The vegetarian Atkins diet is a type of low-carbohydrate eating plan designed for vegetarians who wish to lose weight. This diet is based on the popular Atkins diet and altered to fit the dietary needs of those who do not eat meat. In order for this to be a successful and healthy diet program, the vegetarian Atkins diet works best for vegetarians who do not eliminate animal products such as eggs and cheese from the diet. Some of the most popular meat substitutes include tofu, gluten, and eggs. Any questions or concerns about the safety of the vegetarian Atkins diet in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
The key to the Atkins diet is to consume large amounts of animal protein, such as meat, eggs, and cheese. The vegetarian Atkins diet is a modified version of this diet and does not include meat. Instead, some of the required protein is obtained from vegetable sources. Vegetarians who do not eat eggs or cheese are unlikely to succeed on this plan because it is virtually impossible to reduce carbohydrate intake enough if a strictly plant-based diet is consumed.
Tofu is a popular choice when considering meat alternatives for the vegetarian Atkins diet. Made with soybeans, tofu has very little flavor on its own and tends to take on the flavor of other ingredients, such as vegetable broth or barbecue sauce. While soy products can be very good additions to a high-protein diet, they should be used in moderation due to potential health risks, such as thyroid dysfunction or reproductive problems.
Eggs and cheese are essential protein sources when using the vegetarian Atkins diet. Beans, brown rice, and nuts are also good choices, although the carbohydrates in these foods should be carefully monitored. Gluten is a type of protein that comes from grains such as wheat, barley, and rye and may be consumed on this diet.
Foods such as white sugar, white flour, and most processed foods should be avoided while on the vegetarian Atkins diet. As almost all fruits and vegetables contain some carbohydrates, a vegetarian must work more diligently to monitor carbohydrate intake on this type of diet than a person who eats meat. It is a good idea to take a high-quality multivitamin and visit a doctor regularly to make sure that all dietary and health needs are being met.