Low-Carb Vegetarian Ideas
Vegetables, fruits, and grains are our number one source of carbohydrates. So, many people assume that going vegetarian means you have to have a high-carb diet. However, there are plenty of low-carb vegetarian ideas out there that can help you cut out many of the unnecessary carbs without compromising your vegetarianism. One important principle is to eat “real” food and less processed, refined grains like white pasta and bread. Cheese pizza may be vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean it should be a staple food! Avoid high-carb vegetables and take a look at the many options for low-carb dieters.
While carbs play an important role in your body’s nutritional needs, too many carbs can have adverse health effects, including weight gain. Most of the vegetarian options that are high in carbohydrates are the starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. Beans may be a major source of protein but they are also fairly high in carbs so it is important to practice moderation. Additionally, vegetarian options that are high in sugars are consequently high in carbs as well. All of these foods are important for a healthy lifestyle, however, they should be eaten sparingly in comparison to low-carb vegetarian ideas.
While many vegetables are high in carbohydrates, many of the most popular vegetarian options are actually low in carbs. Additionally, these low-carb vegetables are chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the most popular low-carb vegetarian options are:
- Spinach: One of the most nutrient-rich vegetarian options is a spinach salad. Spinach is also incredibly low in carbohydrates, making spinach one of the healthiest vegetables out there.
- Cauliflower: Not only is cauliflower one of the most versatile vegetables, but it is also a healthy low-carb snack. In fact, half a cup of steamed cauliflower contains less than one gram of carbs.
- Cucumber: Cucumbers are roughly 95% water, so it shouldn’t be surprising that this watery vegetable contains very few carbs. Cucumbers are also great in salads, so you can add a sliced cucumber to your spinach salad for a low-carb, nutrient-rich vegetarian meal.
- Mushroom: Many varieties of mushroom are low in carbohydrates but none contains less than the shiitake mushroom. Mushrooms are also rich in flavor, making them a great addition to a vegetarian meal.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is a superfood and one that is low in carbs. Asparagus can be steamed, roasted, pickled, or eaten raw making it just as versatile as cauliflower or mushrooms.
If you are looking for more low-carb vegetarian ideas you can view our online vegetarian recipes here.