The 30 Best High Protein Low Carbohydrate Vegan Foods

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There are many vegan sources of protein. However, it’s hard to get protein in high quantities on a vegan diet.

It’s even tougher if you’re trying to maintain a diet with particular macros.

Some people need to look for foods high in protein and low in fat, while others need high protein low carbohydrate foods.

I’ve collected the best vegan foods of the second type here, and I’ve divided it into 2 sections:

  • High protein low carbohydrates
  • High protein low NET carbohydrates

Pick the section that’s closest to what you’re looking for.

The Top 30 High Protein Low Carb Vegan Foods

I recorded nutritional data for more than 200 vegan foods.

Then I came up with a simple formula to sort them based on the amount of protein and carbohydrates in them. All data is per 100 gram serving.

What you’ll see is that there aren’t many great foods that meet this criteria. It’s just a fact that most vegan foods high in protein also have a decent amount of carbohydrates.

FoodProtein (g)Carbohydrate (g)
Vital wheat gluten75.1613.79
Hemp seeds31.578.67
Seaweed (dried)57.4323.86
Watercress2.281.28
Bamboo shoot1.531.92
Rapini3.172.85
Bok choy1.502.19
Lettuce (red leaf)1.332.26
Napa cabbage1.102.23
Water spinach2.613.13
Spinach2.863.63
Arugula2.603.65
Mushrooms4.244.47
Zucchini1.213.11
Celery0.692.97
Squash1.213.35
Swiss chard1.803.74
Asparagus2.404.12
Kale2.934.43
Radish0.673.39
Peanuts25.7916.12
Mustard greens2.864.68
Cucumber0.653.63
Tomato0.883.89
Gourd1.204.35
Cauliflower1.924.97
Collard greens3.535.88
Green bell pepper0.864.64
Brazil nut14.3211.74
Soybeans12.3511.05

Vital wheat gluten is basically just protein powder, so no surprise that it’s at the top. However, when you make seitan with it, you will end up adding other ingredients that will add more carbohydrates.

Hemp seeds are the other exception, but there’s only so much of those that you can eat.

Other than that, certain foods make up this list:

  • Mostly Vegetables – All have a fairly high percentage of protein in them, with not too much carbohydrates. The downside is that you have to eat a lot of many of them to get 100 grams.
  • Certain legumes – Most legumes have a high amount of carbohydrates. However, peanuts and soybeans are both near the bottom of this list. They have a good amount of protein per 100 grams, but also quite a few calories, and a decent chunk of carbohydrates.

The Top 30 High Protein Low NET Carb Vegan Foods

If you’re on a keto diet (super hard to do as a vegan), you probably count net carbs (carbohydrates minus fiber).

So, I re-sorted my food list after taking fiber into account, and the new top 30 is below.

FoodProtein (g)Carbohydrate (g)Fiber (g)
Vital wheat gluten75.1613.790.60
Hemp seeds31.578.674.00
Seaweed (dried)57.4323.864.29
Flaxseed18.3028.8827.18
Peanuts25.7916.128.49
Brazil nut14.3211.747.52
Almonds21.1521.5612.59
Rapini3.172.852.74
Kale2.934.434.05
Walnut15.2313.716.67
Chia seeds16.5342.1334.33
Pecans9.1713.869.70
Hazelnut14.9516.709.63
Water spinach2.613.132.14
Watercress2.281.280.40
Spinach2.863.632.21
Mustard greens2.864.683.21
Bamboo shoot1.531.920.97
Bok choy1.502.191.00
Collard greens3.535.883.53
Soybeans12.3511.054.22
Lettuce (red leaf)1.332.260.91
Arugula2.603.651.50
Avocado1.968.646.76
Asparagus2.404.122.00
Mushrooms4.244.471.43
Sunflower seeds20.7920.008.57
Celery0.692.971.56
Macadamia nut7.9113.828.66
Swiss chard1.803.741.60

It’s mostly the same, with vital wheat gluten and hemp seeds at the top.

Most of the list is still vegetables as well.

However, a few other foods do pop up:

  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Macadamia nuts

Essentially, nuts and seeds do better on this list.

While they have a decent amount of carbs, most of it is typically fiber in these foods, and most of the food itself is fats and protein.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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