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Decreasing Carb Intake and Increasing Protein on a Vegetarian Diet

Rewriter's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2009

I won't discuss now why I want to decrease the amounts of carbs I eat--I'll save that for when I have more time--but I'm back to eating a vegetarian diet and am frustrated that I eat about twice the RDA (which is actually MY RDA, not based on what the medical community recommends) of carbs and get much less protein than I'd like.

My protein sources include such foods as kasha, a cup of which contains 33g of carbs compared to 6g of protein; navy beans, a cup of which has 20g of protein but 54g of carbs; quinoa, packing in 39g of carbs to 8g of protein in a cup...

I would like to take in about 50g of protein a day, which isn't hard to do, but I don't want to eat such a high-carb diet. Any suggestions?

Thanks...and please, don't criticize this thread. If it doesn't interest you, please "change the channel."


Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 2010

How about adding more nuts to your diet? Typically nuts have about the same amount of protein per serving as they do carbohydrates. Also, I don't remember if you use coconut milk for anything, but it contains some good protein.

Rewriter's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks for the suggestions. I do have two large mason jars in my cupboard that contain almonds and walnuts, respectively. Almonds are healthier for my purposes, but I use walnuts in a "mock chopped liver" dip that also contains lentils and sauteed onions. Yes, I forgot to mention that I eat about two handfuls of nuts every day.

I have to go food shopping again today and will buy some coconut milk.


culka's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Oct 2009

And how much is enough for you?

With cronometer.com I can modify intake in %, right now I got 15% protein, 55% carbs and 30% fat. What is your ideal ratio? Personally I keep 0.8g protein/kg of weight which is about 50g a day (or under)

Nuts are great, but they have too much fat. Ratio is 1:1:2

Instead of buying coconut milk, buy coconut and make your own milk. (No preservatives, no packaging fee)

Rewriter's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2009

I use a food tracker at nutritiondata.self.com; and yesterday's meal--which is fairly typical of what I'm eating these days--contained 48g of protein, 150g of carbs, 30g of total fat, and 8mg of cholesterol. I want to cut my carbs by 50 grams, keep my protein at around 50g, and cut my fat by about 10g.

Although I like the idea of making my own coconut milk, it's doubtful that I would do that. Instead, I will look for a preservative-free kind.

culka's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Oct 2009

so if my math is right, you are eating about 1100kcal (200 kcal from proteins, 600 kcal from carbs and 270 kcal from fat) and you wanna cut another almost 300 kcal. Why?

Are you on calorie restriction longevity diet???? If yes, you will never died. Except if a bus hit you. (just kidding)

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Great idea on nuts for protein, as I do the same.

Per 3.5 oz serving -- protein:

21.2 almonds
24.0 walnuts
18.2 cashew

I beg to differ on the coconut milk as has only 1 gram protein per cup serving vs. organic soy milk has 8 grams protein. Didn't you ask a while ago about soy in our diets? Not sure if you're adding any, as I have 2 servings of soy per day (food) and that's it, per my nutritionist. Too much unknown about the soy and "female" cancers.

If you consider fish which I partake of a few times per week (all have zero carbs)--

22.0 sardines in can
16.9 salmon

BEANS -- all in 1/2 C. cooked servings

Tofu - 10 protein / 2.3 carbs
Blk beans - 7.6 protein / 20.4 carbs
chickpeas - 7.3 protein / 22.5 carbs
lentils - 8.9 protein / 19.9 carbs

I'd love to hear your take on this new way of eating, as I'm still in the middle ground unsure. Been reading many books, and boy does it get confusing.


Rewriter's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm unsure as well; but based on my intuitive feeling (is that redundant?) about some of the information I've read on this board as well as my own research and, most important, the way my body feels after eating certain foods, TODAY I choose to follow a "mostly" meat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free diet that includes about 50g of protein. Gosh, that was a long sentence. Can you tell I've started writing again?

Anyway, I am unsure about whether I want to include chicken and fish in my diet. In the meantime, I use this chart religiously; and it tracks not only my carb, protein, and fat intake but my vitamin intake as well:


Hugs to you, too.


Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Not sure if you are interested in protein drinks but Isopure has zero carbs, 160 calories and 40 gms whey protein isolate per 20 oz bottle. It is a clear drink (kind of like koolaid but a little thicker) and comes in flavors. It is aspartame and preservative free. I used to buy it from a local gym but ordered it online from GNC.

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the benefit of these sources of protein. They are processed chemicals, aren't they??

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 2010

Actually, there are some medical grade whey proteins that have cancer fighting properties. They are rather pricey, but may be worth the investment. Mercola has one.
The body needs healthy fats, like those found in coconut milk. Fats are essential to keep the sheath throughout our nervous system intact and to keep our brains healthy. The difficulty, in a vegetarian diet, is to get those fats without putting on fat. It's the carbs that tell our bodies to store fat and carbs eaten with fat will really pack on the pounds. That is why the hamburger/bun combo is so unhealthy. Eating a low fat diet deprives essential organs and systems in our bodies of what they need to function properly. But the fats need to be healthy fats. My naturopath says her diet consists of about 25% fat.

Posts: 471
Joined: Feb 2011

I can't count the number of clinical articles I've read about the virtues of organic whey protein. Among them are these claims:

That it provides 20 mgs of protein per serving;

That it bolsters levels of glutathione, which cancer patients are notoriously low in;

That it contains lactoferrin, which helps to chelate excessivei iron (which cancer cells love) and raises hemoglobin levels.

Mercola and Life Extension and Whey Cool are superb brands; Life Extension now has a whey powder with extra lactoferring, by the way; I just odered it.

I make one smoothie every morning with either chia or flaxseed oil (a tablespoon), half a banana and a half cup of berries.

VERY palatable and I always feel better an hour or two later.


Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

I am with you.
I try to eat more protein, but I cannot reduce the intake of carbs.
I bought a veggie/fruits protein supplement, which I should be taking every day but I don't, that has 22gr of carbs, 26 gr of protein, 2 scoops per serving.
I mix it with nuts and sometimes extra fruits for more taste.
I usually buy vanilla flavor. It is not wonderful, but not terrible either.
The name is VEGA. I usually buy it at the local organic store, but I just found it in Amazon about $15 cheaper!
Here is the link, in case you are interested, http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Health-Optimizer-Vanilla-Flavor/dp/B001HBACIG/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1331693489&sr=8-8

I hope this helps!

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