Low carb diets are utilized by thousands of people and for good reason. From helping manage blood glucose levels, to assisting with weight loss, to lowering risks for heart disease, low carb works!
Low carb diets have been shown in numerous studies and randomized controlled trials to result in more weight lost than low fat diets. They also reduce markers for heart disease and improve HDL cholesterol levels.
But do you know what is even tougher? Being a vegetarian or someone focusing on consuming primarily plant based foods for nutrition, and looking for low carb options.
Typically, a low carb diet includes moderate amounts of protein especially from meat sources, very little carbs and high amounts of healthy fats, many of which are animal based.
Our meat-eating companions have it a bit easier, as animal proteins contain ample amounts of fat, which is one of the primary foods used to fend off carb hunger pangs and for weight loss. However, vegetarians do not necessarily have such a luxury.
Luckily, we are going to introduce to you easily accessible plant choices that are ideal for a low carb lifestyle.
Huh? Is there anything like that? Oh yes, and you will have an “aha!” moment when I tell you which.
But first, why should you eat fatty fruits? For one, as the name implies, they are heavy in fats, but extremely low in carbs, which is odd for a fruit.
In addition, the fat content in both of these fruits are primarily of the monounsaturated variety, which is extremely good for health, while being able to promote energy production and control cholesterol levels.
These are fruits are avocadoes and olives! Just be sure not to have too much of these yummy fruits, as caloric intake can easily go overboard.
Lots Of Veggies
No low carb plant based diet would be plant based without veggies themselves. Most veggies are extremely low in carbs, and calories overall, while still being loaded with vitamins, minerals and numerous phytochemicals, able to exert control over biological processes including cell replication. This can help keep a tight lid on cell over growth, knows as the scourge we call cancer.
Feel free to mix it up; a simple rule of thumb is to eat orange, green and yellow veggies, but the more green the better.
At first glance, or to a novice label reader, chia seeds will look like a horrible option.
Because it states right there on the label that a serving contains 15g + of carbs.
However, upon further analysis you will notice an interesting observation. Almost all the carbs are represented as fiber.
Yep, this simple translates to mean that the “carb” calories are not truly calories, but represent fiber, which transits the digestive tract relatively unchanged and is not easily absorbed. Therefore, the actual net carbs of chia seeds, those that count on a low carb diet are very low.
More good news?
Chia seeds have ample amounts of protein and good omega 3 fats, can be consumed in many versatile ways, and tastes good to boot!
Nuts are relatively low in carbs, especially almonds and peanuts and make great plant protein choice for both vegans and vegetarians.
Nuts also have a decent amount of good fat, to make for a filling meal or treat that supports the healthy low carb lifestyle.
While good for you, nuts do have carbs, so keep your intake to moderation.
Beans are not recommended for very strict low carb plans, but are a good vegetarian and vegan option for those whose daily carb intake is between 50 to 100 grams daily.
Beans are especially useful for vegans who just do not have enough choices in vegan protein to follow the strictest low carb plans, like the ketogenic diet.
Low carb eating on plant-based diets are now more achievable than ever, thanks to ease of accessing information.
You too can achieve your goals, vegetarian or not!