- The keto diet, a popular high-fat, low-carb eating pattern, is designed to put your body in a state of ketosis to burn fat instead of sugar. Advocates say this leads to more energy, weight loss, and other health benefits.
- Plant-based eating, meanwhile, can be better for your heart and for the environment.
- The ketotarian diet combines the two, which means followers cut way back on carbs and eliminate meat.
- Here are some examples of what you can eat on the very restrictive plan, including plenty of avocados, eggs, and coconut oil.
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Keto is a hot topic in eating trends these days. It’s based on an extremely low-carb diet, limiting foods like grains, cereals, bread, pasta, beans, starchy veggies like potatoes, most fruits, sugar and other sweeteners. Typically, this means eating a lot more red meat, butter, and cheese.
So which should you choose?
Maybe you don’t have to. Meet ketotarian eating, which “marries the best of both plant-based and ketogenic diets,” said Will Cole, a functional medicine doctor and author of “Ketotarian: The (Mostly) Plant-Based Plan to Burn Fat, Boost Your Energy, Crush Your Cravings, and Calm Inflammation.”
According to Cole and other ketotarian advocates, the diet provides the benefits of ketosis — transitioning the body to burning fat instead of sugar — but without the health and environmental risks of a lot of animal products.
So what can you eat? Avocados, olives, coconuts (and coconut oil), nuts, seeds, vegetables, wild-caught fish, fresh seafood, eggs, and ghee (clarified butter) are all options Cole recommends.
“You can really get all of your nutrients in with a ketotarian diet,” he said, adding that the basic principles are listening to your body (eating when you’re hungry until you’re satisfied) and combining healthy fats and non-starchy veggies.
But other health experts have said the diet is unnecessarily restrictive and not sustainable in the long term. “I worry that the guidelines are not clear enough and could cause unwanted anxiety around otherwise healthful foods like fruits and vegetables other than greens,” Sydney Greene, a nutritionist in New York City told Health.com.
Here’s what some typical ketotarian meals look like, and how healthy they really are.