By Dana Shultz for Diets In Review
Most people assume that being on the Atkins Diet means you can only eat meat and vegetables. But it’s a little known fact that you can actually follow a low-carb diet while also being vegan or vegetarian.
This is because the Atkins Diet can be adapted to almost any lifestyle. And since you can consume many of the staples of a meat- or animal-free diet, it can easily be adjusted to fit a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle as well. Low carb eaters can enjoy many of the same foods vegans and vegetarians do, like vegetables, fruits, oils, seeds, and nuts.
The following are just a few of the ways vegetarians can adapt to the Atkins Diet:
- As long as you consume at least two varieties of plant protein each day, you can get a balance of essential amino acids
- As a lacto ovo vegetarian, you can get sufficient protein in eggs, cheese and soy products
- Start at 30 grams of carbs daily, and then introduce nuts and seeds before berries
- Add oils like olive and canola to salads and veggies to make up for the smaller amount of fat in most protein sources
The following are a few vegan modifications:
- Get sufficient protein from seeds, nuts, soy products, soy and rice cheeses, seitan, legumes, and high-protein grains like quinoa
- Start at 50 grams of carbs per day so you can have nuts, seeds, nut butters, and legumes
- Make sure to get sufficient protein from plant sources
- Add oils like flaxseed and olive to salads and veggies to make up for the smaller amount of fat in most protein sources
Here are just a few Atkins-friendly recipes to try, the first three of which are vegetarian, and the last three are vegan.