Low Carbohydrate Diets For Vegetarians

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Introduction

Low carbohydrate diets for vegetarians prevent vegetarians from eating as unhealthily as most omnivores. Some vegetarians, especially those new to the lifestyle, are at a loss for what to actually cook. They turn to pasta, potatoes, sandwiches, and junk food out of ignorance or frustration. While the vegetarian diet is healthy inherently, bad choices are still available. A high carbohydrate diet can lead to weight gain, blood sugar instability, acne, mood swings, and other health issues. It is important for vegetarians to carefully monitor their carb intake, and balance it with meals rich in fruits and vegetables.

International Cuisine

The easiest way for a vegetarian to maintain a low-carb diet is to expand their cooking knowledge, and eat out less. When dining out, not all restaurants provide a vegetarian option, and those that do usually just make pasta. To expand your cooking knowledge, explore several international cuisines known for their vegetarian fare. Try Indian cooking, which has rich sauces and spicy options.

Greek food is another option for vegetarians. Greek food includes grape leaves, olives and olive oil, salads, and grilled vegetables. Another option is Thai food, which focuses on ingredients like rice noodles, sprouts, tofu, and spices. Avoiding traditional American fare means you won’t be stuck eating nothing but starchy side dishes simply because you don’t know any international cuisine.

Farmer’s Markets

If international food is beyond your scope, just try eating locally and seasonally. Visit local farmer’s markets and pick up organic produce grown right near your home town. Vendors at farmer’s markets are usually very willing to give customers tips on how to cook an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable. This will also expose you to more than just potatoes and broccoli.

For example, central Virginia farmer’s markets carry tomatoes, peppers, sprouts, spinach, lettuces, squash, apples, herbs- just to name a few items. Just buy the produce that looks the most appealing or adventurous to you, and look up recipes including that item on Google. Eating locally and in season will fill your home with so much fresh, tasty produce that you won’t even miss all that bread and pasta. When in doubt, throw that strange new veggie into an easy quiche!

Another factor to maintaining a low-carb vegetarian diet is menu planning. New vegetarians are especially susceptible to the traditional mean trinity: meat, starch, veggie. Becoming a vegetarian, and then focusing on lowering carb counts, requires a little thinking. Plan out mealtime (including snacks) every week before going to the grocery store so you have a list with you.

An example of a low-carb day would be a baby spinach and fruit smoothie with an omelet for breakfast, followed by a large salad for lunch. Avoid croutons on the salad. Snack on a piece of fruit or some almonds. For dinner, try a Greek olive, tomato and onion salad with sauteed asparagus and or half a baked squash. Through careful meal planning, a vegetarian can avoid resigning themselves to pasta for dinner every night simply because he doesn’t know what else to cook. A plan and a grocery list will help you maintain low carbohydrate diets for vegetarians.

Sources

Dr. Susan Aldridge, writing for Health And Age: https://www.healthandage.com/low-carb-vegetarian-diet-is-a-good-choice-for-health

Three Fat Chicks, a diet and weight loss reference website: https://www.3fatchicks.com/creating-a-low-carbohydrate-vegetarian-diet-plan/