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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 09, 2018

Can a Vegan Go Keto?

By Mark Sisson
90 Comments

Hungry people eating appetizing vegetarian dinnerAbsolutely! Anyone can go keto, including vegans. They might not be able to stay vegan, but they can certainly go keto. Nothing stopping them. The more the merrier.

Jokes aside. Can someone go keto while remaining vegan?

That’s a tougher problem. Not intractable. But real tough.

Why is it so hard?

For one, the most protein-rich vegan foods also happen to be relatively high in carbohydrates—the very macronutrient you need to limit on keto. You could load up on a complex blend of legumes and rice to obtain adequate protein containing all the essential amino acids, but you’d end up overdoing it on carbohydrates and knocking yourself out of ketosis. Protein is extremely important and hard to obtain on a normal vegan diet. It’s even harder on a keto vegan diet.

Two, the easiest vegan sources of fat and protein—nuts and seeds—aren’t meant to be staple foods. No one should base their diet on nuts for a few reasons.

  • Excessive omega-6. Most nuts are very high in linoleic acid, the omega-6 fat that most modern people consume too much of already. This will throw your omega-3:omega-6 ratio out of whack.
  • Excessive calories. Nuts can just disappear down your gullet. The ability to consume entire sackfuls of nuts in a single sitting without having to remove the shells is a modern aberration, one we’re not really prepared as an organism to regulate.
  • Carbs. When you start getting into the “several handful” range, the carb content of nuts adds up. It’s not enough carbs to disrupt a normal eater, but it can ruin ketosis.
  • Anti-nutrients. Nuts and seeds can’t run from predators, so they employ biological warfare to dissuade animals from eating them, manufacturing anti-nutrient compounds that impair nutrient absorption. This isn’t a deal breaker. We’ve adapted to many of these compounds, and I even think it’s likely that some of these anti-nutrients, like phytate, offer hormetic benefits in smaller doses. But if you’re eating enough almonds to satisfy your protein requirements, you’re overdoing it.

(And yes, in certain parts of the year, the Hadza of East Africa consume the bulk of their calories from the mongongo nut, but you’re not Hadza. It’s a different genetic situation, a different lifestyle, a different microbiome. The Hadza also eat thousands of calories of wild honey each day when it’s available. You lining up to do that, too?)

Successfully implementing a vegan keto diet requires the resolution of those two main problems. You need complete protein without all the carbs that beans entail, and you need a reliable source of fat without all the omega-6 fatty acids nuts and seeds entail.

For the protein, you have a few options.

Consider some concessions. Compare the spirit of your commitment to the “letter of the law” approach. The following will make your journey far more enjoyable, nutrient-dense, and sustainable.

1.Consider eating eggs from a trusted source (even yourself).

You can usually go on Craigslist and find a local source of pastured chicken eggs. Simply introduce yourself and ask to see their operation. I mean, it’s not like the hobby farmer who considers her hens members of the family is going to give those birds a bad life. Go see for yourself, then eat the eggs.

Heck, why not take the plunge and raise your own chickens? If you have the space, do it. You know yourself. You know you’ll do it without cruelty. You’ll give them a good, happy life. You won’t “cull” the non-producers.

A regular intake of pastured eggs will give you most of the nutrients you’re missing out on as a keto vegan—like choline, omega-3s, iron, and zinc, not to mention high quality animal protein.

If you’re worried about the whole eggs/heart disease myth, know that it’s exactly that—a myth. The most recent evidence suggests that any relationship between egg consumption and health issues stems from “a dietary pattern often accompanying high egg intake and/or the cluster of other risk factors in people with high egg consumption,” not the eggs themselves.

2. Still not willing to eat eggs? Consider eating bivalves.

Most evidence suggests that bivalves—oysters and mussels—have no central nervous system capable of registering pain and are not mobile, and  that the farming practices used to grow them are environmentally friendly.

They’re incredibly nutrient-dense with many of the nutrients vegans miss out on. Oysters in particular will give you all the zinc and iron you need, plus a good amount of omega-3. Mussels are loaded with protein, omega-3s, and micronutrients.

3. If bivalves are out, you’ll need some protein powders.

Low-carb plant foods dense with protein just don’t really exist. And no, broccoli doesn’t actually have more protein than steak. Protein powders that extract the protein from plant sources and leave behind most of the fat and carbohydrates, however, do exist.

The obvious animal-based choices like whey or egg are out. The best bet seems to be a mix of rice, pea, and hemp protein powders.

Rice protein powder is almost complete with all the essential amino acids (those we can’t manufacture in our bodies and must get from outside sources), but it’s low in lysine. Rice protein powder did perform admirably compared to whey protein in one study among weight lifting adults, but they weren’t on vegan diets, and the rest of their diets probably contained plenty of animal protein to make up for any missing amino acids. Here’s one to try.

Pea protein powder has plenty of lysine to make up for what’s missing in rice protein. Here’s a good one.

Hemp protein is complete and usually comes with a nice dose of micronutrients, including magnesium, prebiotic fiber, and omega-3s, but it’s lower in protein than rice and pea protein powder, so I wouldn’t rely exclusively on it. Try this one.

For the fat, you have many options that aren’t excessively high in omega-6 fats.

Eat lots of avocado and avocado oil. These are mostly monounsaturated fat. I hear there’s a pretty great vegan ranch dressing made with avocado oil on the market.

Eat coconut. An excellent source of healthy saturated fat, coconut and its constituents like coconut oil and coconut butter are essentials for the vegan-keto pantry. A spoonful of coconut butter is one of my go-to snacks, and it’s totally keto-friendly.

Eat olives and olive oil. This is mostly monounsaturated fat. Just make sure you’re buying actual olive oil.

Eat macadamia nuts. Again, mostly monounsaturated. Great for snacks.

Eat hemp seeds. Fairly high in omega-6, but it’s balanced with a large dose of omega-3 and some of the omega-6 is anti-inflammatory GLA. The complete protein, prebiotic fiber, and loads of magnesium don’t hurt either.

Eat red palm oil. Palm oil gets a bad rap, as most Southeast Asian palm production impedes on dwindling orangutan habitats. The majority of red palm oil—the unrefined version higher in micronutrients—comes from sustainable palm farms that don’t impact orangutan populations. Mostly saturated fat.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, and all the other ones higher in omega-6. Eat nuts (and seeds) of all kinds, just not to the exclusion of everything else. There is such a thing as too many nuts, as I explained earlier.

No matter what you eat, you’ll need to take supplements.

Choline: The higher your fat intake, the more choline your liver needs to process it all. Choline is most abundant in animal foods that you aren’t eating, like liver and egg yolks. A good vegan source of choline is sunflower lecithin.

Creatine: Creatine monohydrate is cheap, safe, and effective. You should take it, because you’re not getting it from your food; the best sources of creatine are red meat and fish. Far more than a “weight lifting supplement,” creatine has been shown to improve both muscular and cognitive function in vegetarians.

Carnosine: Not many know about carnosine. It’s another meat-based nutrient that improves mood, enhances endurance, and serves as a brain antioxidant. Though we can make it in our bodies, studies show that vegans and vegetarians have fairly low levels and supplementation can help.

Taurine: Taurine is similar to carnosine—though it’s not essential (we make it, just probably not enough), it appears only in animal foods and plays a major yet under-appreciated role in preventing death and disease. Easy supplement.

B12: You just need B12. There’s no way around it, unless you don’t mind your central nervous system going haywire.

Don’t assume you’re replete in B12 unless you’ve taken the latest assays, which are more sensitive than normal serum B12 tests. According to normal serum tests, 52% of vegans and 7% of vegetarians are deficient. According to the newer, more sensitive tests, 92% of vegans and 77% of vegetarians have low levels of the active form of vitamin B12. Don’t take a chance with this stuff; it’s critical. Here’s a good one.

Algal oil: Since you can’t take fish oil, and you don’t want to rely on inefficient elongation of ALA into the more effective omega-3s DHA and EPA, you should take algal oil. Algae is where most marine life gets its DHA and EPA. It’s totally vegan-friendly, and studies show it improves blood lipids and increases blood levels of EPAHere’s one.

Those are the big things to worry about. Once you’ve them all squared away, the rest is easy: just eat delicious whole plant foods.

You’d better like avocados and coconut.

You’d better eat tons of non-starchy vegetables: leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and other above-ground vegetables.

Eat mushrooms. They aren’t vegetables, but you can treat them like it.

You can even eat fruit, so long as you choose the lower-sugar ones and moderate your intake. Berries are perfect. Watermelon and cantaloupe are surprisingly low in sugar.

Incorporate seaweed into your life. Kelp in your soups, nori sheets as snacks. Great source of minerals like iodine.

Oh, and grab a copy of Accidental Paleo, a paleo vegetarian cookbook with a good number of vegan recipes.

Can you be a perfectly healthy whole-foods vegan keto dieter? Probably not. There are just too many limitations. But if you make a few concessions, include a few supplements, and accept that vegan purity is neither necessary nor desirable (particularly for keto eating), you can get very good results.

If you have any questions about any of this, don’t hesitate to ask down below in the comment section. I’ll do my best to address them in a later post.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

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90 Comments on "Can a Vegan Go Keto?"

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Elizabeth Resnick
13 days 20 hours ago
This is so valuable! I gradually transitioned from vegan to paleo/primal, and then that just kind of turned in what I call borderline keto. Nothing tracked or measured. But this was a long, very gradual transition. Pastured eggs were the first thing I added. And I can honestly say that being vegan opened my eggs to some pretty amazing foods, like hemp seed, green drinks (I started out heavy on the fruit, now they are hardcore green) and coconut and red palm oil. It’s great to see there are so many vegan protein powders out now, but I know when… Read more »
HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
13 days 20 hours ago

Hey Mark last weekend when I went to my local health food store I saw your picture on the cover of your quarterly magazine I somehow did not know existed, very cool!

Nancy
Nancy
13 days 19 hours ago

I have a question. How likely is it that you can do vegan and gluten free especially when traveling? I have celiac and I can hardly eat in a restaurant and I eat everything. I have to always ask a million questions in restaurants. Being healthy is important to me but I don’t want to do keto either. I like all Foods..

Kathy
Kathy
13 days 18 hours ago
Hi, Nancy. I’m also Celiac and ate vegan for years. (I’m doing the Autoimmune Protocol right now, so meat is not something I can refuse.) When you are contemplating restaurant eating, sometimes you just have to fall back on salads. You still need to explain Celiac so you don’t end up with a beautiful salad ruined by croutons. Another possibility is a big plate of grilled or steamed veggies. Yeah, I know, you get tired of going out and ordering salads, but it is better than staying home. I don’t understand why you are asking Mark this particular question, though.… Read more »
Nancy
Nancy
13 days 16 hours ago

Good idea Kathy! I’ll look into it on a Celiac site. I just was curious about Mark’s opinion on it. Being Vegan is a choice but I have to be Celiac so I don’t know if I can do both. It may make it extra hard.

Cosima
Cosima
12 days 20 hours ago
Hey Nancy, I’m gluten-free (allergic) and am mostly vegan (eat pastured eggs), formerly paleo/primal. It’s actually not that difficult IMO! Idk where you live, but here in Colorado there are plenty of options at every restaurant, even if it means sticking to veggies, as said by the other poster. I’m not keto (tried it when I ate animal products and did not like results at all), and I realize it would be much more difficult to do that along with veg and gluten-free. If you’re traveling, you can bring lots of snacks with you if need be, like nuts, olives,… Read more »
Bamboosmith
Bamboosmith
13 days 19 hours ago

Thanks mark. I have chickens and try to buy locally and humanely raised meat. As a former vegan (been on keto for 5 years as I became pre diabetic), I still want more dining choices in this area. Will buy the cookbook that you reference. Again thanks.

Joshua Crosby
Joshua Crosby
13 days 18 hours ago

Humanely raised. First world problems. Whatever gave you the idea that animals needed to be treated like humans?

Tika Williams
13 days 16 hours ago

Common decency Joshua? Humanely does not mean “like humans.” It means without excessive cruelty. They have nerves, they have brains, they suffer if treated cruelly. They are not inanimate objects that don’t suffer. This from a hunter/fisherman who kills for food. As humanely as possible.

Casey
Casey
13 days 16 hours ago

I hope you’re joking. The definition of “humane” is having or showing compassion. Even if you do not care at all how animals are treated, the effect of how they are mistreated impacts not only how the meat tastes, but how healthy it is to eat.

Anne
Anne
13 days 16 hours ago

There’s a difference between giving a chicken the right to vote and deciding things which have an emotional and rational life, no matter how limited, ought not to be used for food. (I am not a vegan, but I get it.)

Kim Falk
Kim Falk
13 days 13 hours ago

You became president diabetic being a vegan?

Precisely
Precisely
13 days 11 hours ago

Not sure I understand your question?

Kim Falk
Kim Falk
13 days 1 hour ago

Sorry, auto correct ? I was asking @bamboosmith about them becoming pre-diabetic being a vegan. I would like to know their story.

Liver King
13 days 19 hours ago
The world needs more vegan-minded people… they are some of the most caring, compassionate, principle centered people with a genuine desire to do good. Unfortunately, it’s a way of life that’s just not aligned with our evolutionary history, nor our modern day physiology. That said, if you’re gonna do it, please heed Mark’s advice. In addition to this supplement list, vegans will also need to “supplement” with legitimate vitamin A (as in retinol; not beta carotene). Many people believe that they can get enough of this from their fruits and veggies—simply put, they can’t! Fruits and vegetables are high in… Read more »
Whitney
Whitney
13 days 18 hours ago

Thank you for sharing this information.

BChristine
13 days 17 hours ago

Beautiful words regarding vegans, LK; and from my experience, you are absolutely right. Unfortunately vegans are not quite in line with my ideas for eating and nutrition either …. but I certainly respect their choices. Great post 🙂

Cosima
Cosima
12 days 20 hours ago

Thank you for these kind words! I find most paleo/primal types like to make fun of vegans (as I did when I was paleo/primal), but changing my diet and lifestyle to be vegan-centered has been an enlightening experience, and I honestly have the best health I’ve had (though I felt great on paleo/primal too). I think the veg and paleo camps have much more in common than they sometimes realize, and that we could all work well together.

tribal
tribal
12 days 8 hours ago

I am all for protecting animals, and hate the cruelty that goes on, however I am always mindful that virtue signallng is quite a different thing to genuine caring and compassion, something sadly I have seen a lot of. It is Ironic I guess that sociopaths are the masters of virtue signalling.

Shary
Shary
13 days 19 hours ago
Doesn’t sound ideal. For one thing, I doubt that a vegan on a keto diet would ever get enough to eat. Non-starchy veggies are healthful but have no satiating power. That has to come from animal protein and fat. Secondly, I doubt that a vegan-keto diet (an oxymoron, really) would be sustainable for very long, for the same reasons. Trying to survive on an extremely limited, calorie-deficient diet while trying to make up the deficit with a handful of supplements isn’t a healthy way to live. My suggestion, for whatever it’s worth, would be this: If you are doing well… Read more »
Casey
Casey
13 days 16 hours ago

Agree 100%. I feel like if you are choosing to go that restrictive – to the point that it really cannot be sustainably healthy – then there is probably something disordered going on.

Anne
Anne
13 days 16 hours ago

It’s entirely possible to manage. It’s a bit of a mental shift, the same way going keto in the first place is a mental shift. And you don’t need all the supplements Mark lists- a lot of them are nice but not necessary. You do need Calcium, which he missed, but which you can get from calcium fortified almond milk.

Honestly, it was horrifically stressful the first few weeks trying to sort it out, but once I added in bivalves, tofu, and eggs, it turned into a nice, simple routine.

Oh! Peanut powder. High protein, delicious.

TeeDee
TeeDee
13 days 58 minutes ago
Then it’s not really a true vegan diet anymore, but close. When I was a vegan it was unheard of to consume eggs or bivalves, but whatever works and is something a person can live with physically and emotionally is great. I’m now doing a ketogenic diet, but may have to go even lower carb because of some seeming allergic reactions to some plant foods and I’ve had to cut out ALL dairy now. I hate having to give up the small amount of hard cheese I could tolerate before, but now my body is telling me it has to… Read more »
Jolinda
13 days 18 hours ago

The movie/video The Magic Pill about Ketogenic diet has a moving and eloquent commentary by an ex-vegan. Worth hearing her anxiety and then revelations about the “perceived” ethical dilemmas and how she learned to truly embrace nature.

Nocona
Nocona
13 days 16 hours ago

Jolinda, thanks for the heads up. The parts with Lierre Keith and Joel Salatin were really outstanding. Never heard of this documentary.

Matthew Zastrow
13 days 18 hours ago

What about Vit D, K2, and A?

JTB
JTB
13 days 2 hours ago

Mark mentioned adding eggs, which are great sources of Vit D, K2, and A. If I’m not mistaken tempeh (and natto? is that what it’s called?) are also great sources of various forms of Vit K, and they are usually vegan staples, so K should be covered nicely. I imagine oysters and bivalves would be the biggest concession to get past mentally, but if they accept the reasoning (immobile with no central nervous system, so not something that’s suffering or feeling pain), this seems like a solid nutritional plan.

Tuba
Tuba
13 days 18 hours ago

Vegetarianism is an intentional decision to be sub-optimal and agreeing to join in a daily struggle to get up to par on a sub-par diet. It is a religion not a diet.

Casey
Casey
13 days 16 hours ago

Yes. All you have to do is talk to Buddhist monks about this. Often they are aware they are making that choice to the possible determent of their health.

Anne
Anne
13 days 16 hours ago

Vegans do experience bone density issues, but also have vastly reduced levels of heart disease… So, there’s some science saying it’s a good idea. And humans are excellent at engineering our diets to suit ourselves. Are you saying we simply can’t figure out, given the vast resources at our disposal, a way to have both options nutrition and allow folks their ethical decision not to kill? The tradition of deciding against killing to live is fairly old and respectable…

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
13 days 12 hours ago

re·pet·i·tive

adjective
containing or characterized by repetition, especially when unnecessary or tiresome.

Jennifer FREEMAN
13 days 17 hours ago
Anyone who is vegan would nsved do a keto diet. I’d like to see the inside of these ketos bodies in 10 years. Like the Atkins diet you will lose weight but that doesn’t show the whole picture. I’m sorry any diet that encourages you to eat bacon (a level one carcinogen) and butter is not a diet you should be falling. Another fad diet. You can be a healthy vegan without giving up your ethical beliefs and saving the planet. I do HIIT work ours times a week and have never been strong since becoming vegan. And my blood… Read more »
Shary
Shary
13 days 14 hours ago
Although your comment needs considerable editing and is therefore hard to follow, I do get the point. No, I wouldn’t go to a slaughterhouse for all the reasons you list. No, I don’t eat cats and dogs. I don’t hunt either, although I have no problem with people who hunt for food. However, I think trophy hunting is about as low a form of entertainment as exists. I also draw the line at eating baby animals, and I don’t actually LIKE it that adult animals are killed so I can eat meat. I realize that you will see these things… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen
12 days 20 hours ago
Hello Shary, Is that really the reality? Have you tried a plant-based diet for at least 21 days? I tried it thinking I would shrivel up and die from not eating meat, something I grew up thinking was a necessity, and now almost 3 years later the only thing I regret is not trying it sooner. You can still practice keto as well, if you want. If your worried about eating babies (veal I imagine? That’s a product of the dairy industry by the way) you might want to consider that all the animals we consume are slaughtered waaay before… Read more »
Shary
Shary
12 days 13 hours ago

As a matter of fact, yes, I have, Stephen. Didn’t work for me.

Stephen
Stephen
11 days 22 hours ago
Hey Shary, Happy you at least tried, most people who argue against a plant based diet have never even tried what they argue against. What didn’t work for you? The inconveniences? There is only like one medical condition that may require meat, multiple sclerosis, otherwise everything else comes from plants. All protein comes from plants, all of it. At first it can be difficult to eat enough, many become famished, have headaches and bowel issues the first weeks as your gut-flora (among other things) adjusts. The vegan diet is not just the Standard American diet minus meat and dairy, its… Read more »
Tiffany
Tiffany
13 days 13 hours ago

Your rant is in the wrong place…

Jack Lea Mason
12 days 20 hours ago
Cats and dogs are not bred and raised as food , Korea being a cultural exception. Slaughter operations are unpleasant. Especially porcine and cervid facilites. Pigs know what fate awaits them and deer don’t go down without a fight. Modern society benefits by being many levels removed from the task of sacrificing animals for survival. A task best left to professionals. Yes flesh eaters should be aware of and respect this process like our ancestors have for centuries. Implying flesh eaters eat pets is a pointless analogy especially when every animal lover I know and respect feeds their pets the… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen
12 days 18 hours ago
Hello Jack, You don’t know animal lovers, you know pet lovers. https://goo.gl/images/xuGhpv Being raised for something doesn’t make it right or justifiable. Look at slavery, Sea world, child labor, monkeys picking coconuts, or animal testing. It’s cultural learning what we see as food and what we don’t. https://youtu.be/ao2GL3NAWQU (this video explains Carnism.) Google the Yulin dog festival. Our ancestors didn’t forcibly bred, raise, and slaughter 65 billion, with a B, land animals (95 billion including sea life) every year. 95% of beef comes from factory farms. We aren’t respecting them or any process except our own greed (corporate greed and… Read more »
Suzan
Suzan
12 days 19 hours ago
I’m a former vegan who followed a perfect vegan diet and got very sick from it. Three of my friends did as well. There is NO one-size-fits-all way of eating. The problem with your argument is that you lump all meat eaters into a group and assume all of them don’t care about the sources of their proteins, or don’t care about animals in general. Some of us meat eaters purchase from local family farms owned by people who care for their animals quite compassionately throughout their entire lives. There is one local farmer I know who drives hundreds of… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen
12 days 14 hours ago
Hello Suzan, About the Vegetarian Myth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMuxgAbHgJA is a good place to start regarding that piece of work (that cites Wikipedia 5 times). I am sorry to hear you and your 3 friends all became so sick trying a plant-based diet. Considering the likelihood that you all 4 actually have one of the very-few medical complications (like multiple sclerosis) with not getting meat I think it is more likely you’all we’re just not eating properly. The fact that all 4 of you got sick, very sick, makes it even more likely. At first it can be difficult to eat… Read more »
Suzan
Suzan
11 days 17 hours ago
The three friends I mentioned were all from different areas of the country, their illnesses happened at different times, and each one of them was very careful about their diet and ate the proper foods. (One was a nutritionist.) As for me, I’ve always been bit of a fanatic about nutrition, so yes, I researched it first, and then ate a nutritionally dense vegan diet, then I did vegetarian, then macrobiotic, after that traditional eating (Weston Price) and finally, Paleo, in an effort to improve my health. My health is the best it’s ever been since going Paleo. After thirty-five… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen
11 days 10 hours ago
Hey Suzan, Not to be rude to you or your friend but Nutritionist doesn’t mean much, you should have consulted a Dietitian if you got ill from eating a healthy diet. Many states allow individuals to practice as nutritionists without any previous education, training or work experience. Registered dietitians are required to complete a formal education program that results in at least a baccalaureate degree. This program must be approved by the Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and include a practical component performed in a career-related site. I’m glad your health is the best it’s… Read more »
Nathan
Nathan
7 days 22 hours ago

Instead of consulting a dietitian or a nutritionist, she should have consulted with some anonymous vegetarian zealot on the internet (*:eyeroll)

Madi
13 days 16 hours ago

I’ve been vegan keto for 2 years (vegan for 12) and I would love to help you better understand how vegans can go keto while staying healthy (and vegan!!!!)

Kim Falk
Kim Falk
13 days 13 hours ago

I’d love to know Madi!

Carole
Carole
13 days 12 hours ago

Share with us …

Peter Fettis
13 days 7 hours ago

Madi what’s your take? You can read my original comment posted about 7 hours after you posted this

Joel Kahn MD
13 days 16 hours ago
Thank you but some of us do not want to give up our vegan diet as you suggest. Some of us have strong convictions in ethics, environment, and house. I have followed a complete plant diet for 41 years and most of that has been as a cardiologist with amazing results. I am not adding animal products like eggs. Others don’t need to. There are already examples of vegan keto diet. Dr. David Jenkins has the eco-Atkins diet. Dr. Valter Longo has the fasting mimicking diet program, both do not add eggs or shellfish. Both have more peer reviewed data… Read more »
Superchunk
Superchunk
12 days 20 hours ago

Joel,
Both Paul Jaminet and Chris Masterjohn wrote extensive, detailed rebuttals to the idea that TMAO is an issue (both of whom seem quite knowledgeable and who pro-actively examine both side of an argument). I have an open mind and just want to be healthy so I would be interested if you can point to a point-by-point counter argument. Also, my understanding is that lack of choline is more likely to be an issue for most people than an excess of it. Thanks.

Cosima
Cosima
12 days 20 hours ago
Dr. Kahn I have just recently been introduced to your work and am very much enjoying it. For ethical and environmental reasons I changed my diet from years of paleo/primal to plant-based (I do still eat the occasional pastured egg). On the nutrition front, I have now become confused though, as I hear very conflicting information on both sides. I’m a pre-med student and hope to help my future patients as much as possible, and fully believe in the power of food to heal. I do not believe that any animal products from factory farms are healthful, though I’m not… Read more »
Anne
Anne
13 days 16 hours ago

I know soy gets a bad rap, but that’s mostly baseless. Incorporating tofy and tempeh into your vegan keto routine can help.

Nutritional yeast is a b- vitamin supplement full of protein which is *delicious* and goes on everything.

I don’t do gluten, but lots of wheat gluten stuff is out there, high protein sub for meat.

Calcium supplementation is also important –
a bit of almond milk daily with added calcium usually gives you enough.

Anne
Anne
13 days 16 hours ago

Oh! And Lupini beans. And Savi seeds.

Stephen
Stephen
13 days 15 hours ago
What not everyone knows is that chickens will cannibalize their own eggs. This is an important practice that returns vital nutrients to their system lost with egg production. Making an egg is a serious endeavor involving an extreme loss of calcium and pressure on the hen’s body. This is part of why hens in the egg industry die so early. In addition, taking a hens egg away sends the signal to her body to make a replacement. So the more eggs we take away the more she’ll produce, thus continually depleting her body. Today chickens are bred to lay 250… Read more »
Tiffany
Tiffany
13 days 13 hours ago

Thank you for this information.

Carole
Carole
13 days 12 hours ago

Thank you Stephan! Great info and you r educating us. I’m a vegetarian and waffle back n forth on eggs… now after reading this I’m giving them up…

Stephen
Stephen
13 days 8 hours ago
Hello Carole, I am absolutely excited that you found this information and made that decision! There are alternatives today for eating (the Vegan egg https://followyourheart.com/veganegg/), or baking (apple sauce, bananas, aqua faba, egg replacers) that you do not need to contribute to animal agriculture. If you interested in keto it is still entirely possible, as this article discusses (somewhat). There are protein-rich foods that are not animal-based, as all protein comes from plants. I’ll repeat that – ALL protein comes from plants. Eating animals is just eating recycled protein condensed – it helped us evolve sure, but most of us… Read more »
Una
Una
13 days 11 hours ago
Chickens are omnivores. They will often eat their own eggs, shell included. They will also eat meat (even chicken!) if offered. Responsible chicken owners will offer them oyster shell to give them back the calcium they have lost through egg production, or will crush eggshells to feed back. As you note, today’s hens are bred to lay more eggs (as cows are bred to produce more milk). For such hens, laying more eggs is not necessarily a hardship, provided that they are given the building blocks needed to produce those eggs, and remain healthy. Just as we humans need the… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen
13 days 8 hours ago
Hello Una, You are correct, chickens are omnivores – and yes, the shell is the best part (for the chicken) – many owners make “scrambled” eggs with the shell included to give back to their rescued battery chickens. Note I said rescued battery chickens, not hens bought specifically to lay eggs. Humans are also omnivores, we can eat eggs and dairy, but we do not require it. While having “a little flock” of hens is nice, it does not mean you need to exploit them, although you will hear a lot of anecdotes about individual hens that keep pumping out… Read more »
LBD
LBD
13 days 43 minutes ago
My oldest Buff Orpington hen lived to be 12 years old. She laid an egg almost every day except in the coldest winter months (when most hens stop laying). She was killed by a fox, so nature had its way in the long run. And yes, my hens are kept until they die of natural causes. During the summer, no feed is necessary if pastured. They forage for insects primarily and will eat a few plants and seeds along the way. What you are also missing in your post is that cholesterol is not associated with heart disease any longer… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen
12 days 14 hours ago
Hello LBD, I am very happy to hear that your chickens live a full life, even if killed by natural causes like predators. Hopefully they have protection from this fox now! I’m not going to get into the health issue (https://www.reddit.com/r/vegan/wiki/dieteticorgs if you want to), veganism is a way of living without exploiting animals – it is not a diet. My last statement was about whole-food plant-based diets, vegans can be fat and eat Oreos all day and wash it down with vodka. Or vegans can be on a keto diet, if you want. Your situation sounds amazing – but… Read more »
JTB
JTB
13 days 2 hours ago

So for a hobby farmer who cares about the animals in their own right, leaving *some* of the eggs should be an easy solution, yes? And the information from Una also suggests that this isn’t by any means a deal-breaker and chickens can be raised to provide eggs while still being healthy and stress-free.

Stephen
Stephen
12 days 20 hours ago

Hi JTB,

https://www.anticarnist.com/blogs/anticarnist/why-i-don-t-eat-backyard-hen-eggs-and-it-s-not-the-reason-you-d-think

That article will perhaps summarize better if your interested.

Diseases such as Histoplasmosis, salmonella, farmer’s lung, bird flu and staph infections are all associated with being around chickens, risks to humans also.

While the female egg laying hens may be able to enjoy a reasonable life, remember that for every egg-laying hen you see another male chick was culled.

The real question isn’t, “what’s wrong with cage-free eggs?”, it’s “can I live a happy, healthy life without eggs?”. What it comes down to is whether we want to benefit from the results of their exploitation any longer.

JTB
JTB
10 hours 26 minutes ago
I suppose the sticking point then is whether or not owning them and essentially keeping them as pets can be considered exploitation. At this point, I’m not yet persuaded that it does. That could change in the future; my views on many subjects have changed over the years but for now, I’ve noticed enough benefits from adding egg yolks (the most important being significant mental health benefits) that I’m not inclined to stop eating them as long as they can be obtained from a humane source. As for salmonella and other diseases, I recall people getting sick from contaminated lettuce… Read more »
Noah
Noah
13 days 14 hours ago

Mark, some bivalves do swim, and some have eyes. Some are capable of producing an electric shock. These are surprisingly complex animals that definitely have a nervous system.

August
August
13 days 13 hours ago

Thanks so much Mark!

I’m vegan & keto so this has been a great read.

Just a quick question, what do you think of Sacha Inchi powder as a protein source?

Cheers,

Carole
Carole
13 days 12 hours ago

following…

Frank Jacobson
13 days 12 hours ago

Why would an vegan want to?

JTB
JTB
13 days 1 hour ago

I’ve encountered overweight vegans and with the heavy carb intake, I’m sure they’re as at-risk for type 2 diabetes as anyone else. Keto is a good method for resolving both issues. And, honestly, I know some people go keto permanently but I doubt that’s necessary (and maybe not even beneficial) for most people. Having the option to go keto from time to time is hugely beneficial, though.

Kartik Singhal
13 days 11 hours ago

Just a minor correction: the link to Carnosine supplementation actually leads to an L-Carnitine product on Amazon.

Peter Fettis
13 days 7 hours ago
Hi Mark, I’m Peter. I wish you well and respect your work. This is a great resource and I’m grateful for the thought you have put into merging two healthy diets that have recently become fads (and therefore are worth discussing in public). From a few years experience of going in and out of a combined vegan/keto diet for performance, you have covered most of your bases. I recommend you add a few basic grocery items to the list, and a general explanation of how macronutrient ratios work and the relevance of a cyclic ketogenic diet which incorporates carbs usually… Read more »
Stealth
Stealth
13 days 2 hours ago

Hi Peter
That’s exactly what I’m doing, by incorporating beans, tofu and tempeh while being on a vegan ketogenic diet. Please keep me posted about your blog. And for all the paleo people out there, I totally respect your decision about your diet, you should take a glimpse of a new movie that’s coming out called “The Game Changers”.
In best health

Stealth

Sharlena Foster
13 days 7 hours ago

Quite a nice blog. Full of information regarding keto and vegan diets. After reading this one can easily understand what should eat and why. Keto diet are very beneficial because it supports a healthy and active lifestyle and provide efficient amount of energy to our body to sustain long periods of activity. By following this diet one can easily be fit and healthy.

Kirana
Kirana
13 days 7 hours ago

Really appreciate how open minded you are Mark.

As a vegan for religious reasons whose interested in optimising my health I always feel welcome on your site.

Is there much added benefit to fermented/sprouted vegan protein powders?

Also as the poster above mentioned, what about Sacha Inchi Protein?

Peace

Jeb
Jeb
13 days 3 hours ago

Great post, for so many different reasons

Becky
Becky
13 days 1 hour ago

I LOVE that you mentionned the bivalves. I have been telling vegans for years that clams are just the same as carrots. They sit in the ground, waiting to be pulled out and eaten.

Rob
Rob
13 days 27 minutes ago

The link for b12 links to a cyanocobalamin product, this is not a good one.

Rob
Rob
13 days 24 minutes ago

The link for b12 links to a cyanocobalamin product. This is not a good one. Should be methylcobalamin, the sublingual aspect is good though.

sander
sander
12 days 21 hours ago

Isn’t your Greek dressing vegan also?

Nannsi
Nannsi
12 days 20 hours ago

“The Hadza also eat thousands of calories of wild honey each day when it’s available. You lining up to do that, too?”
Yes, please!

Scott
12 days 15 hours ago

I’m glad to see you talking about vegan keto options. Even thought I do not follow or promote it, it’s nice for those interested to have a source to refer to. Also, B12 is crucial (another great point you make). I actually just wrote an article related to B12 that those interested might find helpful on my website plantbasedscotty.com. I modeled my website after yours Mark!

Noelle
Noelle
12 days 12 hours ago

You sound sadistic and wtf why no FLAX or imagination.. too old?

tribal
tribal
12 days 8 hours ago

No need for Vegans to go keto, as stacked up against the myriad of other health issues they will/have developed it would be a lower priority.

Wim Van Loco
Wim Van Loco
12 days 5 hours ago

Thank you very much for this article. I am really happy I found your website, it changed my life. Just thought you’d like to know :p

Helen
Helen
5 days 6 hours ago

Almost vegan here (I eat oysters)

A vegan keto + oyster diet has been fantastic for my health. I have a severe autoimmune disease and find the low acid nature of a vegan keto with lots of veg is very healing.

Thanks for the post, & I would certainly encourage vegans to consider the oyster as a food source, it’s a very sustainable product especially if farmed with care.

Would love an article delving deeper into this mighty bivalve to sway those vegans considering it even more.

The ethical and nutritional value are incredible.

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