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How Do Vegetarians Follow Low Carb Diet Plans?

As a vegetarian, can you follow a low carb diet plan? After all, the first image that you probably visualize when you think of book covers for low carb diets probably include platters of roasts and bacon. If you’ve given up meat, you might think that cutting carbohydrates will leave you with nothing to eat. If you follow a vegetarian diet that allows you to still consume meat and dairy products, you really won’t have a problem. If you’re a vegan who doesn’t eat any animal products, you can still lower your carbs, and you may have good reasons to consider it.

Vegan Vs. Vegetarians

For the same of this discussion, I’ll offer common definitions of vegan vs. vegetarian:

  • Vegan: Vegans usually don’t consume any animal products. This includes dairy and eggs. Some vegans won’t even eat honey, but that’s not really on-topic for this discussion.
  • Vegetarians: Vegetarians don’t eat any food that involves killing an animal, but they will still consume some animal products. This includes milk and other dairy. It also includes eggs.

How many people follow vegetarian or vegan diets in the USA today? These numbers are from a large study, but they’re almost a decade old. If I had to guess, I’d bet today’s numbers are higher because more people understand the ecological reasons to reduce their consumption of animal products. In addition, there are lots of people who don’t call themselves vegetarians, but they limit meat consumption to a few times a week.

In any case, these figures about U.S. vegans and vegetarians came from a U.S. study in Vegetarian Times that was published in 2008:

  • At that time, over seven million Americans said they followed a true vegetarian diet.
  • In addition, over 22 million people in the USA reported following what they called a vegetarian-included diet.
  • About one million people in the study reported eating a strictly vegan diet.

Actually, that’s quite a lot of people who choose to eliminate or reduce their consumption of animal products, and again, this study is about a decade old.

Do You Eat High Carbs Because You’re a Vegan or Vegetarian?

As you’re well aware, you can be a fat vegan. Sugar is vegan food. It comes from a plant. Obviously, so does corn syrup. This article isn’t going to argue the science, but it does argue that the overwhelming benefit of reducing carbs is that this practice helps people reduce food cravings and feel more satiated. There are also plenty of low-carb vegetables and even some delicious, low-carb fruits.

The sections below are not meant to include everything you can eat to moderate carbohydrates. They mostly provide suggestions about different kids of food that deliver a good value in protein with low carbohydrates.

Low-Carbohydrate Food for Vegetarians

So, what kind of vegetarian food can you focus on if you’d like to try reducing your carbohydrate diet? Of course, you can turn to dairy products like cheese, low-carb yogurt, kefir, and butter. Eggs are very low in carbohydrates.

Low-Carbohydrate Food for Vegans

Even if you don’t eat animal products in any form, you can still find low carb menu choices. These include:

  • Soy: Tofu and similar products may pack lots of protein with few carbs.
  • Some legumes: If you rely on legumes, consider chickpeas and green beans. Most legumes deliver quite a bit of fiber with their carbs, so they’re probably a pretty good choice. Earlier, this site posted about including more fiber for weight loss at over 50 years of age.
  • Nuts and seeds: Just about any nuts and seeds will work.
  • Dark chocolate: Yes, chocolate! Of course, you have to choose vegan, dark chocolate, which may also include powdered cocoa for use in recipes.

How Many Carbs Should Vegans and Vegetarians Realistically Eat?

It would be pretty easy for a vegetarian to follow, for instance, a vegetarian egg fast diet plan to consume less than twenty carbs a day. This diet isn’t really a fast at all. It includes eggs, dairy, and plenty of green vegetables. Still, 20 carbs a day is very restrictive. Most people don’t really need to cut carbs that much to lose or maintain weight. A more sensible limit for weight loss might be up to 50 or even 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. This depends upon age, activity level, metabolism, and really, what you can stand to give up.

Both vegans and vegetarians could keep their daily carbs between 50 and 100 per day and still enjoy benefits. Active people might even lose weight at 150 carbohydrates per day, and it’s a good limit to maintain weight.

Should Vegans or Vegetarians Worry About Carbohydrates?

If you’re following your vegan, vegetarian, or even vegetarian-inclined diet and packing on pounds or suffering from fatigue and certain other health issues, you might consider trying to favor low-carbohydrate options over high-carbohydrate options. You know your own body best, so you and your doctor may offer the best guidance.


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