How to Do Keto with Dietary Restrictions

Learn how to make keto work for you – even if you have dietary restrictions…

While for many people, the keto diet can seem less restrictive than many other types of diets, there are things that you can’t have if you want to get the full benefits of this way of eating – such as improved energy, better weight maintenance, more fat-burning potential, and clearer brain function.

While it’s not difficult to feel full or satisfied on a keto diet since you can have plenty of fats and protein, some people still crave things that you can’t have on the diet, such as grains or sugars.

But you may also have other dietary restrictions to consider – whether due to health reasons or personal choice. This can make following the keto diet (or any type of diet for that matter) a bit trickier.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the keto diet. You’ll just need to make a few modifications to make the diet work for your specific needs.

Here are a few suggestions for dealing with dietary restrictions on a keto diet, from keto blogger & author, Naomi Whittel:

If You’re Lactose-Intolerant…

You don’t need dairy to make keto work. While many keto recipes include cheese, lots of others do not, so you can have plenty of options. In addition, there are many substitutions you can make to stay keto and stay away from lactose at the same time. Some options:

  • For milk, you can sub in coconut, almond, or cashew milk (just make sure you’re choosing unsweetened).
  • For butter, you can use ghee butter. However, even regular butter is 80 percent fat with only 0.1 grams of lactose per 3.5 grams of butter, so butter might be okay for some people who are lactose intolerant.
  • For yogurt, try probiotic, plain, whole-fat yogurts, which contain bacteria that help break down lactase.
  • For cheese, you may find some that are based on coconut or almond milk, though they may be higher in carbs. So you will have to check the labels if you try one of these.
  • For something sweet, try this lactose-free brownie recipe. Just make sure that the dark chocolate you use is dairy-free.

If You’re Allergic to Nuts…

Nuts are non-essential to the keto diet — and several nuts, like cashews and pistachios — have too many carbs per serving to work for those doing keto. And some nuts are coated in sugar and glazes, so you should not eat them either. While pecans, macadamias, and Brazil nuts are keto-friendly and are good sources of fat and energy, you don’t need nuts to lead a keto lifestyle. In any case, you need to read labels to make sure you avoid any nuts or nut-based ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction.


If You’re Vegan or Vegetarian…

This can be trickier, but it can be done. You’ll want to focus especially on plant-based oils like coconut, olive, and avocado, and eat plenty of avocados and nuts. If you’re vegetarian, eggs from pasture-raised hens are a great source of both healthy fats and protein, and you can also include some dairy products if you’re not lactose-intolerant.

Or, according to this article:

For vegans, consider tofu, seitan, and even tempeh-because although it’s higher in carbs than tofu and seitan, it’s also high in fiber, so your net carbs make it keto-friendly. Be cautious of faux-meat burgers, bacon, etc., and read their ingredient lists and nutrition labels, as they may contain sugar or be an unexpected source of carbs.

Want to learn more about going keto? Check out our Keto 101 Diet Guide to get you started!



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