A lot of people tend to relate low carb diets with meat; but it is supremely possible, and even may be preferable, to do a low carb vegetarian diet. The reason for thinking low carb means meat is because of the emphasis such an eating regime puts on protein and, as we all know, meat contains protein – well, so does soya, tofu, quorn, tempeh, textured vegetable protein (TVP), and a range of other meat substitutes as well as good old dairy and eggs. In fact, the meat substitutes are an excellent source of protein and can take the place of meat in any dish with the added advantage that they are a lot easier to store and prepare and are often cheaper too.
The more traditional meat substitutes, also called ‘meat analogues’, were originally made from wheat gluten or grains such as rice; or tofu. But the more recent versions include such things as textured vegetable protein made from soy, and the ever popular quorn which is made from mycoprotein; which is mushrooms. The varieties are seemingly endless and the forms which each takes are as varied as the forms that meat takes. Quorn steaks are not uncommon, nor are soya mince; and fried tofu can take on a taste and texture which can exceed anything but the most expensive cut of meat.
For those wishing to follow a low carb vegetarian diet but would prefer to avoid consuming too much dairy products there are vegetarian alternatives to this too. The most common form of vegetarian dairy substitute is soy, and gone are the days of tasteless insipid soya milk; nowadays many people drink soya milk in preference to the real thing. And if that doesn’t take your fancy there is rice milk, or almond or cashew based cream alternatives and for every variation there is a further variety of flavourings which can give you a wide range of tastes for whatever your mood at the time.
So when you next think about lowering your carbohydrate intake you don’t necessarily have to think in terms of meat and dairy products. There is a ever increasing range of substitutes and alternatives which make dieting a far more interesting choice than it ever has been before. And for those of you who do wish to refrain from eating meat it’s never been easier to follow a low carb vegetarian diet.