Top High-Protein Plant-Based Foods for Low-Carb Diets

Packed with protein and perfect for low-carb diets, these plant-based foods are essential for anyone looking to boost their health and fitness.

You know the saying, 'You are what you eat'? When it comes to maintaining a low-carb diet while ensuring you get enough protein, incorporating high-protein plant-based foods is key.

There are several top choices that not only provide a substantial amount of protein but also fit into a low-carb lifestyle.

Whether you're a seasoned plant-based eater or simply looking to include more plant-based options in your diet, exploring these protein-packed foods could be just what you need to elevate your meals and support your health goals.

Key Takeaways

  • High-protein plant-based foods such as tofu, tempeh, lupini beans, lentils, chia seeds, and quinoa are excellent options for low-carb diets.
  • Seeds and nuts, including hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans, provide a good amount of protein and essential nutrients.
  • Nut butters like peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter are concentrated sources of protein that can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks.
  • Nutritional yeast is a protein-rich seasoning that is low in net carbs and can be used to make vegan cheese, sauces, and soups. It is often fortified with vitamin B12.


Tofu, a versatile and complete protein source, is an essential ingredient for low-carb diets due to its balanced amino acid profile and low net carb content. With 8g of protein and only 1.6g of net carbs per 3.5oz serving, tofu stands as one of the top low-carb vegan protein sources.

Its adaptability makes it a cornerstone in various dishes, from smoothies to stir-fries and salads. As a plant-based protein, tofu is a traditional king among soy products, providing a nutritious and delicious option for those seeking high-protein foods while adhering to a low-carb diet. A half cup of tofu contains approximately 20 grams of protein and only 3 grams of carbs, solidifying its position as a top source of plant-based protein.

With tofu's impressive protein content and minimal net carb impact, it effortlessly fits into the high-protein, low-carb dietary framework. Whether you're a vegan, vegetarian, or simply looking for alternative protein sources, tofu is a reliable and versatile choice for meeting your nutritional needs.


When following a low-carb diet, incorporating seeds into your meals can provide a valuable source of plant-based protein and essential nutrients. Seeds are an excellent addition to a low-carb vegan diet due to their high protein content and low carbohydrate levels. Hemp seeds, for instance, contain a complete amino acid profile and are rich in protein, making them an ideal choice for those looking to boost their protein intake while keeping their carb consumption low. Chia and flax seeds are also great options as they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and provide a nutritious addition to a low-carb diet. You can easily incorporate seeds into your meals by adding them to salads, shakes, or baked goods for a delicious and convenient plant-based protein boost.

Here's a comparison of the nutritional values of some popular seeds per ounce:

Seed TypeProtein (g)Carbs (g)
Hemp Seeds6.31.7 (0.9g net)
Chia Seeds4.712 (2g net)
Flax Seeds3.86 (0.4g net)

Incorporating these seeds into your low-carb diet can help you meet your protein and low-carb requirements while adding a variety of essential nutrients to your meals.


Incorporating a variety of nuts into your low-carb diet can provide a rich source of protein and essential nutrients, building on the valuable plant-based protein and low-carb benefits offered by seeds.

Almonds are exceptional sources of high protein and low net carbs, making them a top-rated nut for low-carb diets. They also offer versatility, being available as almond milk or almond flour.

Walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans are also excellent sources of protein and contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These nuts not only add unique flavors to your meals and snacks but also contribute to your daily protein intake.

Nuts can be easily included in various dishes, from main courses to desserts, and can even be consumed as a protein-packed snack. For those following a vegan diet, nuts can be a crucial source of protein.

Additionally, for those interested in meticulous nutritional information, the Food Composition Database provides detailed information about the grams of protein in different nuts. You can also explore incorporating nut-based protein powder or hemp seeds into your diet to ensure you're getting plenty of protein while maintaining a low-carb intake.

Nutritional Yeast

You may frequently encounter nutritional yeast as a protein-rich seasoning with low net carbs, making it a valuable addition to a low-carb, plant-based diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids, making it comparable to animal proteins. It contains 7.6g of protein per 2 tablespoons, making it an excellent choice for those following a vegan or low-carb diet. Additionally, it is often fortified with vitamin B12, crucial for vegans, and supports heart health and immune function. With only 56 calories and 6.4g of carbohydrates per 2 tablespoons, nutritional yeast offers a net carb content of 2.2g, making it a suitable option for those on a low-carb diet. This versatile ingredient can be used to make vegan cheese, sauces, and soups, and can even be used as a seasoning for various dishes. Thus, nutritional yeast serves as an excellent alternative to meat substitutes and protein powders, providing high protein content and essential nutrients for those following a plant-based or low-carb diet.

Nutritional YeastPer 2 Tablespoons
Net Carbs2.2g


Tempeh's high protein content, rich nutritional profile, and versatility in cooking make it a valuable addition to a low-carb, plant-based diet.

A single serving of tempeh provides approximately 20g of protein, making it an excellent choice for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet looking to increase their protein intake while keeping carbs low. This high protein content makes tempeh a great option for individuals focusing on weight loss, as protein can help increase feelings of fullness and boost metabolism.

Additionally, tempeh is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium, offering various health benefits. Its versatility in cooking allows it to be used in a wide range of dishes, such as burgers, stir-fries, or as a base for marinades.

For those seeking alternatives to high-carb foods like beans, tempeh serves as a nutrient-dense, low-carb option that can be incorporated into a variety of meals to support a balanced and healthful diet.

Lupini Beans

Lupini beans, with their impressive 16g of protein per 3.5oz serving and low net carb count of 7.2g, have gained popularity as a protein-packed legume in Mediterranean cuisine. They're becoming increasingly popular in North America, often used as a nutritious snack and a valuable addition to salads. As a high-protein, low-carb option, lupini beans are gaining traction among those following low-carb and vegan diets. They offer a versatile use in various dishes and are a great addition to a low-carb, high-protein diet.

  • Nutrient Powerhouse: Lupini beans are a plant-based source of protein, making them an excellent addition to vegan diets. With 16g of protein per 3.5oz serving, they provide a substantial amount of this essential nutrient.
  • Low-Carb Gem: For individuals seeking low-carb alternatives, lupini beans are a standout option. With only 7.2g of net carbs per 3.5oz serving, they're a valuable addition to low-carb meal plans.
  • Versatile Culinary Use: Lupini beans can be used in various dishes, including salads, dips, and even as a standalone snack. Their versatility makes them an attractive choice for those looking to increase their protein intake while keeping their carb consumption in check.

Nut Butters

A great way to incorporate more protein into your diet is by including nut butters, which offer a concentrated source of protein and can be easily incorporated into various meals and snacks. Peanut butter, for example, provides 8g of protein per 2 tablespoons, making it an efficient protein source. Similarly, almond butter offers 6.8g of protein per serving, while options like cashew and hazelnut butter are also available. Nut butters possess all the benefits of whole nuts in a condensed package, making them a convenient and cost-effective protein option.

These versatile spreads can be added to shakes, used as a dip for snacks, or incorporated into both sweet and savory meals. Additionally, making nut butter at home is an option for those looking to customize their spreads. Nutritional values for popular nut butters include 8g of protein and 6g of carbs (4.1g net) for peanut butter, and 6.8g of protein and 6g of carbs (2.8g net) for almond butter.

Including nut butters in your daily intake can be a practical and delicious way to boost your protein consumption while maintaining a low-carb diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Vegan Foods Are High in Protein and Low Carbs?

When looking for vegan foods high in protein and low in carbs, consider tofu, seeds like hemp and chia, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, nutritional yeast, and tempeh. These options offer versatility for your low-carb diet.

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

You can eat tofu, hemp seeds, nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans, nutritional yeast, and tempeh. These are all high in protein and low in carbs, making them great options for a low-carb, high-protein diet.

What Is the Highest Protein Plant-Based Food?

The highest protein plant-based food is tempeh, providing 20g of protein per 3.5oz (100g) serving. It's a complete protein with a balanced amino acid profile and also rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium.

What Is the Best Plant-Based Protein for Weight Loss?

For weight loss, the best plant-based protein options are tofu, seeds like hemp, chia, and flaxseeds, nutritional yeast, tempeh, and lupini beans. Incorporate these into your diet for high protein and low carb intake.

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!