Plant Foods Highest in Protein per Net Carb

Plant Foods Highest in Protein per Net Carb

Adopting a plant-based diet is gaining in popularity, not just for ethical reasons, but also for environmental sustainability, and health reasons. At the same time, many people are adopting diets that limit their intake of carbohydrates, such as 'paleo' or 'eco-Atkins' diets.

Low carb diets are typically high in meats, so most do not worry about getting enough protein. However, there are still many great plant sources of protein available to those on a plant based low-carb diet, who want protein, but seek to reduce intake of carbs, and net-carbs (or total carbs minus fiber).

The daily value (DV) for protein is 50 grams per day, but you may require more or less depending on your weight and activity level.

The high protein plant foods below are ranked by protein to net carb ratio. High protein plant foods that are low in net-carbs include soy foods, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and sprouts. For more ideas, see the complete ranking of 200 vegan foods highest in protein per net-carb.

List of High Protein Plant Foods per Net Carbs

A block of tofu

#1: Firm Tofu

36g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per CupProtein per 100g
43.5g
(87% DV)
17.3g
(35% DV)

Note: The amount of protein in tofu can range between 4.8g (10% DV) to 17.3g (35% DV) per 100 gram serving (or a little less than 1/2 cup). See the nutrition comparison of 10 common tofu brands.

To find more, use the detailed nutrient ranking of all vegan foods high in protein.

Alfalfa Sprouts

#2: Alfalfa Sprouts

20g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per Cup RawProtein per 100g
1.3g
(3% DV)
4g
(8% DV)
Flax Seeds

#3: Flax Seeds

12g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per OzProtein per 100g
5.2g
(10% DV)
18.3g
(37% DV)
Soy Beans

#4: Boiled Soybeans (Edamame)

8g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per CupProtein per 100g
31.3g
(63% DV)
18.2g
(36% DV)
Hemp Seeds

#5: Hemp Seeds

7g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per OzProtein per 100g
9g
(18% DV)
31.6g
(63% DV)
Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

#6: Seeds (Squash and Pumpkin Seeds)

4g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per 1oz HandfulProtein per 100g
8.5g
(17% DV)
29.8g
(60% DV)
Brazil Nuts

#7: Brazil Nuts

3g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per 1 Oz HandfulProtein per 100g
4.1g
(8% DV)
14.3g
(29% DV)
A block of tempeh

#8: Tempeh

3g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per CupProtein per 100g
33.7g
(67% DV)
20.3g
(41% DV)
Almonds

#9: Almonds

2g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per 1oz HandfulProtein per 100g
6g
(12% DV)
21.2g
(42% DV)
Soymilk

#10: Unsweetened Soymilk

2g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per 16oz GlassProtein per 100g
14g
(28% DV)
2.9g
(6% DV)
A Bowl of Spinach

#11: Spinach

2g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per Cup CookedProtein per 100g
5.3g
(11% DV)
3g
(6% DV)
Peanuts

#12: Peanuts (Dry Roasted)

2g protein per 1g net-carbs
Protein per OzProtein per 100g
6.9g
(14% DV)
24.4g
(49% DV)

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The %DV is a general guideline for everyone and takes into account absorption factors. It is the most common target in the U.S. and found on the nutrition labels of most products. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) - The Reference Dietary Intake (RDI) accounts for age and gender. It is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization. The daily value (%DV) builds on the reference dietary intake to create a number for everyone.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - Sets a target for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. The Adequate Intake is also set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It represents a number to ensure adequacy but lacks the same level of evidence as the Reference Dietary Intake. In short, the number is less accurate than the RDI.
  • See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central