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Ketogenic Vs. Vegan Diet

Ok so something most people wont know about me, is that I struggle with my weight. I suffered 3 heart attacks between the age of 27 and 33. Although this is mostly down to genetic issues, I do of course realise my lifestyle plays a part. And lifestyle is a big part of all diets, which is why I want to look at Ketogenic Vs. Vegan Diet.

Now at my heaviest I was 22 Stone (308lbs), and although I have gotten that way down at one point to just 13.5 stone (189lbs), it does fluctuate.

On the 1st of January 2020 I weighed in at just over 17 Stone (236lbs), and no I wont blame Christmas, I blame my eating.

So my diet of choice is quite old fashioned… I count calories. I know, there are 1001 diets to choose from, but this works for me.

Over the weekend I was watching a few documentaries on Netflix, all on diet. The 2 main diets looked at were the ketogenic and vegan diet, and this got me thinking.

So the basics of Ketogenic Vs. Vegan Diet as given in the documentaries are as follows. Both focused on consumption of unprocessed foods, eating only “whole foods”. Naturally the vegan documentaries focused on also removing any animal products from the diet. By contrast the ketogenic diet was all about including unprocessed meat and natural meat fats.

A vegan ketogenic meal
A vegan ketogenic meal

So, I am well aware that in both the vegan and ketogenic lifestyles, whole foods are not a requirement, but all the shows I saw focused on this, so that’s what I want to explore. I also know it is possible to have a vegan ketogenic diet, but again this was not in the scope of any of the shows I watched.

Ketogenic Diet

So the ketogenic diet is mainly based on meat, with a small amount of fruit and veg. Based on the documentaries, there is a massive push to remove cereals and pulses from the diet, and reduce carbs to a minimum.

Now the claims made were everything from reducing heart problems, to lessening the effects of autism. Of course, I am sceptical of the level of impact a diet could have on these areas, do do feel the people in believed what they were saying.

Now for me a diet that means eating meat is always a winner. Add in the fact that lard is in and processed oils, such as sunflower and vegetable oil are out, and its perfect. But of course this flies in the face of conventional dietary wisdom.

Vegan Diet

So as you would expect, this is a meat and dairy free diet. Again in these shows cereal grains and processed food were labelled the demons.

For me it was interesting to see that athletes were saying they were more successful since becoming vegan. I was taught, like most people, that we cannot process vegetable protein as well as animal protein. The classic argument being to look at how much herbivores need to eat in a day compared to carnivores, which made sense to me.

Seeing body builders saying they could lift more and bulked out better since switching had me question everything I knew.

Now I’m not a massive fan of veg, but I do eat it, excluding pulses. I am however a massive fan of fruit, and will happily pack away as much as I can. But could I become vegan, or even vegetarian, I don’t think so.

My Thought Process

So looking at the different documentaries and trying to work out which was better with Ketogenic Vs. Vegan Diet, I started to realise come common themes between them were actually old wisdom. Removing processed food from the diet and keeping to whole foods is pretty much reverting back to the human diet from pre 1970. Fast food existed before this I know, but the main diet was unprocessed food, prepared in the home, and cooked fresh. No ready meals or convenience food, just real food made with real ingredients.

Now look at the rise in chronic illness, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and many others, and compare it to the rise of processed food. There is a correlation between the two, and although not proof, it is something to think about. As we moved more towards convenient processed foods, we started to get more cases of these diseases.

So to me, the key here is is the removal of processed junk. Getting back to a real diet of real food, and feeling good about eating fresh whole food again. does it matter if you choose ketogenic or vegan, not to me. After seeing at least 6 documentaries, where each lifestyle claimed superiority over the other with the same outcomes, it seems to me looking at the common ground is best. In this case the common ground is processed foods. High sugar, high carb, quick easy cheap junk food, I truly have come to believe that getting this kind of food out of the diet is the key. This is not news however, we all know junk food is bad. We all know eating fresh food is good for us, but perhaps don’t always realise what processed foods we eat.

Going Forward

Olive oil is a great example of an alternative to other oils. Lard is also a great natural fat, and both are full of flavour. This is the key with food, having great flavour, that you will enjoy and want to have time and again. I love experimenting with flavours, and foods, and I really think I will experiment more with my diet now. I may even try a week of each type of diet and see which makes me feel best. A week is a short time, I know, but does give a good sample of what can be expected. If this is something I do try, I will blog it here.

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