How to Eat Low-Carb as a Vegetarian or Vegan
A vegan diet is often higher in carbohydrates. However, essential in providing energy for all body functions and physical activities, we still need to take them in controlled amounts to save ourselves from the associated health risks. Cutting on carbohydrates is a bit easier for vegetarians as they can rely on animal-derived products, e.g. dairy and eggs, which are low in carbs, and high in protein and fat. Certainly, there exist plenty of healthy low-carb sources that are plant-based too. Hence, this article will guide you in planning a meal with low-carb vegan diet options you can adopt to gain the related benefits of healthy living.
What is a low-carb diet?
There is no particular definition of a low-carb diet, but it depends on your preferences. Consuming under 100 to 150 g of carbohydrates per day is typical of a low-carb diet.
However, a low-carb vegan diet is not just about refraining from animal-based products but also some plant-based foods high in carbs, such as grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, legumes, and bread.
When following a low-carb diet, taking enough proteins and fats is vital. However, it can improve your quality of life in many ways, as described below:
- It is popularly known for reducing and managing weight as it can considerably reduce appetite, making you eat less.
- It helps lower triglycerides and raises good cholesterol (HDL), preventing heart ailments and strokes.
- It is effective in decreasing harmful belly fat.
- High carbs lead to high blood sugar levels. A low-carb diet administers reduced blood sugar levels and is a powerful tool for glycemic control.
- It also benefits people suffering from metabolic syndrome or certain neurological disorders.
- It supports healthy skin, hormones, and the function of different organs.
- It helps you feel good and sleep better by stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Low-carb friendly plant foods
The following foods are sure to help both vegans and vegetarians in trying a lower-carbohydrate diet:
- Green leafy vegetables
Carbohydrates: lesser than 1 gram every ½ cup
Leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale are low in calories but high in fibre and magnesium. Dietary fibre is indigestible and is not converted into sugar molecules, unlike most carbohydrates. Hence, the increased intake of fibre and magnesium helps control blood sugar levels by slowing down the process of energy release and glucose absorption in the body. In addition, these vegetables contain vital nutrients like vitamins A, C, K and iron.
Carbohydrates: 7 grams every ¼ cup
Almonds are a low-carb snack, rich in fibre with a lower glycemic index than many other nuts. Furthermore, they are filled with various nutritional elements, including magnesium, copper, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Almonds contain healthy fat and help lose belly fat and the overall body weight. Hence, they are a great addition to your low-carb diet owing to their satiating properties.
Carbohydrates: 5 grams every 1 cup
Vegans love tofu due to its versatility as it easily mixes into many different recipes. Tofu is an incredible option for a low-carb meal, low in calories and fat. Moreover, it is a great source of protein and calcium too.