I was wondering how a vegetarian would keep the carbs low enough. When giving up the protein, I find myself trying to counter with bread, pasta, rice, etc. What kind of advice does anyone have.

hi, Robert, we have many vegetarians and vegans here. Jill is one that I know here.

Hi Robert

I can so much relate to your struggle. For a year when I was on oral meds I said “I eat healthy, I don’t have to change anything”. Now I am on insulin and I realized how high carb I have been eating as a vegetarian. I also love to cook and love a wide variety of ethnic foods so I have had to really scramble to find things I like, but I’m getting there! I don’t have any one answer or formula and I’m still learning things but some of my findings are: Breakfast is easy, I stick with eggs, omelettes, etc. I have had to give up my much loved fruit, yogurt and granola as well as any cereals ( so far, I will be trying low carb options when I get back to the states). I’ve always eaten light for lunch, so I eat things like cheese and crackers or fruit and cheese or salad with a small amount of croutons or breaksticks. I’ve learned that as a vegetarian it’s sometimes easy to go TOO light on carbs like salads or vegie stir frys!

I can only speak for myself and I eat “lowish” carb, but as a vegetarian and a foodie I’m not willing to go very low. I eat around 100 a day. Dinner is the hardest meal for me. I’ve found that some of the carb heavy things I used to eat I can still eat if I reduce the serving size of the carb and add something else. For example, I love my home made artisan pizza! I find I can eat one slice (instead of my previous two) and a big salad. Pasta just does not work for me in any serving size that fits outside a tablespoon! Again, when I have more access to special ingredients I’m going to try Dreamfield’s pasta. I find lentils are not too bad on my blood sugar in reasonable serving size, ditto beans which is great because I love beans! Tonight I’m having a bowl with one cup of refried beans topped with feta cheese, avocado, chillis and onions. Cheese is my very good and happy friend! I made chili rellano recently which is a great filling dish with very low carbs. I make a sandwich with pita bread, tomato, cukes, olives and tahini sauce that I love. I make vegie curry with one paratha (don’t forget to count the flour you use in the sauce). All sorts of soups are good with crackers or one slice of bread.

In general I am finding I can alter the recipes in some of my favorite vegie cookbooks such as Greens and I prefer this to most of the “Low carb” recipes I’ve seen that just don’t excite me. I was very anxious about my ability to not only eat vegetarian as a diabetic, but to continue to enjoy cooking and eating interesting food. I feel like I’m just at the very start of my exploration but I wanted to share what I’ve found thus far.I’m sure others will chime in as well.

Thank you for your response, it’s good just knowing I am not in the boat alone. I too have no problem with breakfast or lunch. Dinner is the bad one. I, luckily, have found that pasta is not bad on my BG. I have to watch things like rice and bread. I have also found that the local produce stand is a wonderful thing. I worry when it gets to winter time and the quality and availability of fresh produce is reduced. Good luck to all of us.

Thank you so much for your response. It’s great to have this whole network of people to help. I need to get my page going better and start really taking advantage of all this site has to offer.

Hey, Robert, if you can eat pasta, life is good!!

I like to eat vegetarian meals - and like you’ve all noticed - man oh man - do they ever pack in the carbs!!! I just have to have a smaller portion - but sometimes cheat - and have abit more depending on BG’s at the time of eating. I check BG’s prior to scoffing down the delicious meal I’ve made - and taken the appropriate “legal drug” to cover the carb count.

I think the key is to eat a lot of eggs, eat the kinds of dairy you do best with, and find creative ways to make heavy meals with tons of vegetables. i like making stews with tons of cabbage, vegetable juice (celery, fennel, parsley, cucumber, tomato, kale, spinach, chard, collard greens, cabbage, etc), and stir fries with thick sauces and heavy on vegetables. let alone heavy salads with home made yogurt dressings, with lettuce, spinach, tomatos, onions, carrots, etc. i think carrots are about as carby as i eat regularly for vegetables, but i eat a lot of carrots. if you add fish from sources low in mercury, that’s a boon from a nutritional and a convenience stand point.

its totally doable if you are a motivated person and are comfortable being different in social situations. its my view that most people, diabetic or not, shouldn’t be eating pasta, white rice, or bread (other than sprouted whole grain breads). they are nutrient depleted over processed garbage foods that do nothing for our health. there’s a lot of research that shows that people weren’t meant to eat grains straight up - look up phytic acid, and look at the obesity and diabetes epidemic that has resulted from our processed grain heavy diet. traditional cultures generally soaked or sprouted their grains before eating them - we don’t. and look at what happens to the grain when it becomes white flour- all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and nutrients are destroyed. i say no thanks.

Thanks for the response. I try not to eat much bread, unfortunately I love it. I also love rice, which does not love my BG. Pasta is the one carb that I seem to be able to handle. Last night I went to the local produce stand and then made a wonderful stir fry with noodles. Thanks again for the encouragement.

I get my best numbers with eggs, with mushroom and spinach and some avocado chopped on top. I also found that I can handle low carb or sprouted bread with no bg spike. I have to admit since being dx with diabetes I have added more meat protein back in my diet. I can usually eat soy and veggie burgers with no bg spike. I found some black bean burgers at Costco that are great and don’t spike me. I’m not sure I buy into this below 30 carbs a day approach to bg control. If I eat too low carb it seems my liver kicks in and dumps extra glucose into my blood raising bg more than if I had eaten extra carb. Pasta and rice are difficult for me. When I eat them I keep it below 1/2 cup. I found if I eat quinoa which is high carb it doesn’t spike me. So all carbs are not created equal. Barley too is one of those grains that keeps my bg low.

Thanks for your response. What meat proteins have you put back in your diet? Pasta is good on my BG, but rice and bread are not. I tried a California veggie pattie, made with edamame etc, that really was not that good. Is the black bean one really that good? I might have to try them if they are not too expensive.

Hello Robert, it is actually easy to keep low carbs if you know the carb content which can be a full time job for some. I am a vegan for the past almost 2 years now. I eat cooked cauliflower mashed like potatoes with only a fraction of carbs. Also sweet potatoes are low carbs. If you must eat bread try Oreowheat Best Winterwheat has only 14 gm’s per slice. Soymilk & Rice milk are very low in carbs. Hope that helps.