Can You Do Keto Without Veggies?

Incorporating a Keto diet into your everyday life is a fantastic way to reduce your daily intake of carbs and increase fats to improve your overall general health. However, some individuals who are wary of their leafy greens aren’t sure if the highly popular keto path is for them. So can you even do keto without veggies?

Technically, you can eat a keto diet without vegetables since it only allows a few low-carb greens. However, eliminating them entirely will pose a significant obstacle since they’re necessary to help flush out the high amount of fats consumed and provide enough vitamins and minerals. Without them, you’ll need supplements or multiple alternatives. 

Read on to learn more about the keto diet and why most professionals advise that you keep vegetables in your daily meals for this diet’s success and your overall health. 

What is Keto?

Keto, or the ketogenic diet, has become a relatively popular diet choice in the modern age and focuses on a nutritional regimen that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. 

Typically, the ideal keto diet consists of:

  • 5% total calories from carbs
  • 20% total calories from protein
  • 75% total calories from fat.

As a result of this dietary setup, most keto dieters will only eat about 20 to 50 carbohydrates per day. The overall goal is to focus on consuming foods that will help you produce ketone bodies. These metabolites of fatty acids are meant to fuel your body’s cells instead of glucose.

As with any diet, the most important element of keto is the foods you incorporate into your daily meals and those that you refrain from consuming altogether. 

Below are some of the staple foods of the keto diet that most dieters consume versus those you should never eat when sticking to this diet. 

Staples of the Keto diet Not included in the Keto diet
  • Eggs
  • Meats
  • Seafood
  • Nuts
  • Butters
  • Cheese
  • Seeds
  • Yogurts
  • Oils
  • Low-carb, green veggies
  • Most fruits
  • High-carb veggies
  • Grains
  • Potatoes
  • Sweets (candy, cakes)


Why Do You Need Veggies?

If you’re not a huge fan of vegetables, you might be wondering why they are even necessary for a keto diet when so many are actually exempt from the list of acceptable foods. 

Vegetables are typically a staple in nearly any diet; it is merely the type of vegetables incorporated that vary. For keto, since the goal is high fats and low carbs, several vegetables are excluded, such as beans, potatoes, and corn, to not push you over your maximum carb intake. 

However, you can and ultimately should eat a vast array of vegetables while on the keto diet. These non-starchy, low-calorie vegetables are essential in ensuring you receive the proper amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet that can be difficult to acquire in such high amounts through other foods. 

By incorporating vegetables into your keto diet, you are more likely to have a balanced intake of minerals, and it will be easier for your body to flush out all of the fat you are consuming through your liver and gallbladder, which is important in helping you burn this fat rather than retaining it.  

Vegetables also have ample fiber and water content, which will help you stay hydrated and feel full when you eat your keto meals. This will reduce the urge to eat larger portions and help you feel satisfied afterward, limiting daily snacking.

Tips for Keeping Veggies in Your Keto Diet

There are multiple benefits to keeping vegetables in your keto diet, but if you really aren’t a fan of your leafy greens, it might be difficult for you to incorporate them daily. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people refrain from eating vegetables due to their texture or blandness. 

Therefore, here are some tips to help you overcome this issue and still receive the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from this important source. 

Find the One Exception

There’s nothing wrong with having a general dislike for vegetables, but it is unlikely that these sentiments are all-encompassing. The average person typically has at least one vegetable they enjoy or can at least tolerate in their diet. The key is to find your exception.

As long as the one vegetable you enjoy isn’t one of the few that are particularly high in carbs or calories, then the best thing to do is to at least eat this vegetable as much as possible. 

For example, if you like peas, then find innovative and versatile ways to eat them. You could snack on some snap peas throughout the day; you could incorporate them into a pesto sauce or even make a creamy pea soup. 

The more diverse ways you can prepare your one vegetable exception, the better. This will help you at least gain some of the benefits the typical vegetable can provide while simultaneously not getting sick of eating it daily. 

Drink Your Greens

Another great way to mask your vegetables’ taste and make consumption of them bearable is to put them in a beverage. Kale shakes are a great source of vegetables that many people will drink for their daily dose of vegetables. 

If you find you can’t stand the taste even in shake-form, incorporate some of the few keto-friendly fruits to create a fusion smoothie. 

Some of the best fruits you can use are:

  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Lemons
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Kiwis

These fruits are low in carbs but will add that sweet kick you might need to your vegetables in order to actually enjoy drinking them. 

Try Fermented Vegetables

The term “fermented” might not sound appealing, but these vegetables can often help people overcome their texture and blandness issues. For instance, if you can’t stand a cucumber, but you’ll eat pickles all day, this is a great example of incorporating a fermented vegetable into your keto diet. 

However, this process doesn’t just stop at cucumbers. You can ferment nearly any vegetable, and you can do it easily at home with a jar, some sea salt, and water. The process is easy, and you can even make your homemade fermented vegetables more flavorful but adding some spices to your jar while beforehand. 

Not only is fermentation easy and more flavorful than bland vegetables, but it can actually increase the availability of vitamins and minerals your body to more easily absorb. Therefore, it might be even more beneficial, even for vegetable lovers, to incorporate some pickles or sauerkraut in your keto diet. 

Tips for Keto Without Veggies

Sometimes going on a diet is hard enough without forcing yourself to incorporate foods that you truly don’t enjoy eating. 

For those of you that really can’t stand veggies in their keto diet, here are some ways you can still get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to have successful results without swallowing those nasty greens:

  • Use a green powder, such as a concentrated wheatgrass juice powder.
  • Incorporate avocados as an alternative. Although many think they are vegetables, avocados are actually fruits and are extremely high in fat. Perfect for keto.
  • Incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet to help supplement your intake of fiber and nutrients you’d otherwise get with vegetables. 
  • Carefully monitor your protein intake. You can do a veggie-less keto diet, sometimes referred to as the carnivore diet. However, keto should be high in fat and moderate in protein. So, if you eliminate vegetables, you’ll need to find substitutes other than meats and cheeses. 
  • Use vitamin and mineral supplements for anything you lack in your veggie-less diet. 

Although it is difficult to sustain ketosis without a moderate amount of vegetables in your diet, it is possible. However, it will take much more creativity and personal monitoring for the diet to succeed without these foods. 

Final Thoughts

Many individuals worldwide have found success with the keto diet. However, the diet does not rely on vegetables as much as others might, like those associated with veganism or vegetarianism; they still play a significant role in balancing a keto diet. 

Most nutritionists and keto advocates would not suggest cutting vegetables from your keto diet, but if you feel you must, you can be successful turning towards a carnivorous alternative with enough dedication and regulation.

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