Published: 01/05/2022

Can the Atkins Diet be adapted for those wishing to follow a vegetarian or vegan dietary pattern?

The Atkins Nutritional Approach offers flexibility and personalization to meet the needs of practically any individual and makes room for plenty of plant-based options.

  • For vegetarian patients, help guide them toward conscientious protein choices that include eggs, dairy, and high-protein plant foods (e.g., soy, beans, lentils, nuts, whole grains, etc.) in order to meet their protein needs. Encourage these patients to start Atkins 20 in Phase 2 at 30 grams of net carbohydrates/day. This small adjustment helps ensure they get enough protein from non-meat sources from the start.
  • For vegan patients, protein options are further limited to plant-based foods only. To honor these dietary restrictions, encourage these patients to start Atkins 20 in Phase 2 at 50 grams of net carbohydrates/day. Similar to the vegetarian plan, this adjustment helps make space for adequate protein from plant-based sources at the outset. Additional considerations may be made regarding protein and/or micronutrient dietary supplements.

While the Atkins Nutritional Approach does provide the flexibility to follow vegetarian and vegan eating patterns, it will likely result in a slower rate of weight loss. However, long-term weight loss and overall health improvements can still be achieved.