While the ketogenic diet has been around for decades, it really had its moment last year. It quickly went from everyone saying “the keto-what-now diet?” to “can you pass me the bacon and butter?” But in 2018, the popularity of the trend seemed to fade, with only devout followers continuing with the low-carb, high-fat diet.
During its time in the limelight, the keto diet attracted just as many critics as fans. Some argued that it was too restrictive, too difficult to maintain and that we know very little about the long-term health effects of eating this way. But one of the biggest criticisms about the keto diet was around its lack of sustainability. With such a focus on eating meat, it would put a huge amount of pressure on the livestock industry, generating the same amount of greenhouse gases as global transport combined.
However, in the US, the keto diet is beginning to make a comeback—but this time, with a more sustainable spin. Enter, the eco-keto diet.
What is the eco-keto diet?
As the name suggests, the eco-keto diet follows the same low-carb, high-fat principles, but in a more eco-friendly way. This trend first emerged with the ketotarian diet, a flexible, mostly plant-based alternative to keto created by Dr Will Cole.
Now, eco-friendly dieters are taking it a step further, following a completely vegan version on the keto diet. ‘But what do you even eat on a vegan keto diet?’ you may be wondering. You only need to look at US nutritionist Liz MacDowell’s blog Meat-Free Keto to gain endless cruelty-free keto inspo. She’s also releasing a cookbook later this year. Meanwhile, in the UK, Nosh Detox just released its first vegan keto meal delivery service.
But you don’t necessarily have to go vegan to make the keto diet more eco-friendly. Read on for 3 simple tips for reducing your environmental impact on the ketogenic diet.
This is the most simple way to instantly reduce your carbon footprint, no matter what kind of diet you’re on. Whether you’re buying meat, cheese or fresh produce, always try to buy local and seasonal when you can. The further your food has to travel to get to you, the more fossil fuel is being used and the higher the environmental impact.
Limit your red meat
Going keto isn’t a green light to eat hamburgers and steak for every meal. Not only is it dangerous for your heart health to eat red meat too often, it also increases your impact on the livestock industry. Try to limit your red meat consumption to once a week and where possible, have one meat-free day per week.
Go for cruelty-free products
When it comes to buying meat, make sure you’re opting for ethically-raised, free-range meat. In Australia, beef and lamb range on pastures allowing for a more ‘natural’ existence, but all pork and poultry meat stocked in supermarkets is produced in indoor ‘factory farms’ unless creditably labelled otherwise. Make sure you choose certified organic, PROOF or Humane Choice accredited labels.