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Low Carbohydrate Foods for Vegetarians

Aug 17, 2007
Can vegetarians opt for low carbohydrates and still be healthy? The answer is yes and there are a number of low carb vegetarian foods that anyone can include in their diet. Also, opting for a low carbohydrate diet has been proven effective for most people who wish to shed pounds. The best option is of course to go for vegetables and fruits that are low in sugars as well as to go for oils that come from fruits and certain nuts.

Vegetarians also have soy foods as the best group that is low on carbohydrates. Tofu, a top soy food product is highly recommended. Meat substitutes for vegetarians are usually soy-based such as veggie burgers, vegetarian sausages, fake cold cuts and ground beef substitutes. They have been prepared to be like meat in terms of taste and smell so vegetarians can still enjoy their taste without having to really eat actual meat. They can be incorporated in excellent vegetarian foods like in salads and stir-fry. These are excellent low carbohydrate foods for vegetarians since they contain high amounts of proteins. A new soy-based food has been developed that is also low on carbohydrates is called textured vegetable protein. This may come as dry granules or in chunks and is available in any health food store. It contains proteins and fiber with little carbohydrates. It can be prepared to make excellent vegetarian recipes that are low in carbohydrates such as vegetarian chili or to prepare it by simply boiling it and flavoring it with seasonings.

Another low carbohydrate vegetarian food is seitan or wheat gluten. However, unlike tofu and other soy-based food products, it is low in protein and has been reported to cause a number of food reactions.

For lacto-ovo vegetarians, dairy or milk products can also be a good protein source. Dairy is a common source of weight loss delay for many people and can be problematic in other ways for many others such as for those who have allergies in them. Also, it's very hard to get enough protein from dairy without going over one's daily carbohydrate limits. Use dairy products as an addition to the main foods, if you use it at all to make them more flavorful and tasteful for example. Eggs are also good protein source that are low in carbohydrates that lacto-ovo vegetarians can go for. Egg yolk is also an excellent source other nutrients so they could also be added to the vegetarian diet.

Vegetarians that wish to eat only low carbohydrate food could also opt for low carbohydrate vegetables as well as nuts and seeds. For fruits, go for those that are low in sugar. Oils that are naturally found in avocados and olives are also highly recommended as additions to a low carbohydrate vegetarian diet. Go slow on refined sugars and remember that in this case of going for low carbohydrates, vegetables are much better than fruits.

As in any diet, read labels always to get the gist on the carbohydrate content of the food that you are consuming. Avoid foods that have too much seasoning in them as seasonings could also add up to the carbohydrate content of your food. The same goes for example, for tofu that comes with flavor already. The flavor could come only from seasonings so it may be best to simply buy the tofu and flavor it yourself. In adding flavor to your food, go for seasoning like cayenne pepper, herbs, garlic, and a variety of cheeses. Theirs is not need to sacrifice flavor for as long as you are aware of what seasonings and flavorings find their way in your food. One can also never go wrong with stir fried vegetables as well as grilled vegetables. You may take these with lo carbohydrate pasta so you get the best of flavor and filling without actually going overboard with the carbohydrate intake.

A precaution however, in any vegetarian diet is deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. Iron is one example. For vegetarians, an excellent option for iron source is beans and nuts. Deficiency in iron could lead to anemia so there is a special precaution for vegetarian women who are pregnant or if they are already anemic. This may be remedied by taking iron supplements.

Low carbohydrate food for vegetarians can also be a little bit pricey and many of them are also processed foods. These are some of the factors to consider in choosing foods that one wants to include in a low carbohydrate vegetarian diet.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.lowcarb-resource.com where you can learn more about low carb eating as well as find out more about vegetarian eating.
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