We've always been encouraged to eat beans due to the high protein and soluble fiber content, but should you be eating beans on a ketogenic diet? Technically, no.
The exception to this is if you are following a keto cycling diet plan. If you really can't live without beans, you could eat beans on the higher carb days.
If you are following a targeted ketogenic diet (that is, keto 7 days per week with no breaks), most beans are not a good choice.
Do Beans Have Carbs?
Absolutely. There are very few choices of low carb beans for the keto diet.
If you want to eat beans on a low carb diet, you are best to stick with fresh green beans (string beans), or black soy beans.
Beans Are Fiber Rich Foods - Does That Count?
It does. Most nutrition information on packaged or canned foods includes fiber in the total carbohydrate content.
Humans don’t have the enzymes that could digest most fiber and derive calories from it. As a result, fiber does not really affect blood sugar levels and ketosis.
To calculate the net carbs, subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrate content.
For example: if per 100g, a product has 10 grams of carbs from which 8 are fiber, we take the 8 grams of fiber out of the 10 carbs and we get a total of only 2 ‘net’ carbs.
Are Black Beans Keto Friendly?
Black beans are delicious, but not keto friendly.
With 63 grams of carbs and 16 grams of fiber, black beans have 47 grams of net carbs per 100g serving.
Whilst black beans do have a good nutrient profile, eating black beans on keto will take you out of ketosis quick smart.
Keto Bean Substitute - Black Soybeans
(Tastes Just Like Black Beans Minus the Carbs)
Organic soybeans are often chosen to use in place of black beans on the keto diet.
Whilst they are not actual beans, they taste quite similar to black beans.
The bonus is, black soy beans have 1 gram of net carbs per 100 gram serving.
With this net carb count, you can eat these soybeans without much concern that you might possibly go over your daily carb limit.
Carbs in Pinto Beans
Like black beans, pinto beans also have 63 grams of carbs and 16 grams of fiber.
This makes for a total net carbs of 47 grams per 100 gram serving.
If you're missing refried beans on the keto diet, don't despair. You can make a keto friendly refried beans using black soy beans, or for a different twist on keto refried beans using vegetables and bacon, take a look at the video below courtesy of Dat Keto Lady.
How Many Carbs are in Red Kidney Beans?
Kidney beans have 60 grams of carbs and 25 grams of fiber totaling 35 grams of net carbs per 100g serving.
This is slightly better than black and pinto beans, but still too many carbs to eat whilst following a ketogenic diet.
Chickpeas on Keto
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas have 61 grams of carbs and 17 grams of dietary fiber per 100g serving which results in 44 net carbs.
Chickpeas are not suitable for the ketogenic diet.
There are health benefits to eating chickpeas however. Chickpeas have properties that help insulin resistance and your blood sugars. According to some studies chickpeas are safe for diabetics, contain complex carbohydrates that are slow releasing and don't have much effect on your blood sugars.
We're not saying go ahead and eat chickpeas to your hearts content, but on a cyclical keto diet, you could consider adding in chickpeas on your high carb days, or making your own hummus.
Are Fava Beans High in Carbs?
Fava beans stand at 18 grams of total carbs, 8 grams of fiber which makes for 10 grams of total net carbs per 100g serving.
This makes fava beans a much better option for the keto diet, however, you would need to limit this to a 50 gram serving.
Beans to Eat on Keto that are Not Soy Beans
Green Beans are Keto Friendly
With 7 grams of carbs and 3.4 grams of fiber, green beans total 3.6 grams of net carbs per 100g serving.
Green beans, next to the black soy beans are the best type of beans you can consume if you are on Keto.
Other than having an incredible nutrient content and low-carb profile, green beans nutrition also contains high levels of several proteins, carotenoids and other antioxidants that make it stand out from the other types of beans.
Cooking Green Beans on Keto: You can blanch green beans by placing them in boiling water for a minute or so. For a higher fat treat, fry green beans in grass fed butter and season with salt and pepper - they are truly delicious!
How Many Beans Can I Eat in a Day?
If you are on a targeted ketogenic diet and you need to lose weight, you most likely can’t afford to use up your allowed carbs on something like beans.
You should consume about 7-10 cups of vegetables per day for proper body cleansing and a supply of nutrients for your body.
Often, that amount of vegetables uses up your 20 grams of carbs limit.
If weight loss is less important or you exercise regularly, you may be able to slightly increase your carb limit to include more beans.
If you are finding it hard to get your nutrients in and stay under 20 grams of net carbs, you could try supplementing your diet with a product such as Perfect Keto Greens Powder with MCT Oil.
Are Bean Sprouts Keto?
You can eat bean sprouts on a keto diet, but in moderation as well.
Sprouted beans and seeds compared to their processed counterparts have:
- 100 times more enzymes
- 285% more vitamin A
- 208% more vitamin B1
- 256% more vitamin B3
- 515% more vitamin B2
Sprouting also gets rid of phytic acid, which preserves minerals like Potassium and Calcium.
And last but not least, they have about 9-12% more Protein.
Are Lentils Keto?
No. Lentils have 40 grams of carbs and 16 grams of fiber. This equates to 24 grams of net carbs per serving, making lentils unsuitable for the keto diet.
Are Edamame Keto?
Edamame are moderately high in carbs. You could enjoy a small portion sparingly, but don't go all out eating edamame whilst on the keto diet.
Edamame has 8 grams of net carbs per serving. This is made up of 16 grams of total carbs, minus 8 grams of fiber.
You could also try these dried edamame as a snack:
Is Hummus Keto?
Not really. Actually, no. Hummus is made from chickpeas, which we have already established are very high in carbs.
Every other standard ingredient in hummus (Olive Oil, Tahini, Lemon, Garlic, Sea Salt) is healthy and keto friendly.
If possible, make your own hummus, using the regular hummus ingredients, minus the chickpeas.
You can also substitute the chickpeas for roasted cauliflower which gives the hummus a very similar texture.
Are Baked Beans Keto?
Is there such a thing as low carb baked beans?
Tinned baked beans have 58 grams of total carbohydrates, and 10 grams of fiber per one cup serving.
Unless you make your own baked beans using a keto friendly bean substitute such as black soy beans, baked beans are not suitable for the ketogenic diet.