Vegetarian/Vegan High Protein Shakes, Bars, and Yogurts for Weight Loss

High Protein shakes, bars and yogurts are simple and effective weight loss tools for overweight or obese people whether carnivores  or vegetarians. They are especially useful in vegetarians that want to limit their carbs. This is often difficult for many vegetarians whose primary source of calories may be complex carbs.

These products have shown advantages over self-selective weight loss diets. High protein shakes and bars provide a blend of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, along with added vitamins and minerals. Available as ready to drink products, powders requiring mixing or in bar form they offer a simple, quick way to achieve the high protein intake needed for weight loss and preservation of lean body mass during a weight loss program. In addition, they offer the dieter a simple, pre-measured amount of food with known calories, protein and carbs and a simple method to ensure necessary vitamins and minerals needed and often missing in fast foods or prepared foods.

Links to More Information on Dr Lipman’s Vegan Weight Loss Plan:

Role of Low Carbs in vegetarian/low carb  weight loss
Vegan protein sources
Vegan 3 Week Diet Plan
Best Low Carb Pasta, Veggie Rice

Vegetarian vs. Non-Vegetarian Protein Shakes and Bars

The difficulty has been that the protein sources for vegetarians are much more difficult to find and prepare and are often much higher calories and lower protein than the traditional non-vegetarian high protein bar and shake.

Need for Protein and Amino AcidsOrgan Organic Protein Bar

About 20% of our bodies are made up of  protein. Because our bodies do not store  protein, it’s important to get enough from your diet each day. You can get protein from many food sources, including plants and animals. Some researchers state that the source of the protein-animal or plant, shouldn’t matter. Others suggest that animal protein is superior to plant protein.  When digested in the stomach  protein is broken down into amino acids which are absorbed into the blood stream and  form the building blocks of all metabolic functions throughout the body.

Some Vegetarian Proteins low in Amino Acids

However, different proteins can vary greatly in the types of amino acids they contain. While animal proteins tend to contain a good balance of all the amino acids that we need, some plant proteins are low in certain amino acids. For example, some key plant proteins are often low in methionine, tryptophan, lycine and isoleucine. Optimal health, your body needs all the essential amino acids in the right ratios.
Vegetarians trying to lose weight need to be careful in their choice of vegetarian proteins in order to include all of the essential amino acids.

How Much Protein is Needed?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. In general a sedentary women needs 45-50 grams per day and sedentary man needs a minimum of 55-60 grams per day. Most people consume 100 grams or more of protein. A 200 lb man engaging in heavy work might require 150 grams of protein per day.

Amino Acids: Essential vs. Non-Essential: Amino acids are classified as either essential or non-essential. 

Your body can produce non-essential amino acids. However, it cannot produce essential amino acids, which need to be obtained through your diet. Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, are similar to the protein found in your body. These are considered to be complete sources of protein because they contain all of the essential amino acids that your body needs to function effectively. Plant protein sources, such as beans, lentils and nuts are considered to be incomplete, as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids that your body needs (1). Some sources report soy protein as complete. However, two essential amino acids are only found in small amounts in soy so soy protein is classified as incomplete. Plant sources lack one or more amino acids, which makes it more difficult to get all the amino acids that your body needs.

Additional Nutrients in Animal Proteins: Foods that contain animal protein tend to be high in several nutrients that are often lacking in plant foods. These include:

  • Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is mainly found in fish, meat, poultry and dairy products. Many people who avoid animal foods are deficient
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is found in oily fish, eggs and dairy. Some plants contain it, but the type found in animal foods is better used by your body
  • DHA:Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential omega-3 fat found in fatty fish. It’s important for brain health and is hard to get from plant sources
  • Iron: Heme-iron is predominantly found in meat, especially red meat. It is much better absorbed in the body than non-heme iron from plant foods.
  • Zinc: Zinc is mainly found in animal protein sources, such as beef, pork and lamb. It is also more easily absorbed and used from animal protein sources

Plant Based Proteins for High Protein-Low Carb Shakes and Bars: 

Vegetarian sources of protein  for these shakes and bars are naturally low in saturated fat and offer high amounts of the vitamins and minerals. Plants foods used for these products include rice, peas, grains, hemp, soy and  seeds. Often seed based products are twice the price as the others.  You can buy pre-mixed shakes and add various flavors. They naturally are not as high in protein as milk, eggs, beef, chicken or fish used in non vegetarian products but  manufacturers are able to concentrate the protein and produce an adequate  product.

Pea Protein: Pea protein powder isn’t made from sweet green peas but from their higher-protein cousins, yellow split peas. A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of unflavored pea protein powder has about 21 grams of protein and 100 calories, depending on the brand. Animal and human studies also suggest that pea protein may promote feelings of fullness and lower blood

2.Hemp protein comes from seeds of the cannabis plant but from a variety bred to contain only trace amounts of the euphoric compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This means it can’t make you high like marijuana. A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of unflavored hemp protein powder has around 12 grams of protein and 108 calories, depending on the brand. It has a lot of fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium and ALA omega-3 fat.

3. Pumpkin Seed Protein: In their whole form, pumpkin seeds are relatively high in protein and healthy fat. When made into powder, most of the fat is removed, which reduces calories. .A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of unflavored pumpkin seed protein powder provides around 103 calories and 18 grams of protein, depending on the brand. It’s not a complete. Still, pumpkin seed protein is very nutritious.

4. Brown Rice Protein: Brown rice protein powder is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of unflavored brown rice protein powder has about 107 calories and 22 grams of protein, depending on the brand. It’s low in the essential amino acid lysine but a good source of BCAAs to support muscle building.

5. Soy Protein: Soy protein powder is a complete protein with high amino acids. which is uncommon for plant protein. A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of soy protein isolate powder has about 95 calories and 22 grams of protein, depending on the brand. Other reasons soy protein isn’t as popular include allergies to soy and concerns about potential negative health impacts, such as breast cancer risk. Yet a recent review noted that soy protein isolate contains plant compounds that have anticancer activity, including against breast cancer.

6. Sunflower Seed Protein: Protein isolated from sunflower seeds is a relatively new vegan protein powder option .A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of sunflower seed protein powder has about 91 calories, 13 grams of protein, depending on the brand, and provides muscle-building BCAAs.). Like other seeds, it’s low in the essential amino acid lysine. However, it’s a good source of all other essential amino acids. To improve lysine levels, sunflower seed protein is sometimes combined with quinoa protein powder, which is a complete protein.

7.S Sacha Inchi Protein: This protein comes from the star-shaped sacha inchi seed (sometimes called a nut), which is grown in Peru. Due to a relatively limited supply, it costs more than other more common products.  A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of sacha inchi protein powder has around 120 calories and 17 grams of protein, depending on the brand. It’s a good source of all essential amino acids except lysine.

8. Chia Protein: Chia seeds come from Salvia hispanica, a plant native to South America. They have become a popular dietary addition, for example as part of smoothies, porridges and baked goods, but can also be made into chia protein powder .A quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of chia protein powder has around 50 calories and 10 grams of protein, depending on the brand. As with other seed-sourced proteins, it’s low in the essential amino acid lysine.

9. Plant Protein Blends: Many vegan protein powders contain blends of different and typically complementary plant proteins to ensure you get adequate amounts of all essential amino acids. Sprouting or fermentation may enhance nutrition as well.

Non- Dairy, Vegetarian High Protein Powders for SHAKES:

Most common non-dairy, vegetarian high protein, low carb powders used to make shakes include Pea Protein powder, Brown Rice Powder, and some Hemp based products. A good review with pictures for easy identification is found at www.godairyfree.org. 

Pea Powder products include:  Naked Nutrition 100% Pea Protein Isolate, NorCal Organic Premium Pea Protein Isolate, Swanson 100% Certified Organic Pea Protein Powder, NOW Sports Organic Pea Protein Powder, Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Pea Protein

Hemp Protein Based Shakes:  The oil is removed from shelled hemp seeds, and the remaining solid is powdered to make hemp protein powder. This results in a moderate protein level with a good amount of fiber.Top Consumer Brands of Hemp Protein Powder: Bob’s Red Mill, Evo Hemp, Foods Alive, Manitoba Harves, Nature’s Way, Navitas Organics, Nutiva, Terrasoul

Other Plant-Based Protein Powders: Several of these have been used as product ingredients in manufacturing for years. These include: Almond Protein, Brazil Nut Protein, Chia Seed Protein, Cranberry Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Sacha Inchi Protein

vegetarian high protein, low carb powders for shakes

Vegetarian powders for high protein, low carb vegetarian protein shakes

Plant Based High Protein-Low Sugar BARS:

Protein bars offer a quick, easy snack for long trips, during the late afternoon are even in the evening. A quick scan of the ingredients list will let you know if the protein bar you’re considering is vegan-friendly. Milk, like sugar, can be found in many  protein products under lots of different names. Whey protein is found in almost all non-vegetarian products.  Avoid any products containing whey or whey isolate, which are proteins derived from milk – in fact, the best technique ensure your bar is dairy-free is to look all the way back to the allergen statement and look for the phrase “Contains Milk.”You’ll also want to be on the lookout for gelatin ( it comes from the connective tissues in the bodies of animals). Many new products have a  “V” logo on individual bars and shakes that tell you it is a vegan product.

vegatarian high protein bars

Nutrition: Making the decisions more complicated you also need to look at the nutrition label of the bar. Ideal bars for weight loss are limited in total calories and sugar. The higher the protein the better. Look for: Calories: 120-200,  net carbs < 16,    sugar < 12      protein 12 or >. BE CAREFUL MANY OF THESE BARS HAVE HIGH SUGAR and  HIGH CARBS.
Read more about vegan protein bars.

Here are 3  of the best High Protein, Low Sugar Vegan, Dairy Free Protein Bars:

Orgain Organic Protein Bar

Orgain Protein Bars are vegan-friendly and contains no dairy, gluten, or soy. All of the ingredients are organic with each bar containing Orgain’s unique plant-based protein blend- a combination of pea protein, brown rice protein, rice flour protein and Chia seed protein It contains less than 5 grams of sugar and has a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The protein bars come in four different flavors.

  • Chocolate chip cookie dough
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut butter chocolate chunk
  • S’Mores    
  •                                               Here are the ingredients and nutrition of the chocolate Orgain Organic Bar:Orgain organic high protein bar
  • Vegetarian Dairy Free Yogurts

  • Almond Dream: Here are all the Almond Dream dairy free yogurts that you can enjoy:

    • coconut
    • mixed berry

    Amande: Here are the Amande dairy free yogurts that you can enjoy:

    • blueberry almond milk
    • cherry almond milk
    • coconut almond milk
    • peach almond milk

    Nancy’s Organic: Here are the Nancy’s Organic dairy free yogurts that you can enjoy:

    • blackberry soy yogurt
    • blueberry soy yogurt
    • kiwi lime soy yogurt
    • mango soy yogurt

    Silk: Here are some of the Silk Products:

    • vanilla
    • strawberry
    • blueberry
    • peach
    • raspberry
    • banana strawberry

    SO Delicious: Here are a few of  the SO Delicious dairy free yogurts that you can enjoy:

    • plain soy yogurt
    • vanilla soy yogurt
    • blueberry coconut milk yogurt
    • chocolate coconut milk yogurt
    • passionate mango coconut milk yogurt
    • pina colada coconut milk yogurt
    • plain cultured coconut milk yogurt
    • raspberry coconut milk yogurt
    • strawberry banana coconut milk yogurt

    Stonyfield: Here are the Stonyfield O’Soy dairy free yogurts that you can enjoy:

    • blueberry soy yogurt
    • raspberry soy yogurt
    • strawberry soy yogurt
    • vanilla soy yogurt

    Wildwood: Here are the Wildwood dairy free yogurts that you can enjoy:

    • blueberry soy yogurt
    • organic peach soy yogurt
    • plain unsweetened soy yogurt
    • raspberry soy yogurt