Is Vegan Meat Keto-Friendly?

Vegan Meat Keto

Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by admin

Vegan meat allows you to stick to the parameters of your vegan diet while still enjoying the texture and flavor of meat. If you’ve decided to pursue the ketogenic diet on top of the limits of veganism, is vegan meat even allowed?

Most vegan meat is considered keto-friendly, especially tempeh, seitan, and tofu. These foods are all low in carbs but high in fat, which is what you need on the ketogenic diet.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about the types of vegan meat and whether they’re okay to eat when you’ve gone keto. We’ll even discuss other facets of the keto diet so you can ensure you’re off to a successful start. You’re not going to want to miss it!

The Types of Vegan Meat

Vegan meat is known as a meat analogue, which refers to plant-based foods that look, feel, and taste like meat but aren’t. Many types of meat analogue are available at specialty grocery stores, so let’s go over the different kinds now.

  • Legumes and beans: From lentils to black beans, chickpeas, and more, you can use these legumes and beans as the base of juicy burger patties. You’ll also want to reach for these ingredients when prepping stews and soups that traditionally contain meat.
  • Jackfruit: If you miss the texture of pulled pork, try subbing it out for jackfruit. This exotic fruit tastes like pineapple but it’s a lot chewier.
  • Mushrooms: We recently talked on this blog about how larger, meatier mushrooms like portobellos can replace steak as part of a vegan diet. They also make a great substitute when whipping up vegan tacos or stir-fry.
  • Seitan: The wheat gluten known as seitan has no starch, giving it a chewy and dense taste. It’s also flavorless so you can add whatever flavor to it that you like.
  • Texturized vegetable protein: Texturized vegetable protein or TVP was developed in the 1960s and has been embraced by vegans ever since. Its base is soy flour without the fat. TVP comes in nugget-like shapes or can be bought dehydrated.
  • Tempeh: When soybeans are fermented, you get tempeh, which is often sold in small cake or patty shapes. Tempeh is nutritionally balanced with lots of vitamins, fiber, and protein.
  • Tofu: The last vegan meat analogue is tofu. Like seitan, tofu has no distinguishable flavor, so it’s up to you to add it during cooking. Tofu comes from coagulated soymilk and may be fortified with iron, vitamin B12, and calcium.

What Is the Keto Diet?

Now that you know a bit more about vegan meats, let’s delve deeper into the ketogenic or keto diet. The basis of this diet is to cut carbs, eat plenty of fat, and ingest moderate protein. In doing so, your body will switch to using fats as an energy source rather than glucose.

Glucose is a type of simple sugar our bodies use for energy. Your body can make glucose, but it also comes from food. Some foods are more glucose-heavy than others, carbs being one of them. By depleting carbs, your body is forced into using an alternate energy source, and that’s when fat burning can begin. This can encourage weight loss.

Here are some foods you should eat when on the keto diet:

  • Cocoa powder and dark chocolate for the flavanols and antioxidants
  • Unsweetened tea and coffee, which are both low-carb
  • Olives for oleuropein, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant
  • Shirataki noodles, which are low-calorie and low-carb
  • Cream and butter, two low-carb foods that contain a fatty acid known as conjugated linoleic acid that can contribute to fat burning
  • Berries, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  • Seeds and nuts such as sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and almonds
  • Olive oil, which has oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that could support heart health
  • Cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt, both of which contain lots of protein
  • Coconut oil, which has medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs for more ketones, or alternate energy sources
  • Eggs, which are another great source of protein
  • Poultry and meat, which contain protein, B vitamins, and other nutrients
  • Avocados, which are loaded with potassium
  • Cheese, including provolone, mozzarella, halloumi, goat, feta, cream, cheddar, brie, and blue cheeses
  • Vegetables like zucchini, spinach, lettuce, kale, eggplant, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, and asparagus
  • Seafood such as squid, oyster, octopus, mussels, and clams

Is Vegan Meat Keto-Friendly?

It’s no secret that most of the staples of a keto diet are not allowable if you’re actively practicing veganism. You’d have to omit all the seafood, cheese, eggs, yogurt, poultry, and meat. If you’re aspiring to enter a ketogenic state, does vegan meat do the same for the keto diet as regular meat does?

Indeed, it does, especially tempeh, tofu, and seitan. In a 3-ounce or 91-gram serving, seitan has 108 calories, 4.8 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein, and 1.2 grams of fat. You might not necessarily eat seitan for its high-fat content, but rather, because it’s low in carbs and has lots of protein.

A half-cup serving of tempeh, or 83 grams, contains 160 calories, 6.3 grams of carbs, 17 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. It’s high-fat and low-carb enough that you won’t miss meat on your keto diet.

As for tofu, a 4-ounce or 113-gram serving has 60 calories, 1.3 grams of carbs, 11 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fat.

Jackfruit is one example of vegan meat that those on the keto diet should avoid. It has more carbs than fat and protein. In a one-cup serving, which is 154 grams, jackfruit contains 155 calories, 40 grams of carbs, 2.4 grams of protein, and 0.5 grams of fat.


The ketogenic diet encourages the body to burn fat instead of glucose for weight loss. Meat and poultry are two staples of the keto diet, but as a vegan, you can’t eat either. Fortunately, you can sub in most vegan meat for the real deal and still enter a state of ketosis. Stick to tempeh, seitan, and tofu especially for these purposes. Best of luck with your diet!

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