Are you a vegetarian interested in reducing the carbohydrate in your diet?

Depending on what you’ve been eating before changing to a low carb (or lower-carb) diet, you may have to pay more attention to getting enough protein, as some of the usual sources of protein for vegetarians, such as whole grains, come with a pretty high load of glucose (starch is basically long chains of glucose).

If you eat eggs and/or dairy, getting enough protein isn’t difficult. Vegan folks will have to pay closer attention.

As most vegetarians know, it isn’t just the total amount of protein that is important, but the types of protein. Our bodies need a variety of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and most plant foods are low in one or more of them relative to what our bodies need.

This is one of the reasons it’s important not to rely too heavily on any one plant-based protein source. In addition, proteins from some plant foods aren’t as easily digested or absorbed (this is usually referred to by such closely-related terms as biological value, net protein utilization, bioavailability, and others).

This means that the amount of protein in the food may not be the amount your body is actually getting, so it’s good to have a bit of a cushion.

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