As Atkins has often been misconstrued as the diet that allows you to eat lots of meat, it’s often thought that it isn’t Vegetarian friendly. The truth is, Atkins recommends moderate protein intake but you can easily get these from vegetarian sources.

The general ‘rules’ for a Vegetarian Atkins are:

 

  • Start in phase 2 which gives you a greater choice of foods, meaning you’ll be able to include nuts & seeds, pulses and berries from day one. By having 25-30g carbs per day you’ll easily to be able have such foods and stay within a level of carb intake which will encourage your body to burn fat.
  • Including beans on a daily basis is a great choice (think kidney/chickpeas/black beans etc - not baked beans which are loaded with sugar). Such beans provide protein and are high fibre yet relatively low in carbs.
  • Have protein sources such as tofu, tempeh, eggs & cheese and try to include protein with each meal. You can have Quorn products but check labels as some are high in carbs; count all carbs within your 25-30g total. For instance, the Quorn mince is 3.1g carbs per serving, yet the Quorn sausages are 10.0g carbs per serving – quite a difference!  
  • If you eat fish, then do so, and try to have fattier sources of fish like salmon, mackerel & sardines which are also a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Eat lots of vegetables which will provide dietary fibre, for healthy digestion, as well as the valuable nutrients that vegetables provide. You may include fruits, such as berries, if you wish but you can get the good nutrition from vegetables alone if you prefer.
  • Don’t forget fat and have a higher fat intake from sources like avocado, oils, butter, olives and eggs. Many vegetarian protein sources, such as tofu, are low in fat so it’s important to add dietary fat to your meals.
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Posted by Linda O'Byrne
Atkins Nutritionist