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KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,924)
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6/26/13 4:24 P

Since you admit that you're new to the whole nutrition thing, I would suggest you try your hand at eating ovo-lacto vegetarian before diving head first into a vegan diet (or at the very least, research the definitions and find out where you fall in the spectrum.) There will be a learning curve as you figure out how to get enough protein and have enough variety, especially if you're aiming for real food and not too many commercially processed meat replacements and supplements. There are so many things to learn about hidden sources of animal products, and those who consider themselves vegan are usually hyper-aware of offending ingredients. Also, the more you cook your own food, the easier it will be to know what is in it. Mainstream restaurants are often guilty of adding butter/chicken stock/tallow to foods that might otherwise be considered a "vegetarian" option. But again, it depends on how strict you choose to be.

I consider myself a flexitarian, and I eat a bit of everything, but I am typically aware of what animal products I'm consuming. I read labels, stay informed, and can entertain vegan friends *almost* seamlessly. But it takes a while to learn the ins and outs. Good luck!

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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6/26/13 10:48 A

I should add that what you certainly can do as a veg*n just the same as on a low-carb diet is to cut out the vast, vast majority of the really obvious crap that's in most people's diets. Both approaches are free to ditch potato chips, crud cereals, ice cream bars, frappucinos with whipped cream, blueberry muffins, cupcakes and so on from their multiple-times-per-day, every-day lifestyle. The low-carb approach just has a bit more of a built-in constraint against those things that may make it easier to keep your resolve if you really believe in it (or harder, if you don't). For a veg*n or would-be veg*n it's something you do in addition to reducing the amount of animal products you consume, simply because you know it's not healthy.

Personally I think it likely that good results could be obtained either way provided the choice is one the person is truly comfortable with, and provided they're willing to stay flexible and adjust without giving up everything, if things aren't working out.

6/26/13 10:11 A

That's correct...most vegan/vegetarian diets have about 50-65% of there calories coming from carbohydrate foods because these foods are also providing the needed protein.


RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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6/26/13 9:54 A

You cannot expect to become vegan or even really vegetarian and also eat low carb. As you have noticed, virtually everything not derived directly from an animal that contains protein also contains carbohydrates, and usually more carbohydrates than protein.

That's just the way it is, you have to deal with it. Low-carb and vegan are not compatible options for healthy living. (Heck, to be healthy as a vegan you are probably going to need to eat a lot of omg-horrible-carby *grain*, because most sources of vegetable protein lack some essential amino acids that grains do contain.) If you believe that vegan living is healthy, you'll probably have to give up low carb goals to achieve it. If low carb is more important to you, you'll have to give up on vegan.

Sorry for any frustration that comes through in my post. It's not directed at you, just at the purveyors of 99% of "eat this way for optimal health" advice.

6/25/13 7:47 P

You may want to check out some vegetarian/vegan cookbooks at your local library. These will contain nutritionally balanced meal plans with the recipes and will help get you started on your new eating plan.

Regarding the subtraction of fiber from carbs---the nutrition tracker does have this option. It is the listing of "carbs for low carb dieters". It is not necessary for most members to use this setting, it is primarily for our folks using a low carb eating plan. Also for people with diabetes, fiber should not be subtracted from the carb amount, unless a standard serving of the food has 5 grams or more of fiber---then in can be subtracted. This is for obtaining appropirate blood sugar control.

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

SUDENKORENTO1 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/24/13 2:32 P

I have been reading a lot about this subject recently and there's some interesting (and often conflicting) information out there. The nutritionist with whom I have been consulting gave me some interesting information about protein and amino acids. It's the amino acids to which one need pay attention. Of the twenty three amino acids, there are nine which the body cannot manufacture on its own, and these must come from food. It's the foods that have all nine of these amino acids that are known as complete proteins (like quinoa). Other foods can be combined (not necessarily at the same meal) to get the essential aminos, such as nuts and seeds, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, and kale.

Another thing that's worth mentioning is that when you are figuring out your total carbs, subtract from that number the grams of fiber to get your net carb count. The nutrition tracker on SP won't figure this for you, so you have to keep track of it yourself, but that's very easy to do.

(An aside: I've had a lot of negative comments directed at me regarding the nutritionist issue - as in nutritionist vs dietician - and I just want to mention here that my nutritionist is also an RN and received her education from Bastyr University, a leader in progressive healthcare education. So please don't be rude to me and tell me that my GP is a quack for sending me to a nutritionist, or that the credentials of a dietician are better than that of a nutritionist. Thanks!)

emoticon emoticon

LDHAWKE SparkPoints: (19,069)
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6/20/13 9:48 P

WOW! I didn't know beans were so rich in protein. Thank you so much for the information!

ABIMOLINE SparkPoints: (2,216)
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6/20/13 9:39 P

Thanks you all for your answer! Great tips! I still have a lot to learn about nutrition. I never actually gave it too much thought in the past, now I see i have to change my habits into healthier ones. emoticon

Edited by: ABIMOLINE at: 6/20/2013 (21:41)
6/19/13 6:52 A

There are at least 3 vegan/vegetarian groups here on SP: Eat to Live, Calling all Vegetarians and Vegans and Vegan Fitness and Nutrition. (I am so bad at getting the correct web addresses that I don't even try any more, but you can find them and other such teams by going to the teams page and inputting "vegan/vegetarian.")

I was vegetarian for 20 years before becoming vegan three years ago. I eat whole foods, mostly organic, and don't need supplements at all.

But I took my time learning how to do this healthfully, and I suggest you might want to do the same. It can be a great deal of fun to figure out what works for you, but be patient!

Best of success.

Edited by: WATERDIAMONDS at: 6/19/2013 (06:52)
CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/19/13 6:32 A

The only thing I'd have to say about vegan is not to let your cupboard begin to look like a pharmacy - such that you're substituting bottles of supplements because you're not getting enough nutrition in genuine food.

You've been given some great advice/options from the previous person.
They're likely way more knowledgeable than I - because I do prefer to get my protein from animal sources.

STARSHINE182 Posts: 16
6/19/13 12:42 A

I've been vegetarian for 15 years & now the only dairy I eat is plain greek yogurt because it is high in protein (every day) & very rarely eggs although when I do it is egg whites.

There are many good vegetarian/vegan sources of protein with soy & quinoa being two sources that contain a complete animo acid profile.

Tempeh - 1 cup - 31g protein
Soybeans, cooked - 1 cup - 29g protein
Seitan - 3 ounces - 21g protein
Lentils, cooked - 1 cup - 18g protein
Black beans, cooked - 1 cup - 15g protein
Kidney beans, cooked - 1 cup -15g protein
Chickpeas, cooked - 1 cup - 15g protein
Pinto beans, cooked - 1 cup - 15g protein
Lima beans, cooked - 1 cup -15g protein
Black-eyed peas, cooked - 1 cup - 13g protein
Tofu, firm - 4 ounces - 11g protein
Tofu, regular - 4 ounces - 10g protein
Quinoa, cooked - 1 cup - 8g protein
Peas, cooked - 1 cup - 8g protein
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), cooked - 1/2 cup - 8g protein
Peanut butter - 2 Tbsp - 8g protein
Almonds - 1/4 cup - 8g protein
Bulgur, cooked - 1 cup - 6g protein
Sunflower seeds - 1/4 cup - 6g protein
Cashews - 1/4 cup - 5g protein
Spinach, cooked - 1 cup - 5g protein
Broccoli, cooked - 1 cup - 4g protein

I also make a green smoothie every morning & I put a scoop of vegan complete protein powder that has 15g protein & only 3 carbs.

I think you just need to get creative with your diet & see what you like and/or what you are willing to give up. It may benefit you to start out small and eat vegetarian or vegan one day a week or maybe have a veggie friendly breakfast & lunch and have meat with dinner.

I never liked meat so it was very easy for me to not eat it. Dairy was harder for me to give up so I weaned myself off of it. Now the only dairy I eat is my daily yogurt but I do it more for the health benefits & less about craving it.

One thing I wanted to add, I know you want low carb & high protein sources. I know some of the sources are high in carbs but many also contain fiber which is something to consider as well. The low carb options that I know of are some legumes (like black eye peas 14g protein, 18g carb), mushrooms 3g protein/3g carb, broccoli 4g protein/8g carb, cauliflower 2g protein/5g carb and asparagus 2g protein/5g carb.

Edited by: STARSHINE182 at: 6/19/2013 (00:56)
ABIMOLINE SparkPoints: (2,216)
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Posts: 9
6/18/13 10:27 P

I am seriously considering becoming vegan, for many different reasons. But my concern is how to meet my protein needs. I found that very difficult, even when I keep under control my daily calory intake, it seems like always I have more carbs and fat than protein. I googled for some "vegetables high in protein" and found, for instance, that every 100 gr, lentils have 116 calories of which 20 g are carbs and only 9 my question is: there is some food that actually have more protein than carbs? because it seems like even vegetables considered rich in protein, they give more carbs than proteins, and carbs is what I´m trying to avoid....
All this "healthy living" is kind of new to me :) and I´d really apreciatte some advices.
there is some vegans or vegetarians here? How do you start being vegan ( or vegetarian)? did you find it hard giving up meat and dairy? Some tips? What changes have you seen on your body and your general health?
I think i can leave without meat, but would be tough give up yogurt, cheese or eggs, because that means I cant have pie or omelette! emoticon

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