Find your Low Carb “Vegetables”
This article will benefit you if…
- you are wanting to reduce meat consumption, or
- an ethical or transient vegan looking for a well rounded diet plan, or
- one looking to cut carbs or fat, or
- wanting to get more protein,
feel free to reference my comparison of several grains, legumes, seeds and nuts based on their carb protein and fat content and ratios.
Note: values are taken and grouped based on how food is typically consumed: cooked vs dry raw. Foods normally eaten dry have concentrated nutrition and are best eaten in much smaller amounts.
However, it may help to know that soaked seeds expand 2-3 times their dry volume, depending on the amount of soaking liquid, age of seed and time soaking. Cooking expands foods somewhat less.
In other words soaked uncooked foods have 2-3 times fewer calories than dry per volume. Same applies to protein carb and fat quantity per volume. Ex: If chia seeds expand 3 times their dry volume in water, then all their nutrients will be decreased 3 times per given volume.
grains and legumes
(carbs except for fiber, which doesnt contribute to calories from carbs. Some foods like flax seed may at first seem much higher in carbs until you see that their exceptionally high fiber content makes them exceptionally low carb vegetables ;))
cooked soybeans 4:1
cooked lentils 1:>1
other cooked beans 1:>2
cooked quinoa/amaranth 1:>4
cooked brown rice 1:8
cooked white rice 1:10
A note on soybean consumption. soy has well documented hormone effects. Their consumption has to be limited for that reason. Also soybeans are difficult to digest even after soaking and sprouting, unless they are also fermented. “Bean curd” or tofu is not a fermented product. Neither is soymilk, nor is soy souce fermented. Some common fermented soy foods are miso and tamari sauce. Both are consumed in small amounts as flavor enhancers to main dishes.
Also consider the actual amount of protein. thats important to make sure your calorie needs are met but not exceeded!
as a comparison chicken offers no carbs with 38g protein per cup.
cooked grains and legumes per cup:
cooked lentils and beans(legumes) 15-18g
brown rice 5g
white rice 4g
legumes have the highest protein carb ratio while also having the highest amount of protein per cup.
Legumes are also highest in calories of this group.
Rice, both brown and white, has considerably lowest protein carb ratio as well as having the least amount of protein per cup.
Of all grains here, quinoa and amaranth offer highest protein and highest protein carb ratios, with buckwheat close runner up.
Grains have no more than 1:2 ratio of fat to protein while legumes offer no fat, with the exception of soybeans( 1:2 ).
nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds on the other hand, offer a good amount of protein but also a lot of fat. That makes nuts and seeds calorie dense foods. However both also offer some of the highest nutritional profiles. Add these in to your meal or snack. try not to give in to the temptation to just grab a bag and have at it. Also try nuts and seeds raw. It may take a little getting used to, but worth it since vegetable oil is easily denatured with heat processing with unfavorable biproducts for your body such as trans fats and free radicals.
flax seed 10:1:20
chia seed: 5:2:9
pumpkin seeds 1:2:1
protein in seeds and nuts per ounce: ( its best to eat no more than 1-2 oz ounces of any combination of dry nuts/seeds daily )
flax seed 6g
pumpkin seed 5g
Walnuts have the highest fat/protein ratio and lowest in actual protein content.
Flax seeds are the lowest low carb vegetable while pumpkin seeds are the highest!
Pumpkin seeds also have the lowest fat profile and calories of the bunch!
Pistachios and flax seeds have the highest actual protein content!
Fat definitely supplies the vast majority of calorie content in most nuts and seeds. However, as you can tell, ratio of protein to carb to fat varies greatly.
Note: As always read up on other nutrients that your body needs, allergic reactions and beneficial properties before you exclude a particular food. Did you know walnuts are great for tonifying your kidneys?