Vegetarian Low Carb Foods


Contrary to popular belief, people on a low carb diet don’t eat bacon ALL the time.

At least, not most of us. 😛 LOL

My friend Angie, who is a vegetarian, asks: “What are ways a vegetarian can ease in to low carb?
I still eat fish, dairy, eggs.”

I am not a vegetarian (obviously!), and I realize there are different types of vegetarians, so keep that in mind as you read through my suggestions.

You can easily modify this list of vegetarian low carb foods to suit your personal preferences, but it should give you some good ideas to start with.

When it comes to eating low carb, you want to cut out things like: bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar. This still leaves you a lot of options, and even more if you eat dairy & eggs like Angie. For dairy you have all cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese, creamy spinach dip etc. And she mentioned still eating fish in her diet, which could include: tuna salad, grilled salmon, low carb salmon patties, baked fish, crab legs, grilled shrimp, etc.

Since you already eat a lot of vegetables in your diet, you’ll just want to adjust which vegetables you eat. For a good reference list, see: Vegetables on a Low-Carb Diet: The Best and Worst

You do want to cut out starchy vegetables, or vegetables that are higher in carbohydrates such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, beets, etc. Oh, and beans. I miss beans sometimes. 🙂

I don’t eat meat for every meal myself. I often just have cheesy broccoli, or other vegetables for a quick meal. Mainly because I eat breakfast & lunch alone so it’s handy to make things that are great as leftovers. I also love eggs because they’re so quick & easy, and especially loved chopped spinach and cheddar scrambled into a couple of eggs. And deviled eggs – those are delicious!

Other Vegetarian Low Carb Foods

There is SO much you can do with vegetables alone, especially when you add in things from the list above. Try getting creative with layers of vegetables, a quiche, baked vegetables drizzled with Alfredo sauce, Romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing & parmesan with grilled shrimp in a low carb tortilla, etc. I’m sure you’ll come up with tons more when you put some thought into it.

The key is to cut out the bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, starches and sugar. You can use the Atkins Induction Phase Food List and just skip over the meat products you don’t eat.

Your goal is to start the first few weeks by consuming less than 20 net carbs per day. This will allow you to eat A LOT of vegetables, along with the other items on the list. People who stick to this carb count the first few weeks experience dramatic weight loss. It’s called “Induction Phase” by most.

As a vegetarian, you have a head start on me. I’ve had to learn my way around the produce section since starting the low carb diet -LOL. 🙂 It’s been fun though, and I am finding more and more new vegetables I like. I enjoy sliced crisp cucumbers with salt as a salty crispy snack (chip replacement!). And I like chopped cooked spinach in recipes now. I never cared for spinach before at all!

For sweets, you’ll want to make sugar free low carb desserts instead. I like sugar free candy, which is easy to find now due to the unfortunate number of people with diabetes. Both in candy shops and in the local grocery stores. You can also get sugar free pudding, sugar free Jello chocolate mousse, low carb cheesecake, etc.

I enjoy berries, too – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries. You’ll be surprised how quickly your sweet tooth changes when you start cutting sugar & starch out of your diet, and how strawberries can quickly replace sugary sweets as a nice dessert!

Also see Low Carb Vegetable Recipes

Free Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Low Carb Foods. Bookmark the permalink.


11 Responses to Vegetarian Low Carb Foods

  1. Great post! Thank you so much for giving me ideas for going low carb. Beans though are a very important staple in my diet (I need a good amount of protein for my normal exercise routine). But now I see what things I need to cut down on or just plain remove.

    I love the idea of cucumbers instead of chips (that is if I can get over the heart burn it causes me LOL). But I do love kale chips and I see kale is on the low carb veggie list. Also so happy to see avocado on the low carb list too. That is a great protein! Zuchinni chips would work for me too. Oh yes!

    There are some on the high carb list that I would totally miss (sweet potatoes and carrots oh and peas and beets ha ha).

    Now I need to look at this more closely, thanks so much for all the great info.

  2. Mom says:

    This is a great post, Lynn. My neighbor teases me about eating so many vegetables. She would be surprised to know that I eat low carb. 🙂

    Angie, I eat pumpkin in place of sweet potatoes and carrots. I don’t think I would give up beets, especially when they’re in season. Just add them into your carb count. If you eat seasonally, you are much less likely to go overboard on any one food. We are coming to the end of tomato season in my area. I’m glad I enjoyed them while they were available. I don’t have any problem avoiding them the rest of the year and saving my carbs for something else.

  3. Lynsey says:

    I love your blog (and especially your tips for coffee!)! I am embarking on a vegetarian low-carb diet (currently on 2nd week of induction) and also travel a lot. Any tips for vegetarian low-carb traveling? I’m worried!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Lynsey!

      The key is in planning. When I travel I often carry almonds, pecans and string cheese – or cubed cheese. Quest Bars are great too! I know there are different types of Vegetarians. Angie still eats fish/seafood for example. Do you eat seafood, dairy – or what is OFF your list?

      • Lynsey says:

        Hi Lynn! Those are good tips and I do try to do that when traveling (never tried Quest bars,though – where do you find them?). Having snacks with me is super helpful, but my biggest challenge is meals, especially when stuck at the airport. (Do cheese cubes travel well?) I don’t eat seafood, so at airports and also sometimes at restaurants (especially if I don’t get to pick the restaurant!), there are almost no options except plain salads or sides of vegetables. There are so many great veg low carb recipes out there to make at home (I especially love the recipes in Rose Elliot’s book!), but it’s hard to find options like this at most restaurants. Any additional ideas are welcome! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *