Are you vegan and also trying to follow a low carb diet? It can be hard to know what kinds of protein sources are safe to eat that are also low in carbohydrates and sugar. The truth is that following a plant-based diet means you have to be extra careful with the amount of protein you consume, as these sources aren’t as high in protein or absorbed as well.
At the same time, though, you don’t want to consume foods that are low in protein and very high in carbohydrates, because this can just raise your blood sugar and make you even hungrier later in the day. It’s time to find healthy and filling protein sources that are also vegan.
Let’s talk about the 6 vegan friendly sources of protein that are also low carb:
1. Whole Soybeans
These beans are very high in fiber, but also very high in protein. One cup of cooked soybeans has about 29g of protein and 7g of carbs.
Whole soybeans also contain vitamin K, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, and phytonutrients that have been proven to be good for immunity, inflammation, and that act as antioxidants.
Made from soymilk after it has been coagulated and had the water pressed out, the flavor is mild and the texture soaks up any flavor you use to cook. Silken type tofu comes in boxes, usually shelf-stable, and can be blended in shakes, used in stews, stir-fries or sous-vide recipes.
One 4 oz. serving of tofu has 9 grams of protein and about 2-3 grams of carbs. You can cook it in a frying pan, bake it, or use it raw. You may need to add more seasoning because tofu has a pretty bland flavor. Alternatively, there could be some restaurants near you that might offer keto-friendly Chinese food using tofu.
3. Almond butter
This is good food for low-carb diets because it is high in protein and fat, but not sugar, giving you energy and fullness. One serving size has 4g of protein and 9g of fat, but this is mostly unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids.
Almonds are high in vitamin E, vitamin E, vitamin C, protein, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, manganese, and copper. You should consume almond butter in moderation, but it’s a good snack or breakfast food.
You can also use peanut butter instead of almond butter if you’d like to.
Original from Indonesia, Tempeh is made from whole soybeans that have been previously cooked, fermented, and then pressed into a cake form. It is much denser than tofu, but it does have a chewy texture, which makes it better for certain people. Some eat tempeh on its own, but it is a great way to make a healthy stir-fry, bowl, or snack.
One 4 ounce serving brings in 20g of protein and 12g of carbohydrate. It is a low carb option, but it is a bit on the higher end, so you could mix it with tofu for better balance.
This food is made from wheat gluten, and it is very high in protein and low in carbohydrate. A surprise for most vegans is how healthy this choice is, because most grains, though high in fiber, are not high in protein.
You can get 21g of protein and only 4g of carbohydrates with a serving of seitan. Often people refer to it as “wheat meat,” and the name fits well, as it truly mimics the texture of ground or cubed meat.
6. Hemp Seeds
These wonderful seeds are a great source of protein but are also very low in carbs. One serving has 10g of protein and just 2g of carbohydrates. These seeds are also a great source of omega 3 and 6, as well as fiber, iron, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and vitamin E.
You can use hemp seeds in cereal, salads, yogurt, soups, and even as hemp seed milk, which is a good source of protein too. Even if you just eat a spoonful a day, you can get a protein boost.
Time to get in your protein sources that are 100% vegan and also low in carbohydrate!