Vegan vs. Keto Debate: Which Option Is Right for Your Health and Wellness Journey?

Updated: Sep 21

The debate between vegan versus keto has been long-standing. Read on to decipher which option is best for your health and wellness.

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Vegan vs. Keto Debate: Which is Best?


With the conflicting information on vegan versus keto diets, it can be challenging to decide which option works best for your health and wellness journey. The key to navigating yourself to the correct diet is understanding what each diet entails, the key similarities and differences, and whether each diet is healthy.


Continue reading for more information on each type of diet.


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What Is a Ketogenic Diet?


A ketogenic diet consists of consuming a low-carb, high-fat diet intended to boost energy while simultaneously quelling cravings. According to the keto diet, eating this way helps your body shift to a ketosis state, during which your body uses stored fat as energy instead of sugar. |*|


Many people pursue a ketogenic diet to lose weight for optimal health. Weight loss can be a benefit of a keto diet for some, though it's advised to work with a doctor and nutritionist to form a healthy ketogenic diet plan. It is worth noting that keto diets are best used as a short-term way of eating rather than a sustainable long-term solution.


A ketogenic diet's other possible health benefits include aiding in conditions like epilepsy, dementia, ALS, and metabolic disorders. |*|


Are you torn between the ketogenic diet and a low carb diet?

Check out the article: Keto Diet Versus Low Carb Diet: Which Should You Choose?
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What Is a Vegan Diet? | Vegan Lifestyle


In comparison, a vegan diet is a plant based diet that restricts the consumption of any animal products or byproducts. Some foods one should not eat on this diet include seafood, meat, dairy products, and even honey (since an animal, bees, produced it).


There are multiple reasons why people choose a vegan diet ranging from weight loss to ethical and environmental reasons. According to the World Health Organization, consuming a plant-based diet can aid in reducing global emissions. |*| Other benefits of a plant-based diet include potentially helping with and even treating metabolic syndromes and cardiovascular disease. |*|


Like a ketogenic diet, the vegan diet should be well-planned with a doctor or nutritionist to ensure you meet the daily recommended vitamins and minerals.


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Related: Is the Vegan Diet Healthy? What Are the Benefits?


Vegan vs. Keto: Key Similarities


Keto and vegan (or plant based diets) are used to promote a healthier lifestyle and aid in weight loss. These two diets share a few other similarities noted below.


One similarity is the encouragement of consuming whole foods and avoiding processed foods in both diets. Ketogenic diets encourage eating whole foods as a source of nutrients as the number of foods you can consume is limited. Well-planned vegan meals consist of whole foods like nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables. High protein plant based foods are especially important with the vegan diet.


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Another similarity includes a healthy fat intake which is part of each diet. Vegan meals include healthy fats from some of the above-listed foods – nuts, seeds, oils, and grains, which can aid in protecting against heart disease. |*|


The keto diet also encourages the consumption of healthy fats. A significant amount of fat needs to be eaten for keto diets, so it is deemed necessary to eat fat at every meal. |*|

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Vegan and Keto Diet: Key Differences


Both diets also have a few key differences that aid in setting them apart. The first difference is the carbohydrate intake. Starchy vegetables like potatoes are avoided in keto diets to keep carb intake lower. In comparison, vegan foods are typically high in carbs since the foods consumed include starchy vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and other forms of carbs which help create a balanced plant based diet. |*|


Another difference in these diets is the protein intake source. Ketogenic diets consist of dairy and meat as the primary sources of protein. In contrast, vegan menus avoid these same foods and instead opt for plant based foods like soy protein, nuts, or other meat and dairy alternatives.


Also, the reasoning behind choosing either diet is typically different. Keto diets are typically chosen by those with epilepsy |*| or for weight loss. Vegan diets are chosen based on one's ethical or religious beliefs. Some also choose a vegan lifestyle to help the environment, as it can aid in areas like avoiding pollution caused by the farming of animals while maintaining a low fat diet. |*|


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Are These Diets Healthy?


Before turning to either of these diets, many people wonder, "are these diets healthy?" Essentially, yes, these are healthy diets. There are some notes to keep in mind for each specific diet.


Keto diets, as mentioned above, are best for short-term weight loss. Consuming a well-thought-out and planned-out keto diet is a key factor in whether this diet is healthy. Ketogenic diets have been connected with weight loss, improvements in insulin resistance and blood pressure, and treatment for those with epilepsy. |*|


Vegan diets also have shown a connection with specific health benefits. A vegan diet may lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure |*|, and elevated BMI, according to this study. |*|


Like keto, a well-balanced vegan diet will aid in providing sufficient nutrients. Some vitamins like B12, iron, and calcium can be more challenging in with a vegan or plant based diet. To combat any vitamin deficiencies, those on a plant-based diet can add supplements and enriched foods to their diet. |*|

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The Pros and Cons of the Keto Diet


The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been shown to be effective for weight loss and other health benefits. Some of the potential pros of following a keto diet include:


Keto Weight Loss: The ketogenic diet can help you lose weight by encouraging your body to burn fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates.


Increased Energy: Many people report feeling more energetic on a keto diet, due to the increased fat intake.


Improved Mental Clarity: The ketogenic diet can help to improve mental clarity and focus, due to the reduced carbohydrate intake.


Reduced Inflammation: The keto diet can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to better overall health.


Stabilized Blood Sugar: The keto diet can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for both diabetics and non-diabetics alike.


*Of course, as with any diet, there are also some potential downsides to consider. These include:


Difficulty Sticking to the Diet: The keto diet can be restrictive and difficult to stick to in the long term.

Nutrient Deficiencies: The keto diet can cause certain nutrient deficiencies if not followed correctly.

Increased Risk of Ketoacidosis: People with diabetes should be especially careful when following a keto diet, as there is an increased risk of ketoacidosis.


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Overall, many keto dieters are able to maintain a healthy and nutritious eating plan while meeting their weight loss goals. However, it's always a great idea to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new diet, to make sure it's a safe choice for you.


Related: 5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women Who Want To Improve Their Health

The Pros and Cons of the Becoming Vegan


The vegan diet is a plant-based diet that eliminates all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. Some of the potential pros of following a vegan lifestyle diet include:


Vegan Weight Loss: The vegan or plant based diet can help you lose weight by eliminating high-calorie animal products from your diet.


Improved Digestion: The vegan diet can help to improve digestion and regularity, due to the high fiber content assisting with a healthy gut microbiome.


Lower Risk of Chronic Disease: Plant based foods have been linked with a lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.


Improved Mental Health: The vegan diet can help to improve mental health by reducing inflammation and providing essential nutrients.


* As with any diet, there are also some potential downsides to consider with this diet as well. These include:


Difficulty Sticking to the Diet: The vegan diet can be restrictive and difficult to stick to in the long term.


Nutrient Deficiencies: The vegan diet can cause certain nutrient deficiencies if not followed correctly.


Increased Risk of B12 Deficiency: The vegan diet or only consuming plant based foods can increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia and other health problems.


Many vegans find the vegan menu to be a deliciously healthy and effective wellness option. However, it's important to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new diet, to make sure it's the right choice for you.


Final Thoughts on Vegan Versus Keto Debate


Ultimately, only you can decide which diet fits best with your health and wellness journey. For a short-term diet, keto offers health benefits and can aid you in weight loss. A vegan lifestyle can also aid in losing weight and providing additional benefits, though it is more sustainable as a long-term diet with the correct supplements.


No matter what diet you decide is best for you, packing a nutritious lunch is a great way to practice self-care at work!


As always, work with a doctor and dietician or nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your diet.


While what you eat is part of a healthy lifestyle, another factor includes increasing activity daily. A walking log is an excellent way to track your movement and distance throughout the week.


Related: 5 Tips to Increase Your Physical Activity Without Even Realizing It
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