What’s The Difference: Keto VS Vegan

If you’re searching for a new diet you’ve no doubt come across the Keto diet or Veganism. But what is the Keto diet and what is Veganism? How do these two popular diets differ and are there any similarities between the two of them? The following article will discuss the details of both diets so that you can figure out which diet is right for you.

Keto Overview

The Keto diet has been gaining in popularity over recent years; however, it’s not a new diet. It’s been around for a while as a diet that doctors recommend for people with type two diabetes; however, they didn’t necessarily call it Keto. The Keto diet is basically an extremely low carb diet that helps regulate blood sugar and increase weight loss. This is what makes it great for those who have Diabetes; however, remember to speak to a doctor before starting any new diet, especially if you have a health condition such as Diabetes.

The way the Keto diet works is pretty simple. Traditional diets are extremely high in carbohydrates and the body uses these carbs as a fuel known as glucose. Glucose is created very quickly, but it’s also depleted quickly which leads to you feeling hungry shortly after eating. The Keto diet changes the way that your body sources its fuel. Because you’re no longer getting a steady stream of carbs which can be turned into glucose your body begins creating an energy source known as Ketones in the liver. Ketones are created from your stored fat cells. They are long-lasting and plentiful so you don’t get hungry as quickly. Because you’re not getting the high and lows of a sugar rush caused by glucose you have greater energy throughout the day.

When your body begins burning ketones for energy you’re in a state known as ketosis. This is where the Keto diet gets its name from. In order to stay in ketosis and continue producing ketones, you need to reduce your carb intake to under 20g of net carbs for men and 25g of net carbs for women.

Vegan Overview

The Vegan diet is often based on a person’s ethical principles. If you believe that it is wrong to consume animals and their by-products than you’re most likely a Vegan. Some vegans chose the path based on environmental reasons and some find it healthier to cut meat and animal by-products out of their diet.

A true Vegan diet extends beyond food. Vegans believe that any consumption of animals is wrong. This includes wearing fur and leather along with using soaps and cosmetics that were tested on animals. Vegans do not eat butter, milk or cheese as these were sourced from animals. Eggs are also not allowed, nor is the gelatin that comes from animal bones. They also don’t eat meat of any kind including fish and poultry.

On top of the ethical and environmental reasons for going vegan, there are some health benefits that some people have found. When you cut back on all of the animal by-products it’s possible to see a drop in weight because you’re replacing them with healthy options such as vegetables and fruits. Also, people with high cholesterol might see a decrease in their cholesterol levels because the number of unhealthy fats that they’re eating decreases.


Despite the seemingly fast number of differences between these two diets, there are a few similarities worth mentioning. The first is that both diets highlight the clean eating approach to dieting. Neither the Keto diet nor Veganism allows for highly processed foods. If you’re going to do clean Keto you need to avoid processed foods, and Veganism asks that you do the same thing.

The Keto diet and the Vegan diet also stress a reduction in saturated fats. Although the Keto diet is a high-fat diet you need to eat the right types of fat while on this diet by sticking to unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The Vegan diet is also low fat. Because meat and dairy are cut out entirely a lot of the fat goes with it. Sticking to healthy vegan options such as nuts and seeds allows you to get the same good fats that you get on the Keto diet

There can be health benefits to both diets. Both have shown to lower weight in participants and both have their place in treating specific diseases. The Keto diet is proving to be helpful in preventing and treating Diabetes while the Vegan diet might be beneficial to someone with a risk of heart disease or blocked arteries.


As you may suspect, there are a lot of differences between these two popular diets as well. For starters, the Keto diet is low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat while the Vegan diet is a moderate carb, low-protein and low-fat (although this is based on the foods available to eat on the vegan diet, not any macronutrient restrictions).

That brings us to the second difference between these two diets. On the Keto diet, an entire section of macronutrients is restricted. Carbs are not allowed. While on the vegan diet it’s a wider range of foods that aren’t allowed that impact both the protein and the fat macronutrients. A vegan diet tends to be full of healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains with some seeds, nuts and vegan protein mixed in. The Keto diet tends to be high in meats, dairy, nuts and non-starchy vegetables.

The Keto diet requires you to keep track of the macronutrients that you consume because it’s easy to slip up and consume too many carbohydrates which will kick your body out of ketosis. The vegan diet doesn’t require daily tracking; however, animal products are in a lot more items than you may expect and this means that you need to do your research ahead of time and look into the ingredients of each and every food that you eat.

Another large difference between these two diets is the reason that you might have for beginning one. Someone who begins the Keto diet is often doing so based on a recommendation from their doctor due to a health condition, or they’re looking to lose weight. The reasons a person would begin the Vegan diet, on the other hand, are often ethical or environmental in origin.

Foods allowed and not allowed on the two diets

A big consideration as to which diet is right for you is which foods you’re allowed to eat and which ones are taboo. For example, if you can’t imagine giving up bread you might lean more towards the Vegan diet while if you love a nice juicy steak then the Keto diet will be better suited for you.

Foods allowed on the Keto Diet

  • non starchy vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers and cucumber
  • beef
  • chicken
  • dairy
  • healthy fats such as avocado oil and extra-virgin olive oil
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • low-sugar fruits such as olives, avocado and rhubarb
  • butter

Foods allowed on the Vegan diet

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • whole grains
  • whole-grain bread
  • whole-grain pasta
  • vegan meat such as tofu and tempeh
  • beans

Foods not allowed on the Keto diet

  • sugary fruits such as berries, grapes and bananas
  • starchy vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and potatoes
  • processed foods
  • sugar
  • bread
  • pasta
  • grains
  • beans

Foods not allowed on the Vegan diet

  • chicken
  • beef
  • fish
  • eggs
  • butter
  • cheese
  • foods containing gelatin such as marshmallows, candy corn and jello
  • Honey

Can you be vegan on the keto diet?

The short answer is yes, it’s possible. Although these two diets seem like they don’t have that much in common, it might surprise you to know that they can work together. The Keto diet restricts one macronutrient group. You can’t eat carbs. There’s nothing in the vegan diet that says that you have to eat carbs. In order to allow these two diets to co-exist all you need to do is focus on what you can and can’t eat in both diets.

The vegan diet supports nuts and seeds as a source of protein as well as healthy fats. The Keto diet does this as well! If you stick to non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy fats such as avocado oil and extra-virgin olive oil it is definitely possible to combine these two diets successfully. Neither diet supports processed foods so they already have that in common.

It’s a good idea to make a list of the keto foods you enjoy and make a similar list of the vegan foods you enjoy and see what similarities there are between the two. If there’s any Vegan foods that aren’t allowed on Keto or vice versa try to come up with a substitute that will allow you to get the same nutrients. With some proper forethought and planning, you can have a successful combination diet.


There are a lot of differences between the Keto diet and the Vegan diet. Which diet you chose will most likely depend on a combination of your reasons for beginning a new diet and the foods that you absolutely can’t see yourself giving up. If you want to try doing both at the same time, this is definitely doable! Whichever one you chose you’re bound to see health benefits so good luck with your new Keto or Vegan diet plan!

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