Question:

I’m on a low-carb, high protein diet but I’m having trouble eating enough protein and too many carbs. How do I get more protein into my diet without adding any more carbs?

– Emma P.

Answer:

For fewer carbs, you may need to adjust traditional starchy meals that are typically carbohydrate rich and shift intake to typically animal or vegetable -based foods. For example, skip all traditional pizza, pastas, and sandwiches and instead substitute cauliflower crust pizza, meat/vegetable primavera, and lettuce wraps with healthier ingredients as toppings/filling.

These have negligible carbohydrate, and offer 5-8 gms protein per ounce:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken and turkey
  • Trimmed beef and pork
  • Eggs
  • Skinless fish
  • Scallops, shrimp, real crabmeat, lobster
  • Lamb
  • Brie, cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese

These offer at least 1 gram of protein for every gram of carbohydrate:

  • Almonds
  • Greek yogurt
  • Hazelnuts
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Ultra-filtered milk

These have 3-5 grams carbohydrate, yet offer 2-6 grams protein per serving:

  • Asparagus (½ C)
  • Broccoli (½ C)
  • Macadamia nuts (1 oz.)
  • Mushrooms (½ C)
  • Peanuts (1 oz.)
  • Pecans (1 oz.)
  • Spinach (½ C)

These provide 3-5 grams carbohydrate with about 1 gram protein per ½ C serving:

  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

 

By focusing on the above foods as the base of your diet, you should have enough wiggle room to work in a daily serving of nutrient-rich carbohydrates like beans and fruit, which are both good fiber sources.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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