10 High-Protein and Low-Carb Vegan Foods You Need to Try
August 23, 2021
As more people are turning to a plant-based lifestyle, the demand for high-protein, low-carb vegan foods is on the rise. While many believe that protein is only found in animal products, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are many vegan foods that are rich in protein and can be easily incorporated into a low-carb diet.
In this article, we will explore 10 of the best high-protein and low-carb vegan foods that you need to try. From legumes to nuts and seeds, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of plant-based foods that can help you meet your daily protein requirements while staying within your carb limits.
Whether you have been vegan for so long or just starting out, incorporating this high-protein, low-carb vegan foods into your diet can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.
So, let’s dive in and discover some new vegan food options that will keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day!
When it comes to weight loss or weight management, keeping your carb intake low is a key factor. When you eat carbs, your body converts them into glucose, which is then used for energy. If you eat too many carbs, your body will store the excess as fat.
However, protein is a different story. Your body uses protein for energy, but it also helps you feel full and satisfied after eating. This means that you can eat a high-protein diet and still lose weight.
Different Types of Vegetarians
There are different types of vegetarians, and each has its own way of meeting its protein needs.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products, which are both high in protein.
Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products, but not eggs.
Ovo vegetarians eat eggs, but not dairy products.
Vegan vegetarians do not eat any animal products, including eggs and dairy.
High-Protein, Low-Carb Vegan Foods
Lentils are a type of legume that is widely consumed around the world. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are rich in other essential nutrients such as fiber, iron, and folate. Lentils come in different colors, including green, brown, and red, and can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, salads, and curries.
One cup of cooked lentils (198 grams) contains approximately.
Protein: 18 grams
Carbohydrates: 40 grams
Fiber: 16 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Iron: 6.6 milligrams (37% of the recommended daily intake)
Folate: 358 micrograms (90% of the recommended daily intake)
Potassium: 731 milligrams (21% of the recommended daily intake)
Magnesium: 71 milligrams (18% of the recommended daily intake)
High in Protein: Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making them an ideal food choice for vegans and vegetarians. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein, which is approximately 36% of the recommended daily intake for adult women and 32% for adult men.
Good Source of Fiber: Lentils are high in fiber, with one cup of cooked lentils providing 16 grams of fiber, which is approximately 64% of the recommended daily intake. Fiber plays an essential role in maintaining digestive health, promoting regular bowel movements, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Rich in Iron: Lentils are a good source of iron, with one cup of cooked lentils providing 37% of the recommended daily intake. Iron is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen throughout the body, supporting the immune system, and maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.
May Lower the Risk of Chronic Diseases: Lentils are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Lentils are also low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Easy to Prepare: Lentils are easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of dishes. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be stored in the pantry for an extended period.
2. Black Beans.
Black beans are a nutritious and versatile legume that is commonly used in many vegan recipes. They are low in carbohydrates and high in protein, making them a perfect choice for those following a low-carb vegan diet. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of black beans:
One cup of cooked black beans (172 grams) contains approximately:
Protein: 15.2 grams
Carbohydrates: 40.8 grams
Fiber: 15 grams
Fat: 0.9 grams
Folate: 256 micrograms (64% of the recommended daily intake)
Iron: 3.6 milligrams (20% of the recommended daily intake)
Magnesium: 120 milligrams (30% of the recommended daily intake)
Potassium: 611 milligrams (17% of the recommended daily intake)
Zinc: 2.5 milligrams (17% of the recommended daily intake)
High in Protein: Black beans are a great source of protein, with one cup of cooked black beans providing 15.2 grams of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and it also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after meals.
Low in Carbohydrates: Black beans are relatively low in carbohydrates, with one cup of cooked black beans providing 40.8 grams of carbohydrates. This makes them a suitable food choice for those following a low-carb diet.
Rich in Fiber: Black beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with one cup of cooked black beans providing 15 grams of fiber. Fiber helps keep you feeling full, and it also helps promote digestive health by preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements.
Good for Heart Health: Black beans are rich in antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that can help lower the risk of heart disease. They are also a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.
May Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels: Black beans have a low glycemic index, which means that they don’t cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This makes them a good food choice for those with diabetes or those trying to manage their blood sugar levels.
Ways to Incorporate Black Beans into Your Diet:
Use black beans in salads, soups, stews, and chilis.
Make black bean burgers or black bean dip.
Use black beans as a filling for tacos or burritos.
Add black beans to your breakfast omelets or scrambles.
Use black beans as a substitute for meat in vegetarian or vegan dishes.
Quinoa is a popular and nutritious grain that is becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the world. Here are some facts and lists about quinoa:
Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds.
It is native to South America and has been cultivated for thousands of years.
Quinoa is considered a superfood because it is packed with nutrients.
It is gluten-free and is suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.
It is high in fiber, iron, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.
Quinoa comes in different colors, including white, red, and black.
High in Protein: Quinoa is an excellent source of plant-based protein, making it an ideal food choice for vegans and vegetarians. One cup of cooked quinoa contains approximately 8 grams of protein.
Gluten-Free: Quinoa is a gluten-free grain, making it a suitable food for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Rich in Fiber: Quinoa is high in fiber, with one cup of cooked quinoa providing approximately 5 grams of fiber. Fiber plays an essential role in maintaining digestive health, promoting regular bowel movements, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
High in Nutrients: Quinoa is rich in essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and folate. One cup of cooked quinoa provides approximately 15% of the recommended daily intake of iron, 30% of magnesium, and 19% of folate.
Low Glycemic Index: Quinoa has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This property makes it a suitable food for people with type 2 diabetes or those who are at risk of developing the condition.
Ways to Use Quinoa:
Salads: Quinoa is an excellent addition to salads. It can be mixed with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to create a nutritious and delicious meal.
Breakfast: Quinoa can be used as a substitute for oatmeal in breakfast recipes. It can be cooked with milk, honey, and fruits to create a hearty and nutritious breakfast bowl.
Side Dish: Quinoa can be used as a side dish and can be seasoned with herbs and spices to add flavor to meals.
Stir-fry: Quinoa can be used in stir-fries and can be combined with vegetables, tofu, or meat to create a delicious and nutritious meal.
Baked Goods: Quinoa flour can be used in baked goods such as bread, muffins, and cookies, making them a healthier alternative to traditional baked goods.
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. It is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into blocks. Tofu is a good source of protein and is also low in calories and fat. It has a neutral flavor and a spongy texture, which makes it versatile and easy to use in a variety of dishes.
Here are some ways to use tofu:
Grilled: Tofu can be grilled on a barbecue or in a grill pan. Cut the tofu into slices or cubes and marinate it in your favorite sauce before grilling.
Stir-fry: Tofu is a great addition to stir-fries. Cut it into cubes and cook it with your favorite vegetables and sauce.
Scrambled: Tofu can be used as a vegan alternative to scrambled eggs. Crumble the tofu and cook it with spices and vegetables for a tasty breakfast dish.
Smoothies: Silken tofu can be blended into smoothies to add protein and creaminess.
Salads: Tofu can be added to salads for extra protein. Cut it into cubes or slices and add it to your favorite salad ingredients.
Sandwiches: Tofu can be sliced and used as a filling in sandwiches or wraps. Add some vegetables and sauce for a tasty and healthy lunch.
Broccoli is a green vegetable that is part of the cabbage family. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet. Here are some nutritional benefits and ways to prepare broccoli:
High in fiber
Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate
Contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that may help protect against cancer and other diseases
Ways to prepare broccoli:
Steamed or boiled as a side dish
Roasted with olive oil and seasonings for added flavor
Added to salads or stir-fries for a nutritious boost
Blended into soups or sauces for added creaminess and nutrition.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients and health benefits. Here are some of the nutrients and health benefits of spinach:
Helps to improve digestion
Helps to lower blood pressure
Helps to reduce inflammation in the body
Helps to prevent cancer
Helps to promote healthy skin and hair
Helps to improve bone health
Some ways to enjoy spinach in your diet:
Raw in salads
Sautéed as a side dish
Blended into smoothies
Added to omelets or quiches
Used as a pizza topping
Added to soups or stews
Mushrooms are a type of fungi that can add a unique flavor and texture to dishes. They are also low in calories and fat and are a good source of various nutrients, including B vitamins and minerals such as selenium, copper, and potassium.
Here are some types of mushrooms:
Avocado is a nutritious fruit that is rich in healthy fats, fiber, and various essential vitamins and minerals. Here are some benefits and ways to incorporate it into your diet:
Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease
High in fiber, which can help promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation
Contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and folate, which are important for overall health and wellbeing
Can help promote weight loss and reduce inflammation in the body
Ways to incorporate into your diet:
Spread mashed avocado on toast or use as a substitute for mayonnaise or butter in sandwiches
Add diced avocado to salads, tacos, or burrito bowls for a creamy and nutritious addition
Use avocado as a base for homemade guacamole or salsa
Blend avocado into smoothies for a creamy texture and added nutrition
Use avocado oil for cooking or as a salad dressing
Note: While avocados are a healthy addition to most diets, they are also high in calories, so it’s important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber. They are also a convenient and delicious snack. Here are some ways to incorporate bananas into your diet.
Eat them as a snack: Simply peel and eat a ripe banana as a quick and easy snack.
Add them to smoothies: Blend a banana with some yogurt, milk, and other fruits for a refreshing and healthy smoothie.
Use them in baking: Mash up some bananas and add them to muffins, breads, or pancakes for a natural sweetener and moisture.
Freeze them: Peel and freeze ripe bananas to use in smoothies or as a healthy, frozen treat.
Make banana pancakes: Mix mashed bananas with eggs and a bit of flour to make healthy, protein-packed pancakes.
Use them as a topping: Sliced bananas can be a delicious and healthy addition to oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal.
Dates are a type of sweet fruit that comes from the date palm tree. They are high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, and have been associated with various health benefits.
Here are some ways to enjoy dates:
Eat them as a snack, either fresh or dried.
Use them as a natural sweetener in smoothies, baked goods, or oatmeal.
Make a date paste by blending dates with a little bit of water, and use it as a spread or filling.
Stuff them with nut butter or cheese for a savory snack.
Add them to salads for a sweet and crunchy texture.
Mix chopped dates with nuts and seeds for a homemade trail mix.
Make a date caramel by blending dates with coconut oil and vanilla extract, and use it as a topping for pancakes or ice cream.
Use them in meat dishes for a sweet and savory flavor, such as in a Moroccan tagine.
Make a date and nut energy bar by blending dates with nuts and forming them into bars.
Use them in homemade granola or muesli for natural sweetness.
What are some tips for eating high-protein, low-carb vegan foods?
Some tips for eating high-protein, low-carb vegan foods include making sure to include a variety of protein-rich foods in your diet, such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, lentils, beans, quinoa, and nuts.
Additionally, make sure to include plenty of low-carb vegetables in your meals, such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini. Finally, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
How much protein do I need to eat if I am a vegan?
The amount of protein you need to eat as a vegan depends on a variety of factors, such as your age, activity level, and muscle mass.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight or about 55 grams per day for a 150-pound person. However, many experts recommend consuming more protein than the RDA, especially if you are active or have a lot of muscle mass.
For example, the American Dietetic Association recommends consuming 0.54-0.64 grams per pound of body weight, or about 80-100 grams per day for a 150-pound person.
Is it possible to get too much protein?
Yes, it is possible to consume too much protein, regardless of whether you are following a vegan or non-vegan diet. Excess protein can put a strain on the kidneys and may also lead to dehydration. However, it’s important to note that this is only a concern if you are consuming significantly more protein than your body needs.
The recommended daily protein intake for adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
How can I increase the protein in my vegan diet?
There are plenty of vegan sources of protein that you can incorporate into your diet. Some of the high-protein vegan foods include tofu, tempeh, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts, and seeds. You can also try incorporating vegan protein powders or bars, but make sure to read the labels carefully to avoid added sugars and other unwanted ingredients.
In addition, you can also try combining plant-based protein sources to create complete protein sources. For example, combining rice and beans or hummus and whole wheat pita will create a complete protein source that contains all the essential amino acids your body needs.
A vegan diet can provide plenty of protein while still being low in carbs. These ten high-protein and low-carb vegan foods are great options to incorporate into your meals and snacks. From tofu and tempeh to nuts and seeds, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious options to choose from. Avocados, bananas, and dates also make great additions to any vegan diet. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can easily meet your protein needs while still following a low-carb vegan lifestyle.
So go ahead and try some of these foods out, your body will thank you for it!