If you’re following a vegan diet, and looking for low carb breakfast options, you may find yourself coming up short on ideas. Many of the staples of a vegan diet are rich in carbohydrates, which is great for some people. But, if you’re looking for low carb options, keep reading for some ideas!
As a dietitian who loves a good breakfast, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas! I always encourage a plant-forward approach to eating, and a vegan breakfast fits really well into this type of approach. Below, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes for low carb vegan breakfasts.
In this article, I provide an overview of the vegan diet, along with its advantages and potential deficiencies. Remember, you can eat plant based at some meals and incorporate your favorite proteins at others. It’s all about moderation and flexibility! Lastly, I’ll offer up 5 fabulous recipes that are dietitian approved.
Read on to turn breakfast into your favorite meal of the day!
What is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is one in which no animal or animal derived products are consumed. This includes chicken, meat, fish and seafood as well as eggs, honey, and dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt. For some, this is a choice made for health reasons. For others, the motivating factors are ethical. And of course, for some the reasons include both health and ethical considerations.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet
Going vegan has many great health benefits backed by research, and I’m going to share some major ones with you:
- It’s good for your heart health! Because cholesterol is only found in animal products, going vegan improves cholesterol levels. This results in a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack or stroke. Some individuals are even able to avoid cholesterol medications with this type of approach (never change your medication regimen without a doctor’s approval.) (1)
- It’s great as a preventative diet to decrease risk of diabetes and obesity. If being pre-diabetic or overweight are issues you’re looking to address, this diet is highly effective in managing weight and improving blood sugar control. It can also be used as a treatment diet for diabetes or obesity, once discussed with your doctor. (2, 3)
- A vegan diet promotes a healthy gut microbiome. Consuming lots of dietary fiber, polyphenols and antioxidant vitamins helps increase the good bacteria in your gut. As a dietitian who focuses a lot on gut health, this is my favorite benefit! (4)
Considerations of a Vegan Diet
There are some dietary drawbacks to following a vegan diet, however with proper planning and attention, these can be taken care of:
- Food triggers or food sensitivities: If you’re someone who has a “sensitive stomach” or chronic digestive issues, you should be cautious with a vegan diet. Because this type of diet is restrictive and contains many common food triggers, such as corn, soy, grains and legumes. Working with a dietitian can be helpful for identifying and avoiding food triggers.
- The vegan diet eliminates many protein sources from all animal-based products. As long as you’re committed, this just leaves you with room to explore more plant-based protein options you may have never really eaten before. Some great options include tofu, tempeh, chickpea flour and quinoa.
- Since vitamin B12 and D are mostly found in animal products, those following a Vegan diet are at risk for becoming deficient in them. This issue can be managed through supplementation or intake of fortified foods.
- Iron is best absorbed when received from animal products (heme iron), therefore, a vegan diet puts you at risk for becoming deficient and developing anemia. The best way to prevent this is by ensuring your diet has lots of iron rich plant based foods that are eaten in conjunction with vitamin C, which increases iron absorption. You can also try supplementation or cooking in a cast iron pot which transmits some iron to the foods!
Low Carb Vegan Breakfast
A low carb vegan breakfast will allow you to start off your day feeling energized yet still light. Finding vegan breakfast ideas you enjoy that are low in carbs may sound difficult at first, but I am here to provide you with my essential ingredients list and some favorite recipes. Once you have these ingredients handy you can play around and create breakfasts you look forward to waking up for!
Most Important Ingredients for Low Carb Vegan Breakfasts
- Plant Milk– Soy-milk is a great high protein and low carb option.
- Hemp Protein– I love that this powder is high in protein as well as essential fatty acids.
- Pea Protein– Used as a powder, it provides lots of iron and protein.
- Nut or Seed Butter– A great addition that provides flavor and healthy fats to your breakfast.
- Tofu– If you’ve never been big on tofu, now is a great time to try it. It’s a fabulous source of protein and boasts anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Chia seeds– These are a great thickening agent in smoothies or pudding and are full of protein, healthy fats and fiber.
5 Easy and Delicious Low Carb Vegan Recipes You Need Right Now
I pulled some of my go-to Low Carb Vegan Breakfast Recipes for you and linked them below. They are all full of flavor and packed with nutrients, so they get my stamp of approval! Feel free to play around with the
ingredients to create a meal you crave.
- This Super Berry Soy Chia Pudding is always a winner. Chia pudding is so refreshing and filling. To save time you can prepare it the night before. For an even lower carb option feel free to swap out the berry topping for a drizzle of nut butter instead.
- If you prefer a savory breakfast dish, a Vegan Curry Tofu Scramble is for you. It resembles scrambled eggs and you can play around with the vegetables and spices you add to make it to your liking.
- A protein shake is a great way to get you filled up, especially when you need to grab something on the go. This Low-Carb Vegan Vanilla Protein Shake is packed with nutrients and will keep you feeling full for hours. You can easily switch around the milks for soy or Ripple, and choose a protein powder you like.
- For something more nutty, try these No Bake Hemp Seed Granola Bars that are jam-packed with healthy fats. Make a batch of these to last you all week, and you can even sneak a piece as a snack!
- When you need something delicious quickly, give this 2 Minute Vegan Keto Smoothie a try. It uses soy milk, protein powder, chia seeds and nut butter which are all staple ingredients to have on hand for your low carb breakfasts.
I hope these ideas can help you create low carb vegan breakfast ideas that hit the spot. Remember, stocking up your pantry with the basics can allow you to create different options.
As always, if you feel you need more one on one guidance from a dietitian, feel free to reach out to me!