a ton of seeds. The top sources of thiamine are trout, pork, sunflower seeds (huge omega-6 hit to get the required amount), and beans. Top niacin sources are pork, poultry, fish, liver, peanuts (but you’d need to eat about a cup), sunflower seeds, and beef. Not exactly vegetarian keto friendly unless you love omega-6.

Eat mushrooms. Everyone should be eating mushrooms, perhaps even patients with depression. But they become crucial for keto vegetarians because they’re the best non-animal, non-starch, non-omega-6-rich seed/nut source of niacin. A couple cups of grilled portobello mushrooms gets you 76% of your daily requirement of the vitamin. Other mushrooms aren’t far behind.

Take algal oil if you’re not getting good eggs high in omega-3s. Good eggs will provide long chain omega 3 fatty acids. So will algal oil, which offers both EPA and DHA.

Consider eating oysters and other shellfish. This is a big stretch for most ethical vegetarians, but I don’t think it has to be. First, oysters aren’t motile, meaning they don’t move to escape danger. This indicates that they probably don’t feel pain, since pain is a costly physiological mechanism that only arises or is preserved in organisms who can respond to it by leaving the scene. Second, oyster farming is ethical and has very little impact on the environment. An oyster farm is pretty much identical to an oyster’s natural environment. If you can stomach a few oysters, you’ll get a fantastic source of vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, and even omega-3s.

What Might This Look Like?

Here’s a sample day of keto vegetarian food. This is just one example.

  • 9 eggs
  • Cup of full-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 ounces Pecorino romano cheese
  • Ounce of almonds
  • Ounce of mac nuts
  • 2 Brazil nuts
  • 4 cups of raw spinach
  • 2 TB avocado oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • 5 green olives

That gets you 1981 calories, 109 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate (10 g fiber), 158 g fat with most of your micronutrients, except for the ones mentioned above (thiamine/B1, niacin/B3). You could easily add in a couple TBs of raw potato starch or a fully green (unripe) banana for some more fermentable substrate for your gut bugs. If you’re willing to give it a shot, you could throw in a few small oysters and take care of all your zinc, selenium, copper, and most of your iron requirements. I think you get the idea, though.

Eat enough eggs to give you adequate protein and micronutrients. Choose the best eggs you can find, as they’re the backbone.

Eat some dairy that you can tolerate, focusing on fermented stuff (which digests the lactose and provides additional benefits) like yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses.

Eat non-starchy veggies with plenty of healthy fat in the form of dressings, mayoavocado/olive oil, nuts/seeds, cheese, avocados.

Have a Big Ass Salad every day, which makes getting all your nutrients really easy. This is my latest favorite.

Going keto as a vegetarian isn’t that hard. And if you take my advice to heart, you won’t even miss out on any major nutrients.

Now let’s hear from you. If you have any other comments or questions about going keto as a vegetarian, let me know down below.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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192 thoughts on “How to Do Keto As a Vegetarian”

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  1. Hey Mark,

    Posted this before and I will again how about some great recipes and cooking tips using a Sous Vide? Have you used one before? I got one for Christmas but have not busted it out yet.

  2. I’ll start! I keep hearing about air fryers and how wonderful they are. Are they a healthy and good way to cook food? Are there any benefits vs. other cooking methods? Thanks!

    1. I thought of another question regarding keto. The internet has a few different viewpoints on how many carbs Greek yogurt has – whether all the sugar is eaten by the bacteria and the carb count on the container is too high, or whether it is accurate. Any thoughts?

      1. I am curious about the true carb count in Greek yogurt, too. Hope you have some insight on this for us.

      2. I haven’t researched this at all, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’m positive that, if Greek yogurt manufacturers thought they could put a lower number on their labels for sugar content, they would have done so.

        The economic benefit to them would be really high, and they won’t ignore that.

        Regardless, I think it’s common for foods to be analyzed before the nutrition information is determined. The results of that analysis are what you see on the container, and they’re the most accurate you can get.

      3. The answer is to make your own yogurt. Ferment 24 hours and the lactose should be pretty much consumed.

  3. My wife is vegetarian and hits almost all of these suggestions. I must have her see the carnosine, taurine and creatine info. to fill in the gaps. Thanks for the post.

  4. Good luck trying to put together a plan like this for someone who is vegan LOL.

      1. I’m not fully vegan, mostly vegetarian. BUT I was vegan for a while and now can’t even eat scrambled eggs or anything that resembles an egg. Could tofu be a good substitute?

    1. I’m a “Fallen Vegan”, so I can only eat plants that have naturally fallen off the tree or plant first, its just to cruel to pick fruit from the tree – it must fall on the ground first.

      There are actually crazies out the who do this.

  5. I’m not actually a vegetarian, but I struggle with eating enough protein to stay keto. I enjoy things that are spicy though – do you have a go-to recipe that’s got plenty of spice in it?

    1. Just going to volunteer this one that I like– you can fry up shirataki noodles (spelling?) with veggies like kale and broccoli, add lots of gochujang or whatever spice you like, and crack a couple eggs on top. It’s a great meal, and can be as spicy as you like!

  6. Excellent post! This is highly feasible when it’s hard to find quality and ethically raised animals.

  7. I’ve been playing around with some keto-friendly snacks, especially dessert-style treats that satisfy a craving at the end of the day or post-dinner. Here is a style that I’ve been enjoying:

    In a cup, mix up the following dry ingredients: a few spoonfuls of cacao nibs (or raw cacao powder), a little bit of cinnamon (to taste), a pinch of salt, a small handful of crushed nuts (mac nuts are best, pecans and hazelnuts are a fine consolation prize) and (optional – don’t add to much or it gets chalky) a tablespoon or two of collagen protein powder for dat glycine. Then, mix in a couple drops of vanilla extract and a tablespoon or two of melted coconut oil or coconut cream, transfer to a bowl or a plate and flatten the paste out, and put in the freezer for at least 10-15 minutes.

    The result is a dense and satisfying “dessert” (it’s not really like anything else I’ve tried).

  8. I’m glad to see this – never wanted to be strict vegetarian but I feel better with less heavy meat and more healthy fats from plants. Also, my Thrive Market order that was delivered today includes your Vanilla Coconut Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel. It sounds so yummy, I would love some suggestions on how to use it!

  9. I’d like advice on what types of cookware are safest/most functional, if you’re only going to have one type

    1. Lynn,

      I got an InstantPot for Christmas (pressure cooker, sauteer, slow cooker, steamer all in one). Its an amazing tool! You can do anything from roast a whole chicken to making bone broth to cooking vegetables. I have even cooked meat straight out of the freezer when short on time. When you use the pressure cooking function it cuts cooking time way down and keeps nutrients in. It has taken pressure cooking to a very safe level and turns out amazing food. Lots of bang for the buck in my book!!

  10. Are creative, carnosine, and taurine supplements derived from animals? If so, is there a company that does it humanely? I eat meat, but the supplement part for people who eat vegan or vegetarian for animal rights is interesting to me.

  11. A good read to distract me from my fighting/screaming/’playing’ children. Thanks .
    Non veg related: are pillows Primal?

      1. Thanks Jemma, l will check it out. Sorry for the delay in my reply.

  12. Vegetarian is easy. Do you ever get “how to do keto as a vegan” question and not that I am pondering a move god forbid? (-:

  13. It sounds little trite, but maximizing counter space is important. I’ve got little ones and their bottle paraphernalia takes up my whole life.

  14. I didn’t know vegetarian Keto could be done. Very interesting.

  15. Love this info for vegetarians. Eggs were the first animal protein I introduced when I (very gradually) transitioned from vegan to primal. I went with local pastured eggs since animal welfare is always important to me, but the Super Eggs sound great. Ultimately I feel better consuming more animal protein and fat, but these are awesome tips for the vegetarians out there. So many people think a vegetarian diet has to be high in carbs with lots of beans and rice but that’s not always the case.

  16. I would like to know how to find a high-quality chef’s knife.

    1. I got my son a Wusthof knife. ((German company). He loves it. Got it online.

  17. This Thanksgiving my cousin deep fried a turkey. It was awesome! So this Christmas I borrowed my neighbor’s fryer and did one myself, followed by a deep fried pork loin (super moist). My cousin used peanut oil and my neighbor recommended canola. I ended up using peanut oil but wonder if avocado oil could be used? Also, do you know where one could purchase 3 gallons of avocado oil without taking out a second mortgage?

  18. I think it would be pretty difficult, if not impossible, to get enough nutrition and calorie content on a vegetarian keto diet. It wouldn’t provide enough satiety and would lack the ability to keep one from getting hungry between meals–something that meat protein does extremely well. Also, you can only eat so many eggs before you never want to look at another one, so OD’ing on eggs isn’t going to be the answer. Frankly, I can’t see that a vegetarian attempt at keto has much chance of working.

    1. As a former 30 year vegetarian who now eats meat, it’s not as hard as you think. I transitions to an ancestral diet (primal, paleo…whatever you want to call it) for about 3 or 4 years before i started eating meat. So I’ve done the Primal thing as a vegetarian and keto is not that much different. Yes, you will eat lots of eggs, eat full fat Greek yogurt, and probably supplement with whey protein, but it’s pretty easy to get fat from nuts, avocado, butter, olive oil and coconut oil.

    2. I’ve done keto vegetarian and I find it pretty easy. Eggs are one of the most versatile foods around, there are so many different flavours and ways of cooking them I never got bored. I hated eggs before becoming vegetarian and still cannot eat them plain.

  19. I really appreciate this post, Mark. Like Sammantha D, I also struggle with getting enough protein even though I’m not really a vegetarian. (I hate the way meat feels and don’t like handling it.)

    Cooking: I get into such ruts! I make endless veggie stir-frys with coconut aminos and pepper, but for some reason when I try other spices the results are underwhelming. I know you’ve posted on various spices in the past, but I’d love another round on that topic..

  20. Can you help with a couple of dinner ideas for the veggie keto?

    1. Barb, I’m not a vegetarian but often eat a light meal for dinner. Try sautéing a spiralized zucchini in butter with garlic, then toss in a few tablespoons of organic marinara at the end. Once plated, sprinkle with a healthy portion of mozzarella or your favorite shredded cheese. This makes a good side dish, too.

  21. Hi, just five days ago, ai had a pacemaker inserted due to slow heart beat. I also have a substantial B12 deficiency. As I am aging, I have found increasingly difficult to enjoy eating meat. My slow heart rate included paused heart beat as well and with this, I have been extremely fatigued. With the pace maker’s help, I am hoping to regain some of my old energy and stamina. Will the vegetarian keto diet supply a good amount of vitamin B12? Thank you in advance!

  22. My big ass salad serves for many meals. I make it as needed from whatever organic (above ground) veggies look good, which locally in small mountain town CO can be iffy. At lunch or dinner I top it with left-over meat or a can of sardines or tuna and If i don’t finish it, it’s fine in the refrigerator over night. Then for late morning meal, I top it with a couple of eggs. Easy and good.

  23. This is helpful, thank you. I’d love some recipes for Instant Pot.

  24. This is a great help for getting protien while not eating meat.

  25. Thanks for bringing up the vegetarian question! I am not vegetarian, but I do like cutting back on meat every once in a while. My kitchen question is, what are your key staples to have in the fridge at all times when you are keto? Love the giveaway idea, thanks for all you do!

  26. One thing I would love to know is this: not only *what* do you have in your kitchen, but also *where* is it? How have you re-arranged your kitchen to be more efficient in recent months?

    For example, this weekend I moved all of my coffee supplies (coffee, electric kettle, aeropress, cacao and maca powder) from way across the kitchen to a drawer right beside the sink. Has made a daily part of my life much more streamlined.

    Anyone else made any recent changes like that?

  27. I’d like to know about air fryers too. I keep looking at them and the instant pot. Thanks for the give away!

  28. This post was really helpful – because I have been vegetarian for many years. Thanks for the extras to take like niacin, etc.

  29. I would love to win this package! I have tried a few of the products but definitely not all and this would be the perfect way to taste it all!! I eat a big ass salad every single day because of you! Thank you for this post!

  30. Thank you for the tips Mark. Our house is definitely not a vegetarian house, but we are looking for more keto vegetarian meals to put in rotation.

  31. Would love to see information about safe cookware/kitchen items (chemical free etc)

  32. I eat a couple of eggs per day. I am not a vegetarian. I am a hyper responder and have high cholesterol with a total of 378. As far as the ratios go, they are all excellent, though. My question is should I eat my eggs raw to keep my cholesterol down somewhat since frying/scrambling eggs are thought to oxidize and cause plaque in arteries? I’m not sure if that is correct information or not.

    1. If you are a hyper responder, I don’t think eating raw eggs will make any difference.It may be more stable cholesterol, but it’s still the same amount and that’s what your lipid profiles are measuring. Your tests don’t know the difference between oxidized and non oxidized.

      I too have crazy high cholesterol right now (probably aggravated by hypothyroidism). Even though my HDL is 149 and my LDL is pattern A, an LDL reading of 239 is nothing to just brush of because once you get into the abnormal cholesterol profile level there is very little evidence on what it all means. Does HDL of 149 make me invincible? is it defective? No one really knows.

      I highly recommend an advanced lipid profile to get a closer look at what’s going on, a C reactive protein test and a coronary calcium test.

      Your basic lipid panel is pretty lacking in important details. If your lipoprotein A is really low, your LDL is nice and fluffy pattern A type, your C reactive protein is low and your arteries are free of calcium, then maybe your sky high cholesterol is fine for you.

      I’d have your TSH, T3 and T4 level checked just to make sure hypothyroidism isn’t messing your lipids up. Couldn’t hurt.

      1. Thanks, Clay. What about the AC1 test that tells if I have Pattern A or Pattern B? Also, how do you go about getting these tests? I really don’t want to go to a doctor. Can I get these tests without going to a doctor?

        1. An advanced lipid profile will include LDL type. You can pay a lab to do them. It’s a pretty cool thing to have.Very detailed. I had to pay for my calcium score myself but it was only $120 which I though was reasonable for an MRI scan of my heart.

          My numbers are so weird that my doctor consulted with the top cardiologist in the network to review them. The cardiologist described my results as a “complex lipid abnormality”.

          So I have very favorable pattern A LDL, low TG, super high HDL, low C reactive protein levels and mild calcium deposits in my LAD artery (the widow maker) while all the others are clean. Which overall is pretty decent.

          So the advanced testing gave me a more complete and nuanced view of what’s happening metabolically and a specific place in my heart to monitor over the the rest of my life, which is kind of a blessing actually.

          Many people have no idea what’s going on and then they just fall over dead from massive cardiac arrest.

  33. I would love some tips on cooking for one person (I live alone) while not wasting food or money.

  34. I’m not a vegetarian, but the sample meal plan with advice to center this diet on nine eggs a day is welcome news.

  35. This is vaguely kitchen related… While I’ve been doing keto for a long time now ( and haven’t had a problem coming up with meals myself, I see a lot of people asking me my opinion on ketogenic meal replacement shakes like KetoChow or Actualize. Many folks don’t seem to have time to cook in the kitchen and are looking for an easy shaker-bottle ready option, but I would love to know your thoughts on these… maybe not as regular replacements for real food, but for the occasional meal replacement?

  36. I’d like to hear more about recovery after a hard workout. This has been my biggest trouble with keto so far. It would be even better if it came with recipes of meals that help in recovery.

  37. Thank you so much for this article! I eat meat but want to reduce it some and maybe have a bit more balance. Easy to overdo the protein.

  38. Thanks for the helpful info and a sample day of keto vegetarian food.

  39. Hi! I’d love a post on something like “10 kitchen tools for a newbie going primal that you can’t live without” (or something a little more succinct 😉 )

  40. Thanks for your article! I have been living a vegetarian primal-based lifestyle for the last three years and have never felt better. The Primal diet really helped me become a healthier vegetarian. I am getting ready to transition to Keto next month. I have found that Primal and Keto dovetail perfectly with a vegetarian lifestyle. Still, it’s really affirming to have support from you, Mark. Thanks.

    1. Cindy, wondering if you can tell me what you mean by primal based vegetarian? I became a vegetarian 7 months ago but find the transition difficult without consuming lots of carbs, which I’d rather not do. Any insight or advice you could give would be great. I will say, I like eggs but can’t imagine eating 9 a day.
      Thanks for any help you can provide.

  41. Thank you for this post! I’ve been a vegetarian for 28 years and have been researching Keto to learn more about a vegetarian Keto Diet. This is a great perspective and while I don’t think I’ll ever be able to add beef and chicken into my diet, I may consider adding shellfish.

  42. I would love to do a vegan Keto diet! But I have so many food allergies and also need to do a low histamine diet due to my illness. I have food intolerance to eggs, soy, gluten, lactose. Due to my Mast Cell Activation Syndrome – I need low histamine Foods – no spinach, no avocado , no canned tuna, no fermented foods plus many more foods. What do you suggest ? Thank you in advance. ( also any suggestions for an electric can opener?) Thank you in advance!!!

  43. Pick me! I really want all those free goodies!

    How bad is it to heat oil so hot that it smokes? I always get my cast iron super hot so it just starts to smoke, then I add some stable fat with a high smoke point and low PUFA’s like bacon grease, avocado oil, ghee, etc. But sometimes I’ll use coconut oil or EVOO or something. Anyways…it smokes but I’ll add the veggies instantly and then begin to saute. Is having the fat get so hot that it smokes (even just for a few seconds) really that bad? I know its begins to oxidize and stuff but….a few seconds?

    I like a high heat to get that nice, crispy, carmelizedness to all my cooking!

  44. New to the keto way and a stubborn ethical vegetarian. Your timing couldn’t be better with this article. Thank you very much!

  45. what level of protein intake do you recommend for a vegetarian who is less active than most? (IE works in an office for long hours). i know it is important not to overdo protein because the body can’t break it all down. or, would you recommend keeping everything proportionally the same? (carbs:protein:fats)

  46. i have read about instant pot and air fryer which would it be? i do not have pace for both. By the way we had your Thai zoodles recipe for lunch today.

  47. Hi Mark,

    I have not jumped on the instant pot band wagon as yet … I seem totally fine without one … do you have one and if so is this an appliance that you feel you can’t live without? My Vitamix falls into that category … I would really struggle without one ! thoughts are very much appreciated! cheers !

  48. My college-age daughter is a vegetarian. I am sending this article to her along with the motherly advise to invest in the right eggs! Thank you.

  49. I was just thinking about if this would be possible– hows that for synchronicity?! Thanks mark! Now is there a certain type of dairy that holds the most micronutrients? I’d like to try to incorporate some form of daily but need it to be high quality and efficient. Thanks!

  50. Just the article I was looking for today! I started the 21 Day Keto Reset a week ago and my husband who’s veggie was wary … I can’t wait to show him.

  51. If we want to encourage someone to stop using a microwave cooker, what alternative(s) could we suggest?

  52. I’ve been keto since December 10th, and I have lost 6 pounds, and feel great! I have been paleo and primal for years, but occasionally ate corn and rice but not this past month. I notice my skin is getting clearer (just like my daughter Stacy at Real Everything told me it would)! My sister is vegetarian, and says she feels horrible on keto diets. She also does not eat eggs. Do you have a vegetarian soup recipe that might include dairy and mushrooms?

  53. I’ve only had limited success with my spiralizer, can you give any tips?

  54. How about an equal opportunity post about how to do keto as a 100% meat eating carnivore (no dairy or eggs)? Also for kitchen gadgetry, what’s your recommended favorite insta read meat thermometer?

  55. I sometimes wish I was a vegetarian for ethical reasons but I suspect I will always be a carnivore. Had a lovely little 4 ounce filet last night. Way too yummy to give up!

  56. This was really helpful for me, although I’d probably classify myself as more of a pescatarian.

  57. Hi Mark, I was wondering when you make bone broth is it very calorie dense and what would you say the rough macronutrients are per 100ml or so of bone broth!

  58. Well, I’m quite happy consuming meat, but I do have some vegetarian friends to whom I’ll forward this. Who knows – if they read it then start browsing MDA, who knows where they’ll end up.

  59. The only way to know if it works is to try it. Have to have an open mind.

  60. I was vegetarian (but ate an awful lot of salmon! ) for 26 years, before, three years or so ago, going first ketogenic, then very quickly primal, as I developed a craving for liver. I’ve felt much healthier since; I never count a calorie, love all my food, especially liver, and don’t regret the change at all. In fact, as I now live in France, I’d probably starved if I hadn’t changed! I don’t regret having been a veggie, either, but I do wish I’d known about avoiding grains. Can’t win ’em all!

  61. I would like to see more tips on staying keto while traveling. What are some great on-the-go options that do not require refrigeration or heating/cooking?

  62. Hi Mark! I like to add a lot of spices when I cook. Are there any spices that should be avoided on a primal/keto way of eating? Also, are there spices that support fat burning? Thanks!

  63. I’ve seen a number of youtube videos on vegan keto. When done this way, its clearly not primal compliant as it contains a ton of soy — mostly tofu and tempeh. I’m vegetarian about 95% of time. Every time I attempt a low carb plan, I feel like I’m going to faint. What on earth is that about?

  64. I’ll piggy back on to Anthony’s question. Is it safe to heat up the plastic in a sous vide? I’m very interested on getting one, but I’m concerned that it may leaching chemicals into my food

  65. I need to go keto. I was primal for 5 years but when my husband died in July, I started the Captain Morgan/Potato Chip/frozen GF pizza diet. I’m on the verge of having to buy new clothes… Everyone is telling me that the instant pot makes great hard boiled eggs. I guess I’ll have to pull the trigger on that one.

    1. Sorry to hear of your loss, Cindy. Stress and emotional tolls can wreak havoc on our nutrition, but it’s good to see you’ve come out on the other side. Just getting eating Primal again. Keto is just a stricter extension and not needed to get into healthy eating habits again. Grok on!

      1. Thanks Curtis. You are probably right. I need to get my physicality back and dial things in slowly. One step at a time. I did it before, I can do it again.

  66. Mark, thanks for tackling this topic. I’m not a meat eater, and I found it extremely difficult to keep to a keto diet as a vegetarian. I was using beans for protein, but that adds extra carbohydrates that I know need to be limited. This post was extremely helpful in steeing me in the right direction, Thanks!

    1. Looks like you belong in a cave and loin cloths with the rest of your ancestors

      The future is vegan

  67. I am a long-time vegan and am trying to make 6 weeks keto after reading The Keto Reset. I’ve been hitting my target of 50g carb and .5 to .7 g protein/lb lean body mass. I don’t think I could go without living on salad and macadamias. I’m happy to answer any questions.
    P.S. I will commit to eating all the Primal Kitchen giveaway should I win!

  68. Ok, paleo mayo with raw egg yoke. We all have heard of the dangers of raw eggs and salmonella. Is paleo mayo safe? I’ve made it a few times and I’m still alive.

  69. I’ve found myself drifting away from meat lately (not for any particular reason, just hasn’t appealed), so this was really helpful! And I could eat eggs all day every day, so this plan might work nicely 🙂

  70. Always a clear cut delivery, and that’s what I am most appreciative for. Thank you Mark for making this lifestyle easier to approach

  71. I have been told by my dr to stop eating bacon, it has been a staple food for me (16 months on Keto) my blood sugars are great, but cholesteral not so great – what are your thoughts on peameal (back bacon) fried in avocado oil, as opposed to normal strip bacon?

    1. The average life expectancy of a GP is around eight years less than their patients so there is no point listening to them. Overall higher cholesterol equals higher o=mortality and the science proves this. The big heart issues are sugar, carbs and particularly modern fats which are toxic and are prescribed by our our sickness industry. You have to go beyond the sickness indusdry

  72. I certainly think going keto if you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian (i.e. you eat eggs and dairy) would not be a struggle, and I’m a bit surprised by the commenters making judgments regarding difficulty who don’t follow such a diet themselves. I wouldn’t presume to know anything about a meat-inclusive diet or the challenges therein. I would love to hear more about how to consider including homemade fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, beet kvass, etc – beneficial probiotics and enzymes, but hard to estimate residual sugars remaining per serving. Just use the carb count of the raw foods? Don’t worry too hard? Don’t include when the goal is ketosis? Gut health is extra important when trying to absorb all the nutrients from your delicious keto diet. Thanks, Mark!

  73. I would love some keto pressure cooker recipes and desserts under 5 g carb – grab and go.

  74. These are great tips. I’m not vegetarian, but want to eat as many veggies as possible while trying the keto diet (I haven’t started yet). What about fiber? How so you get enough while eating kept? I already have a hard time with constipation without grains.

  75. Best brand of stick blender? Mine broke and I use one all the time!

  76. Thank you for this awesome article on keto for vegetarians! I’m going to start a keto diet in February and have been doing tons of reading on the subject. Also just picked up a Primal Kitchen cookbook, so the salad dressings look amazing!

  77. I’m brand new this way of eating and also mostly vegetarian so this post is just what I need! I’d LOVE the giveaway to help me on my new journey!

  78. What size bowl is best for a BA salad for two people? 8 qt stainless steel? Or one for each?!

  79. Thanks Mark! I’m at a bit of health tipping point right now. Impeccable timing! I’m off to the organic store and fish merchant. I’ll give you an update in 7, 14, and 21 days… Thank you again. Matt

  80. I am a vegetarian and appreciate this information because I really want to incorporate this diet. My brother has had great success with your program.., I’m copying the list, more ideas and suggestions always helpful.

  81. I’be been Primal for several years, but prior to that my 2 attempts at being vegetarian failed horribly. The tips here would have been very helpful at that time. But since I’m doing so well following the Primal Blueprint, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing – my body just does way better with animal protein plus I can tolerate some types of dairy — if it ain’t broke don’t fix it—

  82. I’ve been trying to incorporate raw garlic into my diet for the Allicin but it burns and upsets my stomach a great deal to just eat it straight so I’d be curious how to make it more palatable. Alternatively, how hot does garlic have to get before the Allicin is destroyed?

  83. I love making my own salad dressings. I enjoy the taste of extra light tasting Olive oil compared to virgin. I’ve heard it has the same benefits. Is this true, if not what are they?

  84. Save your leftover meat scraps and make broth/stock. I just boiled a collection of leftover goose parts and I wnded up with enough stock to make a couple of dishes. Froze thr rest if the stock.Great way to justify buying more expensive meats

  85. Is there a comprehensive list of vegetarian foods I would be able to eat? I really appreciate this, it’s rhe most concise article I’ve read that makes going keto as a vegetarian a reasonable goal. Thanks!

  86. I just became a Pescatarian after doing Paleo for 6 years. I cannot afford the meat I would like and as I age I don’t need the store bought crap. And dairy is not great for my skin or digestion. Yogurt or anything fermented I do. Thank you for this article. I would love to do Keto again.And just change it up a bit for my needs. YOU were my biggest influence on Paleo.Thank you again for this article. I will bookmark this and use it along with fish.

  87. Awesome article! I was a vegetarian several years ago and have contemplated going back. Meat isn’t something I’m just crazy about but I know as a vegetarian I eat way too many carbs. This is a great compromise! Thanks, Mark, for all you do!!!

  88. My question about the post: aren’t eggs a complete protein? If I eat eggs as a vegetarian, wouldn’t I be covered for my RDAs for Niacin, Carnosine, and Taurine? Thank you for all you do! I look for every podcast you’ve been interviewed on & love hearing your story!

  89. Would you be open to offering a “select your preferred dressings” bundle?

  90. I just feel better not eating all the heavy meats ,I am sure shrimp woyld be snice light treat sometimes ,would love to try all these salad dressings and mayo ,loving the sauces.

  91. Good suggestions. Thank you. I agree with Quinto that it is sometimes hard to find quality, ethically raised animal foods.

  92. I’m looking into getting an Instant Pot, they look so interesting. So, I’m looking for great Keto recipes using the Instant Pot. You have some of the tastiest recipes on your blog, really appreciate all you share with us.

  93. Even though I eat meat, there are days when I like to eat just vegetarian meals. So thanks for this article. I too would like to see a reply to Leigh’s post below about air fryers.

  94. Sisson, you are crushing it! What a beast you are and this blog is! Maybe more sauna or cold therapy stuff?!

    1. Kieran, thanks for your comment. You read my mind on the heat and cold therapy topics. Look for more on these next month.

  95. I used to eat eggs every day and ended up with and allergy My doctor took me off eggs for 6 months which cured the allergy. I make sure to rotate my foods now.

  96. I love the primal kitchen products and would love to win them!

  97. I am currently reading your Primal Blueprint from 2012 and also have the Keto Reset Diet book to read. I am very interested in the Intermittent Fasting as well and wondered if drinking Matcha tea is allowed for the fasting period? I love tea and not coffee and usually just have a variety of black or green tea. Would love your suggestions:)

  98. More instant pot recipes would be welcome and helpful! How does nutrition if vegetables cooked in an instant pot stack up against other cooking methods?

  99. This is great information. I’ve made the step in my low cab Paleo diet to vegetarian. I’m learning. I have been thinking of juicing. Do you have any thoughts on that? Thanks!

  100. I’d love a list of make-ahead primal breakfast ideas! Mornings are always a rush in this house, so I like to prep the night before, when possible, but I am running out of ideas. Thanks!

  101. Blenders: I would love to own a Vitamix to make some of the amazing shakes in your Primal Kitchen cookbook, but they are so darned expensive! I don’t have a $100 piece of equipment in my kitchen, much less a $300 one. What’s a thrifty alternative that can still get the job done? I’ve got KitchenAid’s version of a NutriBullet and it often takes 3 blends: first the powder, then solids, then ice, to get a so-so product. How can I step up my shake-making without breaking the bank?

  102. Hello Mark,

    My sister sent this post to me since I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years and am now in the first two weeks of going keto.
    Here is my challenge.
    I have allergic reactions to eggs so if I have them, I can not have them very often. My other challenge is that I have cleaned my system from my addiction to dairy and I don’t really want to go back since it affects my breathing, energy, and inflammation in my body. I have a LOT of weight to lose (100lbs) and I’m down 13lbs at this point. I have not eaten any dairy and I tried eggs just yesterday after being clean of eggs and inflammation triggers for 10 days. However, as I shared above, I still reacted.

    So, I am attempting a low calorie, keto lifestyle while not eating dairy nor eggs. I do take fish oils and over these 10 days, I have used bone broth to help heal my gut (I have celiac and have been Gluten Free for years but my gut was still struggling.). I don’t like using it but when I do, I thank God for my blessings. I am also willing to use collagen to add to my food.

    As you can see, I am willing and able to utilize fully organic, pasture raised, grass-fed animal bone broth. But I can not eat flesh, nor sea creatures, mostly cuz I don’t like their smell, taste and texture.

    Can you help me with a healthy way to live a keto lifestyle long term, with these considerations?


  103. Always interested in learning more about the best kitchen gadgets to have or for recipes that use a kitchen gadget in a new, inventive way.

  104. I have a vegetarian friend who is currently deployed on an aircraft carrier. Besides the obvious nuts, what kind of keto “treats” could I send him? There is a possibility for high temperatures, so some things will melt.

  105. Recipes (or comments in recipes) for people who haven’t gotten a crockpot or InstantPot and just want to use their standard pots and pans. I’m not an experienced cook, so I’m not sure how to modify all the popular crockpot/InstantPot recipes for standard ware.

  106. I’m a 28 year vegetarian that’s been pondering Keto for a while now. Many thanks for your information. You have made it easier for this girl to try a new way of health management !

  107. I’ve seen a pizza crust of eggs and cheese — four eggs and as much grated cheese as you need to hold it together. Spread in a circle or rectangle and bake in an oven. Can’t remember what temperature, maybe 400. Bake until it all sticks together. Then put toppings on.

  108. Thank you so much for your article.
    I have looked at the Keto diet many times, wishing there was a vegetarian version! Now to talk myself into eating those eggs!! Just can’t stand the taste…yuck

  109. I wish I could be vegetarian because I cry at the thought of killing an animal – but I love the taste of meat too much 🙁

  110. Hey, I’ve BEEN STRUGGLING with Keto and being Vegetarian, thank you so much for these guidelines!

  111. You say to eat plenty of eggs. However, what can one do if they find themselves sensitive to eggs or tired/burnt out on eggs?

  112. Nine eggs seems like so many to eat everyday! I am very curious what that would do to your cholesterol levels over time. Also, why almost 2,000 calories in “a typical day” meal plan?

  113. I’ d love more info on pre-prepping veggies for BA salads, etc. I’d like to use a wide variety of veggies each week but find that unless I wash and cut them up ahead of time, I tend not to use them. However, I worry that pre-cutting them will make them lose their vitamins – any stats on this?

  114. What about being able to do keto diet as a vegan? Also, I’m a little behind on the whole spiralizer fad and just got one as a gift, other than zucchini noodles what else can I use it for?

  115. Thank you Mark! Really helpful post. I’m starting keto again next week. I think with this info help me be a success this time around.

  116. Excellent advice as always! I want to add as a vegetarian you can do is to as long as you replenish all your proteins and micronutrients. Eggs in my opinion. Are one of those supefood and should be the cornestone of your diet. Vegetarians can be Primal too.

  117. I love reading about fellow keto vegetarians!

    I’ve found a lot of products really helpful for still getting protein are actually carb substitutes, like Mission’s Carb Balance tortillas, and Pro Granola.

    I also think enough can’t be said about almond milk, which is even lower carb than cow’s milk, and has the added bonus of being vegan (which ethical vegetarians I think tend to appreciate, even if we’re not actually vegan).

  118. I have a hard time justifying how eating a TB of butter and 2 TB of oil can be good for your arteries.

  119. I’ve been vegetarian since May, vegan since August. Slowly starting to transition back into vegetarianism. I’ve been eating my own chicken’s eggs for about a week. Thank you for the tips. I would love to win the giveaway. 🙂

  120. I had been wondering for some time about blending Ketone with Vegetarian – your post offers helpful suggestions and a great distinction about egg quality – thanks for this!

  121. Suggestions for the Keto vegetarian plan which Mark outlined above without any dairy and limiting nuts (cold sore outbreaks)? We already eat a ton of eggs as our protein staple

  122. Even one day of eating 9 eggs would do me in. Guess I just need to stick with meat.

  123. Dear Mark,

    I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for over a decade now, thanks for all the amazing work so far and for the continued inspiration and knowledge.

    Would Carnosine supplementation be more beneficial than simply an adequate intake of Beta-Alanine and Histidine? I’ve read that they get resynthesized in the muscle into carnosine by an enzyme called Carnosine synthethase.

    I’ve been keto while vegan during the past months and I feel pretty good despite some ups and downs with my gut / bowels. I try to limit supplements for various reasons but since I’m highly active (acrobat / aerialist as a profession) I’ve been taking algae oil, creatine, D3, magnesium and EAA. Slowly I’ve been adding back some eggs and hard, raw cheeses for nutrition but also for enjoyment.

    I have to admit that I wonder how following a keto/mainly vegan lifestyle while being so active will affect long-term health. As for the activity levels, 3 hours a day of training, 4-6 days a week with sometimes very intense performance periods is what my life kind of looks like.

    Any insights you might have into my questions and remarks would be amazing.

    Thanks again,

  124. Going vegetarian is a decision to live a sub-optimal lifestyle. It’s an ignorant modern affectation. When dealing with a vegetarian you first have to realize you’re dealing with a feeler not a thinker. Next they really can’t be saved with reason because if they could reason well they wouldn’t be a vegetarian. Ignore them. They will get sick from their poor choice then they might see the light.

  125. My son and daughter-in-law are hoping for a baby. She is vegetarian, and there is concern about nutrition during her pregnancy. Obviously she will need more carbs, but this article is full of excellent nutritional information, and she will eat eggs, so this article will answer a lot of her questions. Thank you so much!!