Can I be low carb and vegan?
A typical low carb lifestyle often involves meat, fish or dairy. Although, vegans avoid foods derived from animals such as dairy and eggs, it is still possible as a vegan (someone who only eats vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) to follow a low carb lifestyle.
Knowledge of the carbohydrate content of foods and education is key to following a sustained vegan, low carb way of eating. As the vegan diet is plant-based, grains and pulses can be high in carbohydrates. Therefore, it is important to be mindful when using pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and grains such as quinoa in order to keep total carbohydrates low.
There is actually a wide variety of low carb foods available to vegans:
- Vegetables - tomatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, avocados, mushrooms, spinach
- Berries - strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Soy - tofu and tempeh are high in protein and fat, yet low in carbs.
- Legumes - green beans, chickpeas and other lentils
- Alternative dairy sources - vegan cheese, soya milk and yoghurt, nut milks such as almond milk
Plus the availability of vegan friendly products has dramatically increased in the last few years, in response to growing demand, including an increase in the number of vegan dairy products and meat replacements.