Because of the health benefits of a high protein/low carb diet a lot of vegetarians are now choosing this diet as a way of life. In a traditional high protein/low carb diet a person would tend to eat a lot amount of meat or fish to obtain their protein, obviously vegetarians need to find alternative sources of protein that are not animal derived.
We’ve compiled a list of high protein food sources that will enable vegetarians to reap all the benefits of a healthy low carb diet.
Tofu is commonly used as a meat substitute for vegetarians, and it can also be used as a high protein food source that can replaces other traditional vegetarian mainstays that are high in carbohydrates such as legumes or beans.
|Tofu Shirataki Noodles|
Tofu has a unique texture that soaks up flavors making it an extremely useful food to use in marinades, casseroles and with sauces. It is extremely versatile and can be cooked in many ways, fried, scrambled, mashed, sliced, diced… you name it. Whatever you can do with meat, you can do with tofu.
A 3oz serving of tofu contains 2 net grams of carbohydrates.
Tempeh is made from fermented whole soya beans, it’s great used in stir fries, casseroles and other dishes where you would traditionally use meat. Whilst tempeh isn’t as low carb as tofu – cooked tempeh has 9 grams of carbs per 3oz serving, it does have a low glycemic index score.
Quorn is a mycoprotein extracted from a fungus called fusarium venenatum, related to the mushroom family. It is usually sold in a ground or diced form and it’s also available as various convenience foods such as sausages and burgers. Its carb count varies depending on the product so you need to check the labels of any Quorn product you buy. Quorn does contain egg whites so is not suitable for vegans.
Cheese, yogurt, cream and milk are all excellent sources of protein, as well as other vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. Vegans can use soy variations of traditional dairy products which are high in protein.
Different low carb diets advocate different types of fats, the Dukin diet for instance would promote the eating of low fat dairy products and no more than 4 eggs a weeks, whereas the Atkins diet would allow full fat versions of dairy products and an unlimited amount of eggs.
Eggs are an incredibly versatile protein source and an excellent meat alternative. A whole egg contains 0.5 grams of carbohydrates. A light meal can be made very quickly with eggs, and eggs are a great breakfast food for those steering clear of high carb cereals.
Most of the fat and cholesterol are found in the egg yolk, so if you are on a diet that restricts your fat intake you may need to limit the number of egg yolks you eat in a week. You can however, eat as many egg whites as you like.
Some low carb diets are stricter than others when it comes to the types of vegetables you consume. However, the less starchy a vegetable the lower the carb count. Eat a variety of vegetables that takes in different colors and textures to ensure that you are getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals
Again some diets are strict about which fruits you can eat as a lot of fruits are quite high in carbohydrates. Berries, however, are an excellent choice, most fall into the superfoods category and are full of antioxidants, vitamins and other essential nutrients, and most importantly low in carbs. A ¾ cup of strawberries has just 9 grams of carbs compared to 21 grams in a medium sized orange.
Nuts & Seeds
|Woodstock Farm Organic Almonds|
Nuts are a fantastic source of protein as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, copper and B and E vitamins. Whilst they are regarded as very high in fat they are full of the unsaturated kind that helps lower cholesterol and keeps your heart healthy.
Nuts and seeds can be used instead of breadcrumbs for crunchy coatings, sprinkled on your berries and yogurt in the morning or simply eaten on their own as a snack. Nuts and seeds are a must for a healthy low carb diet.
Low Carb Alternatives
Obviously low carb diets are big news and thankfully there are many products on the market that allow vegetarians and meat eaters alike to eat some of the foods that they love without spiking their blood sugar levels.
Linda’s Diet Delights has a great range of low carb foods, which covers low carb breads, low carb pastas, low carb muffins, low carb cereals and low carb candy to ensure that you stay in ketosis and keep yourself healthy and trim.