9 Best Low-Carb High-Protein Plant-Based Foods List

Discover the 9 best low-carb, high-protein plant-based foods that can transform your diet and elevate your health goals.

Looking to amp up your protein intake while keeping those carbs in check? Discovering the best low-carb, high-protein plant-based foods can be a game-changer for your diet.

By incorporating these nutrient-packed options, you'll not only meet your protein requirements but also benefit from a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals.

So, what exactly are these 9 plant-based powerhouses that could elevate your meals and support your health goals?

Key Takeaways

  • Tofu, tempeh, and lupini beans are excellent plant-based protein options with low net carb counts. They can be used in a variety of dishes and provide essential amino acids and nutrients.
  • Seeds and nut butters, such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, and peanut butter, are versatile and nutritious sources of protein. They can be added to salads, shakes, and baked goods.
  • Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, and pecans, are protein-rich with heart-healthy omega-3s. They can be enjoyed as snacks or added to meals and desserts.
  • Spirulina, a blue-green algae, is a high-protein, low-carb option rich in B vitamins and minerals. It can be used in smoothies, juices, and shakes.


Tofu is a highly versatile and nutritious plant-based protein option that can be easily incorporated into your low-carb, high-protein diet. This soy-based product is a cornerstone of a low-carb vegan diet, offering 8g of protein and only 1.6g net carbs per 3.5oz serving. It's also a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids in a well-balanced profile. With just 76 calories per serving, tofu provides a nutrient-dense option for those seeking to boost protein intake while keeping carb consumption low.

In addition to its protein content, tofu is often fortified with calcium, making it a valuable addition to a plant-based diet. Its versatility allows for its use in a wide range of dishes, including stir-fries, salads, soups, and even as a base for vegan cheese, sauces, and dressings. This makes it a convenient and practical choice for those looking to increase their protein intake while maintaining a low-carb approach.

Consider incorporating tofu into your meals as part of a balanced, high-protein, low-carb vegan diet.


If you're looking to expand your low-carb, high-protein plant-based options beyond tofu, consider incorporating seeds into your diet as a versatile and nutritious source of essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids.

Hemp seeds are particularly noteworthy for their complete amino acid profile and high protein content, making them an excellent plant protein source.

Additionally, chia and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are valuable additions to a low-carb high-protein plant-based diet.

These seeds are highly versatile and can be added to salads, shakes, and baked goods, providing a delicious and nutritious plant-based protein option.

It's essential to note that various seeds such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds offer different protein and net carb content, making them suitable for different dietary preferences.


Nuts offer numerous nutritional benefits. They are rich in protein and low in net carbs. You can enjoy them in a variety of ways. For example, you can add them to meals, incorporate them into desserts, or simply eat them as a satisfying protein snack.

However, it's important to be mindful of nut allergies. If you or someone you know has a nut allergy, it is crucial to take necessary precautions when incorporating nuts into your diet. This may include avoiding nuts altogether or carefully checking labels and ingredients to ensure that nut products do not come into contact with other foods. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or allergist for personalized advice and guidance.

Nutritional Benefits of Nuts

When seeking to enhance the nutritional quality of your low-carb, high-protein diet, incorporating a variety of nuts can provide a diverse array of essential nutrients and flavors. Nuts are exceptional sources of protein and are low in net carbs, making them an ideal addition to a low-carb, high-protein diet.

Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans are all excellent protein-rich nuts, with the added benefit of heart-healthy omega-3s, offering a diverse nutritional profile for a plant-based, high-protein diet.

These nuts can be easily integrated into main meals, desserts, or enjoyed as protein-rich snacks, adding versatility to your low-carb, high-protein eating plan.

With their high protein content and vegan-friendly nature, nuts are essential plant-based foods for those seeking to optimize their protein intake while following a low-carb diet.

Best Ways to Consume

By incorporating nuts into your daily meals and snacks, you can easily boost your protein intake while enjoying the satisfying crunch and essential nutrients they provide.

Here are the best ways to consume nuts:

  • Snacking: Nuts can be consumed as a convenient and high-protein snack, providing essential nutrients and satiety.
  • Recipes: Incorporate nuts into recipes like salads, yogurt, or smoothies to increase protein content and add a satisfying crunch.
  • Nut Butters: Nut butters are a versatile way to consume nuts, offering a spreadable, protein-rich option for sandwiches, fruit, or as a dip for vegetables.

These methods provide a delicious and practical way to enhance your protein intake, making nuts an excellent source of protein for those following a vegan diet or seeking low net carb, plant-based foods.

Nut Allergies and Precautions

If you or someone you're preparing food for has a nut allergy, it's crucial to carefully examine food labels and inquire about potential nut exposure to ensure a safe and allergen-free diet.

When following a low-carb, high-protein plant-based diet, it's essential to be mindful of protein sources that may trigger nut allergies. Opt for nut-free protein alternatives such as tofu, seeds, and tempeh, which are rich in protein and suitable for individuals with nut allergies.

Additionally, when selecting protein powders, carefully check the labels for any nut-derived ingredients and potential cross-contamination.

Always communicate your nut allergy when dining out or trying new recipes to prevent accidental consumption of nuts.


Tempeh offers a substantial protein source for a low-carb diet, making it a versatile and nutritious addition to plant-based meals. Here's what you need to know about tempeh:

  • High-Protein Content: With 20g of protein per 3.5oz serving, tempeh is one of the most protein-dense vegan foods available, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking high-protein foods while following a low-carb diet.
  • Essential Amino Acids: Tempeh contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. This is particularly beneficial for individuals looking to optimize their protein intake from plant-based sources.
  • Versatility: Tempeh's firm texture and nutty flavor make it a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various dishes, including burgers, stir-fries, and marinated dishes. This makes it an ideal option for those seeking diverse sources of protein in their meals.

Incorporating tempeh into your diet can provide a significant boost of protein, essential amino acids, and a variety of essential nutrients, making it a valuable addition to a low-carb high-protein plant-based diet.

Lupini Beans

Lupini beans are a powerhouse of nutrition, boasting 16g of protein per 3.5oz serving and just 7.2g of net carbs per 100g, making them a prime choice for low-carb, high-protein diets.

Cooking and serving lupini beans is simple – they can be enjoyed as a snack or added to salads for a boost of protein and fiber.

Incorporating lupini beans into your meals can enhance the nutritional value of your plant-based diet, providing a satisfying and protein-packed alternative to traditional high-carb options.

Nutritional Benefits of Lupini

With 16 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving, lupini beans are a nutritional powerhouse, making them an excellent addition to a low-carb, high-protein plant-based diet.

Here are some nutritional benefits of lupini:

  • Macronutrient Profile: Lupini beans offer a favorable macronutrient profile, with 100g serving containing 119 calories, 16g of protein, 10g of carbohydrates, and 7.2g of net carbs.
  • Versatility and Popularity: These nutrient-dense beans have gained popularity in North America, particularly among low-carb eaters, and are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Nutrient Density: Lupini beans are a nutrient-dense, low-carb, high-protein food, making them a great addition to a plant-based diet. They can be easily incorporated into various dishes for a protein boost.

Incorporating lupini beans into your meals can provide a significant protein boost while aligning with a low-carb, high-protein dietary approach.

Cooking and Serving Lupini

When preparing lupini beans, it's essential to soak them in water for several days to remove their bitterness before incorporating them into high-protein snacks or adding them to salads for a nutritious boost. Here's a simple guide to cooking and serving lupini beans:

Cooking and Serving Lupini BeansDescriptionTips
SoakingPlace the lupini beans in a large bowl and cover them with water. Change the water daily for 3-5 days to reduce bitterness.Use a generous amount of water to ensure the beans are fully submerged.
BoilingAfter soaking, boil the beans in fresh water for 15-20 minutes until they are tender.Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water for extra flavor.
SeasoningOnce cooked, season the lupini beans with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs for a delicious snack or salad addition.Experiment with different herbs and seasonings to customize the flavor to your liking.

Enjoy these low-carb, high-protein lupini beans in your favorite dishes!

Incorporating Lupini Into Meals

After properly soaking and cooking lupini beans to remove their bitterness, you can easily incorporate them into various meals for a nutritious and protein-packed addition to your diet. Here are some practical ways to incorporate lupini beans into your meals:

  • Salads: Toss cooked lupini beans into your favorite salads for an added protein boost and satisfying texture.
  • Snacks: Seasoned lupini beans make for a great high-protein, low-carb snack, perfect for on-the-go or as a midday pick-me-up.
  • Dips and Spreads: Blend cooked lupini beans with olive oil, garlic, and herbs to create a creamy, protein-rich dip or spread for sandwiches and crackers.

Incorporating lupini beans into your meals is a versatile way to enjoy a high-protein, low-carb option within a plant-based diet.

Nut Butters

Nut butters offer a convenient and nutritious way to boost your protein intake while enjoying the benefits of whole nuts in a condensed form. Peanut butter, a popular choice, provides 8g of protein per 2 tablespoons, making it a versatile addition to shakes and snacks.

Meanwhile, almond butter offers 6.8g of protein per serving and is both nutritious and delicious. These options are low in carbs, with peanut butter containing 6g of carbs (4.1g net) and almond butter containing 6g of carbs (2.8g net).

In addition to these well-known choices, cashew and hazelnut butter are also worth exploring. Nut butters are easy to obtain, cost-effective, and can be effortlessly integrated into a busy schedule. Whether store-bought or homemade, they make a convenient and tasty addition to a low-carb, high-protein plant-based diet.

Including nut butters in your diet can be beneficial for weight loss, as they're high in protein and low in carbs, making them a valuable addition to a diet focused on soy products and weight management.


Spirulina, a high-protein, low-carb blue-green algae, is packed with B vitamins, iron, copper, and magnesium, making it an excellent addition to a low-carb high-protein plant-based diet. Here's why it's a great choice:

  • Rich Protein Content: Two tablespoons of spirulina provide 8g of protein with only 3.4g of carbs, making it an ideal low-carb, high-protein option for plant-based diets.
  • Nutrient-Dense: Spirulina offers a wide array of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, copper, and magnesium, which are vital for overall health and well-being.
  • Versatile Usage: This superfood can be seamlessly blended into smoothies, added to green juices, or incorporated into post-workout shakes, allowing you to easily boost your protein intake in various ways.
  • Comparable to Legumes: In terms of protein content, spirulina is comparable to foods like beans, making it an excellent plant-based, low-carb, high-protein alternative for those seeking to diversify their sources of protein.

With its impressive macronutrient profile and versatility, spirulina is a valuable addition to a low-carb high-protein plant-based diet.


When incorporating spinach into your low-carb, high-protein plant-based diet, you gain a nutrient-dense option that provides 2.9g of protein per 100g serving alongside essential vitamins and minerals.

Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrients, boasting high levels of vitamins K1, folic acid, iron, and calcium, making it a highly nutritious addition to your meals.

This leafy green is a versatile ingredient that can be added to smoothies, sautéed with vegetables, or used in salads, allowing you to easily incorporate it into your daily diet.

Moreover, spinach is a staple in vegan and keto diets due to its low net carb count, making it an ideal choice for those looking to maintain a low-carb, high-protein diet.

By including spinach in your meals, you can effectively meet your protein needs while staying low-carb, making it a valuable plant-based protein option.

Add spinach to your meals to enjoy the benefits of this low-carb, high-protein leafy green.

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein powder offers a highly versatile and complete plant-based protein source, ideal for those seeking to enhance their protein intake while maintaining a low-carb dietary approach. Here are some key points to consider about pea protein powder:

  • Complete Amino Acid Profile: Pea protein powder is derived from yellow peas and provides a complete array of amino acids, making it a high-quality protein source for muscle building and overall health.
  • Versatility: This powder can be easily incorporated into various recipes, including smoothies, baked goods, and savory dishes, making it a convenient option for increasing protein intake.
  • Nutritional Value: With just 2g of carbohydrates and 24g of protein per serving, pea protein powder is an excellent choice for individuals looking to boost their protein intake while keeping their carb consumption low.

Pea protein powder is an excellent option for those seeking a low-carb, high-protein supplement, especially individuals following vegan or vegetarian diets. Its nutritional profile makes it a valuable addition to a plant-based diet, offering a convenient way to meet protein needs without consuming foods high in carbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Vegan Foods Are High in Protein Low in Carbs?

You can enjoy a high-protein, low-carb diet with plant-based options. Tofu, seeds like hemp and chia, nutritional yeast, tempeh, and lupini beans are excellent choices. Incorporate these into your meals for a balanced, nourishing diet.

What Can I Eat That Has No Carbs and High Protein?

You can eat tofu, seeds like hemp, chia, and flax, nutritional yeast, tempeh, and leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula. These foods have minimal carbs and are high in protein, perfect for your low-carb, high-protein diet.

How Do You Get Plant Protein Without Carbs?

To get plant protein without carbs, focus on foods like tofu, seeds (hemp, chia, flax), nutritional yeast, tempeh, and leafy greens (spinach, kale). These options offer high protein content with minimal carbs, supporting a low-carb, high-protein plant-based diet.

What Are the Highest Plant-Based Protein Foods?

For the highest plant-based protein foods, consider tofu, seeds like hemp, chia, and flax, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, nutritional yeast, and tempeh. These options offer a diverse range of amino acids and essential nutrients.

Genie H
Genie H

I'm Genie Ho, your go-to dietitian and wellness advocate. Step into my digital haven where health and vitality take center stage. As a dedicated foodie with a passion for nourishing the body and soul, I'm here to empower you on your journey to wellness. From embracing wholesome ingredients to fostering positive habits, let's navigate the path to a healthier, happier you together. With a finger on the pulse of the latest research and insights, my mission is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to thrive. Welcome to a world where wellness reigns supreme!