The lowest-carb sources of protein on a vegetarian diet include eggs and soy-based proteins such as tofu and tempeh.
Many protein sources in a vegetarian diet contain a fair amount of carbs, including quinoa, dried beans and peas and dairy products.
With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. Your body doesn't completely digest or absorb all the fiber carbohydrates found in a food, though.
For example, a cup of chickpeas contains 35 grams of carbohydrates, but almost 10 grams of fiber. You may eat more carbohydrate grams than a meat-eater on a low-carb regimen, but it's likely a lot of those grams are from fiber.
Even the extremely restrictive low-carb phase one of the Atkins diet plan, which restricts you to just 12 to 15 total carbs per day in its first phase, lists leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula and bok choy as acceptable.
A medium baked white potato with the skin contains 37 grams of carbohydrates, a medium baked sweet potato contains 24 grams of carbs and a cup of corn kernels contains 31 grams of carbs. One large egg contains about 6 grams of protein and less than half a gram of carbohydrates. Coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil are healthy fats that are carb-free and can be used for cooking or making salad dressings.
She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University. You can be a vegetarian and still follow a low-carb lifestyle; you may just need to be a little more creative.
Fiber isn't converted by the body into glucose, which creates the rise in blood sugar that low-carb dieters try to avoid. If you subtract the fiber grams from the carbs, you end up with net carbs of 25 grams per cup of chickpeas.
Other vegetables also make the list of very low-carb foods, including eggplant, asparagus, yellow squash, broccoli, celery, spaghetti squash, green beans, hearts of palm, mushrooms, bell peppers, snow peas and artichokes.
A 1-cup serving of soft tofu cubes contains about 16 grams of protein with just 5 grams of carbohydrates and 3.5 ounces of tempeh has 18 grams of protein with about 9 grams of carbs. For example, 1 cup of lentils contains almost 18 grams of protein, but has 40 grams of carbohydrate with almost 16 grams of fiber. Nuts and seeds are also a source of vegetarian protein and healthy unsaturated fat, but are high in calories and, if you eat more than an ounce, provide a fair number of carbohydrate.
A low-carb diet contains no more than 130 grams of carbohydrates per day, reported a 2008 paper in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. Low-fat plain Greek yogurt has 6 grams of carbs with 17 ounces of protein in one container. Lima beans, pinto beans and black beans also tend to have less carbohydrates that some other legumes, including chickpeas and white beans, but all contain about 14 grams of protein per cup.
Almonds, for example, contain about 150 calories per ounce with 6 grams of protein and carbohydrates.
Leafy, watery vegetables, eggs, and some dairy and soy foods have a place in a low-carb, vegetarian meal plan. This makes it a lower-carb option compared to 2 percent milk with 12 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein per cup. Consume a cup to get 30 grams of protein and end up with 828 calories and 31 grams of carbohydrates, a definite diet buster. Cheese, eaten in moderation to keep your saturated fat content in check, is another lower-carb source of dairy protein. One ounce of cheddar cheese, for example, has almost no carbohydrates with 7 grams of protein.
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