Vegan Keto Protein Options: Top 30 Food Sources


After creating a fairly comprehensive database of vegan foods, I made a vegan ketogenic diet food list.

This page will focus specifically on the best protein sources, since getting enough protein as a vegan can be challenging (especially on a keto diet).

List of Best Vegan Keto Protein Options

The list below is based on 100 grams portions, which is standard when comparing the nutritional value of foods.

You can see that after the first 20ish foods, the amount of protein per 100 grams goes way down. So while it’s possible to get enough protein, you won’t have much variety in your diet.

Food Energy (kcal) Protein (g) Total Fat (g) Carbohydrate (g) Fiber (g) Net Carbs
Vital wheat gluten 370.00 75.16 1.85 13.79 0.60 13.19
Seaweed (dried) 285.71 57.43 7.71 23.86 4.29 19.57
Hemp seeds 553.33 31.57 48.73 8.67 4.00 4.67
Peanuts 567.12 25.79 49.25 16.12 8.49 7.63
Almonds 579.63 21.15 49.93 21.56 12.59 8.96
Pistachio nuts 559.35 20.16 45.32 27.17 10.57 16.60
Flaxseed 533.98 18.30 42.14 28.88 27.18 1.70
Sesame seeds 573.61 17.74 49.67 23.44 11.81 11.64
Chia seeds 486.67 16.53 30.73 42.13 34.33 7.80
Cashew 573.72 15.31 46.35 32.69 3.07 29.62
Walnut 654.70 15.23 65.21 13.71 6.67 7.04
Hazelnut 628.15 14.95 60.76 16.70 9.63 7.07
Brazil nut 658.65 14.32 67.10 11.74 7.52 4.23
Pine nuts 672.59 13.69 68.37 13.08 3.70 9.38
Soybeans 141.11 12.35 6.40 11.05 4.22 6.83
Pecans 690.91 9.17 71.98 13.86 9.70 4.16
Macadamia nut 717.91 7.91 75.78 13.82 8.66 5.16
Garlic 133.33 6.33 0.33 33.00 3.33 29.67
Peas 80.69 5.42 0.40 14.45 5.72 8.72
Collard greens 29.41 3.53 0.59 5.88 3.53 2.35
Coconut meat 353.65 3.34 33.49 15.23 8.97 6.27
Artichoke 46.91 3.27 0.15 10.51 5.37 5.14
Rapini 22.11 3.17 0.49 2.85 2.74 0.12
Kale 35.71 2.93 1.50 4.43 4.05 0.38
Spinach 22.94 2.86 0.39 3.63 2.21 1.42
Mustard greens 26.79 2.86 0.43 4.68 3.21 1.46
Broccoli 34.07 2.82 0.37 6.64 2.64 4.00
Water spinach 19.64 2.61 0.20 3.13 2.14 0.98
Lotus root 73.91 2.60 0.10 17.23 4.87 12.36
Arugula 25.00 2.60 0.65 3.65 1.50 2.15

Summary of the Best Vegan Keto Protein Options

Certain types of foods make up nearly all the top protein sources on the list above:

  • Vital wheat gluten – This is essentially protein powder extracted from wheat. It’s used to make seitan, which has a fairly well rounded amino acid profile.
  • Seeds – Almost any seed is a good fat and protein source. Hemp, flax, sesame, and chia all rank highly. Seeds have a better omega 3 to 6 fat ratio than most nuts. 
  • Nuts – Tons of fat and a decent amount of protein. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and so on all rank well on this list. However, some of them still have a decent number of net carbs, so you need to consider that. Also, most nuts have a lot of omega 6 fats. See my Omega 3 to 6 Fat Ratio of Nuts page if you’re worried about it.

Soybeans are the one type of bean that ranks fairly high on this list. Technically peanuts are a legume as well, but most people consider those nuts.

Aside from that, the rest of the list is made up of a variety of vegetables for the most part.

So you don’t have a ton of options for getting a relatively high amount of protein, but it is possible if you really want to.

An Alternative Protein Source For Vegans

I would strongly recommend getting a vegan protein powder for any vegans considering or currently on a keto diet.

It just makes it so much easier to hit protein and macro targets, which lets you relax a bit and have more choices for what else you can eat.

I have a list of the best keto vegan protein powders if you’re interested in learning more. They can be used to make things like keto vegan protein pancakes.

FAQs on Getting Protein on a Vegan Keto Diet

Why is the omega 3 to 6 ratio important for keto dieters, and how do I manage it?

The omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is crucial for keto dieters because it plays a role in inflammation and overall health. It’s harder to maintain a good omega-3 to 6 fat ratio on a vegan diet, let alone a keto vegan diet. To manage this ratio, focus on consuming sources rich in omega-3s, such as chia seeds, and flaxseeds, while minimizing the intake of omega-6-rich oils like vegetable oil and opting for healthier cooking oils like olive oil.

How can I handle a vegan keto diet with a nut or soy allergy?

Managing a vegan keto diet with a nut or soy allergy requires careful planning to ensure nutritional balance and variety. Explore alternative protein sources such as seeds, pea protein, and non-soy legumes. Focus on a wide range of low-carb vegetables and healthy fats to maintain ketosis. Additionally, consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist to create a personalized plan that meets your dietary needs while avoiding allergens.

How do these vegan keto proteins compare nutritionally to animal-based keto proteins?

Vegan keto proteins can offer a comparable nutritional profile to their animal-based counterparts, but there are some differences to consider. Plant-based sources like tofu, tempeh, and seitan provide protein but may lack certain essential nutrients found in animal products. To compensate, diversify your protein sources and consider supplements to ensure you meet all nutritional needs, especially for essential amino acids and B vitamins that may be less abundant in a vegan keto diet.

What are the potential long-term health effects of following a strict vegan keto diet?

Following a strict vegan keto diet may have potential long-term health effects, both positive and negative. On the positive side, it may lead to weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and lower risk of certain diseases. However, there are concerns about nutrient deficiencies, particularly in vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. Regular monitoring, supplementation, and consulting with a healthcare professional are essential to address potential deficiencies and ensure the sustainability and healthfulness of a strict vegan keto diet over the long term.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.