The ketogenic (or keto, as it\u2019s more commonly known) diet was developed back in the 1920s and 1930s. It was initially created to treat epilepsy, but over the years, doctors have also prescribed it to diabetes patients. When you think of keto, chances are that you think of lots of animal products. Traditionally, people following the diet eat high fat, low carb animal-based foods -- like bacon, eggs, and cheese. But there is such a thing as a vegan keto diet -- also known as the \u201cveto\u201d diet. What Is The Vegan Keto \u201cVeto\u201d Diet? Nowadays, people predominantly use the keto diet as a weight-loss tool. They reduce carbs to less than 50 grams per day to reach and maintain ketosis. During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds, which are called ketones. The ketones become your body\u2019s main source of energy. This means what you eat has to be high in fat, which is why many who follow the diet usually turn to high-fat animal products. Plant-based foods can be high in fat too, so a vegan keto diet is possible. Avocados, coconut oil, seeds, and nuts can all be eaten on a vegan keto diet. \u00a0Is The Vegan Keto Diet Safe? The meat-heavy keto diet has been criticized widely; U.S. News & World ranked it as one of the worst \u201cfad diets\u201d in a 2018 report. Nutritionist and CNN contributor Lisa Drayer told the Independent, \u201cthe keto diet is just not sustainable over the long term. It doesn\u2019t teach you how to acquire healthy eating habits.\u201d But is the vegan keto diet any better? Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert says following a varied whole-food, plant-based diet is the best for your health. \u201cCombining veganism and a ketogenic diet may be extremely dangerous,\u201d she told The Independent. \u201cYou will most likely find yourself very low in energy and lacking essential nutrients from the diet. You just can\u2019t beat a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of complex carbs, proteins, essential fats and plenty of fruit and veg.\u201d Others think the vegan keto diet is safe. Registered dietician Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, wrote for Healthline last year, \u201cwith careful planning, vegans can reap the potential benefits of a ketogenic diet.\u201d She says, \u201cvegans can reach ketosis by relying on high-fat, plant-based products like coconut oil, avocados, seeds, and nuts.\u201d According to cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn, most of the public is not looking to reverse advanced disease, they're "trying to eat generally healthy, avoid disease, be kind to animals and the planet, and maintain a healthy weight." He says that considering a plant ketogenic diet was "quite a leap" as he's been an outspoken critic of the animal keto fad. Kubala adds that while studies have been conducted on the keto diet and the vegan diet separately, there isn\u2019t much research available on the two together. She says that both diets have been used effectively as methods for weight loss. \u201cBeing that both vegan and ketogenic diets may benefit your health in similar ways, it\u2019s likely that combining the two by following a vegan keto diet would positively impact health as well,\u201d she adds. Although Kubala suggests that the meat version of a keto diet has health benefits, research has shown that consuming a lot of animal products -- like bacon and cheese -- can be a risk. According to a study from April, eating just three rashers of bacon a day can increase the risk of bowel cancer by 20 percent. Some studies have linked dairy to cancer risk. Doctors from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have urged the FDA to place breast cancer warnings on cheese products. The doctors say that cheese contains concentrated estrogen from cows. Research has linked estrogen -- a female hormone -- to an increased risk of breast cancer. A vegan diet, on the other hand, can reduce the risk of cancer. Cancer Research UK says that if people switched to a plant-based diet, there could be up to 8,800 fewer cancer cases a year in the UK. Studies have also linked plant-based diets with a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. How to Eat Vegan Keto If you\u2019re interested in trying out a vegan keto diet, plan ahead carefully. Here are four fundamental tips to get you started. 1. Eat Lots of Coconut Products Coconut is your new best friend. It\u2019s high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Opt for full-fat coconut milk, coconut cream, and unsweetened coconut. You can also try coconut yogurts and coconut-based cheese. Coconut is extremely flavorful, adding cream to your curries and soups will make them all the tastier. Kubala recommends for breakfast, \u201cketo porridge made with full-fat coconut milk, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and unsweetened shredded coconut.\u201d The fruit also offers many nutritional benefits. It\u2019s cholesterol-free, low in sodium, and contains vitamin B6, fiber, and iron. It also contains minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium. 2. Embrace Chia Seeds Chia seeds are high in fiber and have a very low net carb count. They\u2019re a versatile food to cook with and tend to absorb the flavor of other ingredients. Another breakfast suggestion from Kubala is \u201cchia pudding made with full-fat coconut milk topped with sliced almonds.\u201d Chia seeds are highly nutritious. According to nutrition researcher Kris Gurnas, BSc, they are \u201camong the healthiest foods on the planet.\u201d He writes for Healthline, \u201cthey\u2019re loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain.\u201d They contain antioxidants and omega-3. They also contain fiber, protein, fat, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous, as well as zinc, vitamins B1, B2, and B3, and potassium. 3. Use Lots of Oil When your body is in ketosis, oils are a vital energy source. Cook with them and drizzle them across your veggies. Opt for oils with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including coconut oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, and macadamia oil. 4. Eat a Variety of Foods Even though the vegan keto diet is restrictive by nature, it\u2019s important to ensure that you are getting as varied a diet as possible. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you can opt for non-starchy ones, like leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and mushrooms. Enjoy avocados and opt for blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries in moderation. You should eat lots of nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and macadamia nuts, and opt for vegan protein sources like full-fat tofu and tempeh. You can consume vegan full-fat \u201cdairy\u201d products, so eat products like cashew cheese and vegan cream cheese. For dinner, Kubala suggests meals like shirataki noodles with mushrooms and vegan alfredo sauce and cauliflower crust pizza topped with non-starchy vegetables and vegan cheese.