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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Oct-19-02, 11:14
Karen's Avatar
Karen Karen is offline
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Posts: 12,775
 
Plan: Ketogenic
Stats: -/-/- Female 5 feet 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 100%
Location: Vancouver
Default Tips for Vegetarian Low-Carbers

This is from:

http://www.holdthetoast.com/archive/000202.html

and contains some good information for vegetarian low-carbers.

Frequently Asked Question

I think I'm carbohydrate intolerant/carbohydrate addicted, but I'm a vegetarian. Can I still go on a low carbohydrate diet?

Yes, you can! I've known a few low carb vegetarians, and they've done fine. I've also known some vegetarians who simply incorporated *some*of the principles of a low carbohydrate diet -- most notably, a higher protein consumption -- into their diets, and were rewarded by improved health and energy.

If you wish to be a low carbohydrate vegetarian, the first thing
required is to get over the idea, very wide spread, especially among moral vegetarians, that the body requires very little protein. In my experience, improved health and energy level when protein intake is increased is virtually universal. You also need to ignore the widely touted idea that grains and beans are the "natural" diet of humankind, because they have been the *principle* diet of the majority of humankind since the Agricultural Revolution. Remember that agriculture was
invented approximately 10,000 years ago -- and that by the best
estimates of science, humankind has a 2 *million* year history. That's a very long time during which human beings lived and thrived on a diet that contained very little in the way of grains and beans, but did indeed include meat and other animal-derived foods.

None of which means you can't be a low carbohydrate vegetarian, and be quite healthy! After all, the concept of "natural" when it comes to humans is pretty meaningless. We didn't evolve with central heating, either, but I, for one, don't care to give it up! All it means is that you won't be constructing your vegetarian diet around grains and beans.

So what will you be eating? Well, first of all, all the stuff that
non-vegetarian low carb dieters eat that isn't meat! That would mean, of course, plenty of low carb vegetables, nuts, seeds, low sugar fruits, healthy fats like olive oil, mayonnaise, and butter, along with foods that contain healthy fat -- things like avocados and olives. If you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you'll also be eating eggs and cheese. (If you're a vegan, you should know that most soy cheeses are indeed low carb.)

The big food group that omnivorous low carbers tend to neglect, but that the vegetarian low carber will likely be consuming in abundance, is soy foods -- tofu, tempeh, okara, soy based veggie burgers, and soy based meat substitutes -- sausage, fake cold cuts, ground beef substitutes and the like. You'll need to be even more vigilant about reading labels than the omnivores, who can generally assume that all fresh meat,
poultry, and fish have about the same carb count -- zero -- and the same protein content -- 7g per ounce, cooked. Pay attention to not only carbohydrate content and fiber content, but also protein content, and look for products that have 5 or fewer grams of usable carbohydrate per serving, (subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrate to get the usable carb count), and choose those with the *most* protein for the *least* carbohydrate.

Another low carb, high protein soy food that many of you may not know about is textured vegetable protein, or TVP. Even if you haven't heard of it, you may well have had it, since it's often used to make processed foods seem like they have more meat in them than they do. I suspect it's also the basis for a fair number of the vegetarian meat substitutes on the market. TVP is a soy product, made by Archer Daniels Midland, the ultra-huge agricultural company. It comes dry, in granules or in chunks (about dry dog food-sized) -- I can get both at my health food store. Since Bloomingfoods (that's my health food store) only carries TVP in bulk, there was no package for me to read for nutritional info, so I called Archer Daniels Midland. (Hey, you can get just about anybody's phone number if you ask a reference librarian!) Talked to a very nice man named Mike in the research and development department. Here's the lowdown on TVP, nutritionally speaking:

100 grams of dry TVP has:
50 grams of protein -- and that's complete protein.
30 grams of carbohydrate
18 grams of fiber

That means that actually 100 grams of TVP has 12 grams of usable carb, of course.

Now, you wouldn't likely eat 100 grams of TVP! That's a LOT. There's about 80 grams total weight in a cup of the stuff. And TVP grows about 200% when you add liquid, so a cup of TVP would end up being 3 cups when it was rehydrated. I'm figuring about a third of a cup, dry, would be a serving -- that would be about a cup of rehydrated TVP. That would contain 13.2 grams of protein, and 3.16 grams of usable carb. Not bad.

How would you use TVP? It would make a good vegetarian chili, for example. Also, one night recently I was making a new meat loaf recipe, with lots of zucchini and parmesan cheese in it (yes, I'll give you the recipe in a future issue!) for company, and one of my guests was a vegetarian. I mixed together everything but the meat -- the zucchini, the onions, the cheese, the eggs, the seasonings -- and then before I added the ground beef, I scooped out some of this mixture and combined it with rehydrated TVP. I put it in an individual casserole dish, and
baked it. My vegetarian friend loved it!

What do you rehydrate TVP with? If you're making that vegetarian chili I just mentioned, the moisture from the tomato sauce and such will do fine. For other recipes, you *can* rehydrate TVP with boiling water -- two parts water to one part TVP -- but I like to use some sort of seasoning -- bouillon, soy sauce, something like that. Of course, you'll check the carb count on that, too, right? For the zucchini/parmesan casserole, I flavored the water I used to rehydrate the TVP with some Bragg's Aminos, a protein broth you can buy at many
health food stores. Gave a sort of "meaty" taste to the TVP.

Anyway, TVP is a versatile and inexpensive vegetarian protein option I thought some of you might have missed; so now you know!

There are also some seitan (wheat gluten) products that are low enough in carbohydrate to qualify as "low carb", but keep in mind that wheat gluten is A) not a complete protein and B) one of the foods most likely to cause unpleasant reactions. I'd choose it less often than the soy products, and eat it in combination with other vegetarian protein foods, if I were you.

Read the labels on *everything*! Don't assume that because Brand X veggie burgers are low carb, Brand Y veggie burgers are, too. Doing research at my health food store, I found veggie burgers that were made from soy protein, and were quite low carb and high in protein, and I also found veggie burgers that were made from grains, and were very high carb, with little protein. Be aware that seasoning can change the carb count, too -- if the same company makes different flavors of a product -- for instance, Italian flavored tofu, Thai flavored tofu, and Southwestern flavored tofu -- read all the labels on the different flavors!

Also pay close attention to products sold to flavor tofu -- scrambler mixes and the like. They often have starches or sugars in them. You'll do better to season your tofu yourself; buy a good cookbook if you have to.

So there you have the basics of a vegetarian low carb diet: Plenty of low carb vegetables, nuts and seeds, eggs and cheese, soy products, a bit of low sugar fruit, and unprocessed natural fats. A nutritious diet, and a healthy one. Just be aware that as a vegetarian, you'll be getting more carbs with your protein than your meat-eating low carb compatriots, and adjust the carb content of the rest of your diet downward accordingly.

Any concerns, here? Well, just a couple. First of all, most vegetarian meat substitutes cost considerably more per gram of protein than inexpensive meat or poultry would. Especially if you're a vegan, a low carb vegetarian diet could get pretty pricey. Too, vegetarian meat substitutes are virtually all processed -- even tofu is a processed food, to some degree. It's unclear to me what, exactly, the impact of this might be, but I thought I should point it out. (On the other hand, to be entirely fair, ground beef has to be considered at least slightly processed, too. After all, our ancestors didn't just eat the muscle meats, they ate virtually the whole animal.)

Third, the only good sources of iron in a vegetarian low carb diet would be egg yolks, nuts, and a few vegetables -- beans, the most common source of iron in most vegetarian diets, are not suitable for low carbing, except on some of the more liberal, "hybrid" diets, like my Careful Carb diet. Vegetarians may wish to choose such a hybrid diet, or take an iron supplement. (Be aware, though: Iron is a mineral where not getting too much is as crucial as not getting too little. Too little will cause anemia, and make you tired. Too much has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Women of childbearing age are the population most at risk for anemia.) (In case you were wondering, the most absorbable form of dietary iron is called
"heme iron", and is found in red meat. Those of us who eat an
omnivorous low carb diet shouldn't have to worry much.)

My fourth worry applies only to vegans: I'm convinced that cholesterol is *good* for you -- it's essential for every single cell in your body -- and a vegan diet supplies *none*. It is also lacking in DHA, a fatty acid essential for brain function. (There's now some speculation, for instance, that the measurable difference in brain function between breast fed and formula fed babies -- breast fed babies tend to be smarter -- may be due to the fact that breast milk is rich in DHA, while formula has none.) Eggs are a good source of both, so lacto-ovo vegetarian low carbers don't have to concern themselves with this. Also, be sure to eat plenty of the vegetarian sources of healthy fats -- olive oil on your salads, and to sauté things in, avocados on your salad, things like that. A low carb/low fat diet isn't good for you.

One other possible problem occurs to me: Eating out as a low carb vegetarian could become a very difficult proposition. Most vegetarian entrees at restaurants are based on pasta, beans, or rice. I'm afraid I don't know much of a way around this, except perhaps to pick a good local restaurant where they're known for catering, to some degree, to vegetarians, and let them know of your dietary restrictions. They just might come up with a great new tofu dish or tempeh stir fry for you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Nov-20-02, 17:57
vegitarian vegitarian is offline
New Member
Posts: 23
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 153/151/138
BF:22
Progress: 13%
Location: usa
Default thank you so much

That was very helpful. One idea I have is asking everyone if they wouldn't mind a vietnameese or asian restrauant. You can usually get stir-fried veggies there with Tofu.

One question though, is Tofu allowed during induction?

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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Apr-29-03, 09:13
black57 black57 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 11,822
 
Plan: atkins/intermit. fasting
Stats: 166/136/135 Female 5'3''
BF:
Progress: 97%
Location: Orange, California
Default Hi there

Hello, I wanted to visit a difierent board ( I am doing atkins ) to see what y'all are discussin'. I had discussed this way of eating on the Woman's Day Forums and I had mentioned that vegetarians could do this diet. So I wanted to see how vegetarians do it.

I think tofu is highly acceptable on induction. However, I noticed that some tofu contains 0 carbs while others will list 2 grams of carbs on the packet. So you will want to be aware of that.

I love mashed potatoes ( shh don't tell anyone ). I mix tofu with mashed potatoes to reduce the carb grams ( 1/2 cup serving ) And it actually increases the protein. My family won't touch them.

I am sure there is someon who knows better about tofu and will corrct me if I am off base.

Black57
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  #4   ^
Old Fri, Jun-06-03, 13:52
gowe's Avatar
gowe gowe is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 95
 
Plan: South Beach Diet-NO Meat or Poultry
Stats: 208/225/205 Female 66 inches
BF:~40%
Progress: -567%
Location: Baltimore MD
Thumbs up Thanks

Hi Karen:

Thank you so much for your wealth of information. It is most helpful, I know I will refer to it often as I practice my new diet. I mean diet as in new way of eating.

I am curious. Where are the low carbers using the Carb Addict's Plan? Let's share.

Gowe
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Jun-06-03, 20:15
Karen's Avatar
Karen Karen is offline
Forum Founder
Posts: 12,775
 
Plan: Ketogenic
Stats: -/-/- Female 5 feet 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 100%
Location: Vancouver
Default

From the Main Page, scroll down to the CAD/CALP forum.

Karen
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Jul-18-03, 20:11
andie andie is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 34
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 286/278/150 Female 5'5"
BF:
Progress: 6%
Location: so. calif
Default

this is great! i had indeed wondered about just this subject. ive been a vegetarian in the past ..but being carb intolerant now i know why i was heavy on such a food plan. i do love beans !! thanks for the information and sparking some new thoughts.
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Jul-19-03, 16:49
joycelyn joycelyn is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 76
 
Plan: combo of different plans
Stats: 208/199/140 Female 5'4
BF:
Progress:
Default

Wow! I am so glad I found this forum! I too am a vegetarian - lacto ovo ( I do eat eggs and dairy), and it's a relief to see others who want to reduce carbs yet maintain the integrity of a vegetarian eating plan.

I am on the Insulin Resistance Diet; it's a modified protein/carb balanced eating plan that lets you eat things like beans and dairy, lots of low-starch veg, along with measured amounts of fruits and grains. Nothing is denied, so this is something I can live with the rest of my life.

I modify the Insulin Resistance Diet to include more fats than they allow, as I feel their emphasis on a low fat diet is outdated, but other than that, I am thrilled with this eating plan. Besides, I'm a firm believer that the best diet around is the one we tweak to suit our own needs!

You can go on Amazon.com and view, I think, 38 pages of the book for free, if you're interested!

If anyone wants to swap recipes or needs a particular vegetarian recipe, just let me know...I have lots of low carbohydrate books on my shelves, and I also enjoy modifying meat-containing recipes to be vegetarian ones.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Sep-06-03, 19:25
has has is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 33
 
Plan: Pesto Vegetarian Atkins
Stats: 150/145/125 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 20%
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Default

Vegitarian I found a recipie for Daikon (Chinese
radish) You dice and fry it with onion and add
salt and pepper until it is crispy on the outside
and soft on the inside. It is delicious. Also make
pizza crust out of old cheddar microwaved for 2-3
minutes then add a little salsa or low carb pizza
sauce and toppings. Works really well. I also
like devilled eggs. Hard boiled eggs scooped out
add a little mustard and mayo and fill egg .
I am also a PT. I chose to do this because a lot
of clients ask about Atkins and I wanted to know
what I was talking about.
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, Sep-06-03, 19:30
has has is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 33
 
Plan: Pesto Vegetarian Atkins
Stats: 150/145/125 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 20%
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Default

Jocelyn Hi I used to be huge on Humous and
pita. Do you know of a alternate snack that would
be simular? I've tried veggies to dip but it is not
quite the same and you can't have a lot of those
either.
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  #10   ^
Old Sat, Sep-06-03, 19:33
has has is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 33
 
Plan: Pesto Vegetarian Atkins
Stats: 150/145/125 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 20%
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Default

Jocelyn has, again. Do you have an idea for
pop? I drink club soda with a dash of lemon
sometimes but have been unable to find sugar
free syrups to add variety. Do you have any
other suggestions?
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  #11   ^
Old Sat, Sep-06-03, 19:55
Paleoanth's Avatar
Paleoanth Paleoanth is offline
Slothy Superhero
Posts: 12,159
 
Plan: Vegetarian Atkins
Stats: 165/145/125 Female 60 inches
BF:29/25.2/24
Progress: 50%
Location: Tennessee/Iowa
Default

Does it have to be carbonated? There is Fruit2O which comes in a bunch of flavors and is sweetened with Splenda. Or you might mix that half and half with the club soda to give it that zing.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Sep-07-03, 21:30
joycelyn joycelyn is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 76
 
Plan: combo of different plans
Stats: 208/199/140 Female 5'4
BF:
Progress:
Default

Hi everyone,

In reply to the Hummus question...on the Insulin Resistance Diet you are allowed legumes and don't have to count them. This is because they are high in protein and fiber and have a low glycemic index. This was but one of many factors that sold me on this eating plan, especially since I am a vegetarian. ( I know on Sugarbusters you are allowed lots of legumes as well).

So on my plan I can eat my hummus and have pita bread too, making sure the amount I eat balances out to the carb/protein ratio the diet recommends.

If you are really cutting carbs way back, of course legumes are out. Some folks do interesting things with black soybeans which have a ton of fiber and low carb count. But honestly, garbanzo beans (which are used in hummus), have such a rich buttery flavor, I doubt if the taste would be similar.

As far as soda, I don't drink much sugar free soda, using the brands made with Splenda if I do. One interesting thing some folks do is mix up the Davinci sugarfree syrups with club soda and even cream, and make what are called "Italian sodas." I've never done that, but sounds interesting.

Hope this helped a little. Sorry about the hummus...I would feel very deprived if I couldn't eat some hummus and pita now and then, that's why I like the Insulin Resistance Diet. I don't feel deprived.
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, Sep-07-03, 21:40
Meghan's Avatar
Meghan Meghan is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 811
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 180/140/130 Female 5'7
BF:22.7%(about)
Progress: 80%
Location: Washington, Tacoma
Default

Tofu question! I have found that the "low fat" tofu has carbs were as the regular has 0-1 depending on th brand! So I would say tofu is okay, and when you get farther down the line there is a really yummy tofu straberry smoothie you can have
Atkins SF strawberry syrup
fresh Strawberries
and Tofu
mix in blender, it is really yummy since tofu taste like what you put in it!
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  #14   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-04, 21:31
pondwader's Avatar
pondwader pondwader is offline
New Member
Posts: 17
 
Plan: general
Stats: 131/124/105 Female 63 inches
BF:23%/22%/18%
Progress: 27%
Default

*sigh* looks so complicated to me, I don't like any of the stuff I'm allowed to eat. I love pasta and beans and rice, and corn and carrots and all the stuff that is loaded with carbs. I can't stand tofu, and for me, wanting to stay away from meat has nothing to do with the fact that it is an animal, that doesn't bother me, I just can't stand the smell or taste or texure of it, so the veggie burgers etc are out for me too. I haven't got a clue what to do to get started. I don't have time for a lot of cooking, I prefer fast, easy, and preferably no cooking at all. My husband and I both work full time and have four kids, so even if I liked cooking, I have no time to cook separate meals just for me. Any advice on foods I can eat just the way they are that will meet the requirements for this diet? (raw or easily found prepared foods?)
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Jan-14-04, 05:34
Paleoanth's Avatar
Paleoanth Paleoanth is offline
Slothy Superhero
Posts: 12,159
 
Plan: Vegetarian Atkins
Stats: 165/145/125 Female 60 inches
BF:29/25.2/24
Progress: 50%
Location: Tennessee/Iowa
Default

What about Tempeh? Do you like that at all?

Squashes and mushrooms are on the OK list and they are all easy to prepare. I found a couple of recipes both here (click on Low Carb Recipes above) and at another site http://www.carb-lite.au.com/index.html that were quick and easy.

They have come out with low carb versions of pasta-I am not sure how they taste or anything, but even at my local Kroger's they have low carb versions of many foods. You might have to switch off with hubby on the cooking duties. This way of eating does require more advance planning, especially for vegetarians.
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