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Carbs in Beans: Are Beans Keto Friendly?

Have you ever asked yourself are beans keto friendly? It is a very valid question, especially since many people feel as though they are very high protein and overall low carb.

However, this can be a major misconception and can inadvertently cause you to come out of ketosis.

It is probably clear that foods such as bread, pasta, and other baked goods with known high-carb content are not keto-friendly. However, it may be challenging to ascertain if other foods are suitable for the keto diet.

Beans, in particular, have been a subject of debate on keto. Many people believe that the macronutrient content in beans earns it a place in any diet.

In fact, many cultures speak extensively on the health benefits of beans. It is no wonder they are used in various recipes around the world. This article will discuss the carb count in beans, along with other aspects for your consideration and whether or not they can be eaten on keto.

What Exactly Are Beans?

Beans are botanically classified as legumes, a group of plant foods. They usually grow in pods and are a rich source of amino acids. There are a variety of different beans in the world. Some of the most popular types of beans include

  • Soybeans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Black-eyed beans
  • Black beans
  • Red beans
  • Navy beans

Apart from amino acids, beans are also nutrient-dense foods. Several nutrients found in beans include folate, iron, zinc, fiber, and magnesium. Each of these nutrients is vital to body function. Having known what beans are and the list of the most popular types of beans, the next question is usually if all kinds of beans are keto-friendly.

Low-Carb Bean Sources Great for Keto

Lima Beans: They are also called butter beans because of their buttery texture. It is best to stick with a moderate quantity of lima beans. This is necessary in order not to go over the daily carb count. A cup of lima beans has 39 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of proteins, and 0.7 grams of fat. The calories in just one cup of lima beans are 216, and the net carb amounts to 26 grams. The carb count of lima beans is far too high to be eaten as a side dish on keto hence the need for moderation.

Black Soybeans: The black soybeans is another keto-friendly beans that are a staple in many low-carb diets. Unlike other starchy beans, including lima beans, the black soybeans are low in carbs. For each half-cup serving of black soybeans, there is only 1 gram net carb. This type of beans also contains a total of 6 grams of fat and 11 grams of proteins. They are also rich in antioxidants and are useful in satisfying bean craving while on keto.

Green Beans: These beans, like the black soybeans, are a great addition to low-carb diets. They are not only rich in proteins but contain antioxidants, carotenoids, and other nutrients that make them different from other beans. In a 100 gram serving of green beans, there are only 7 grams of carbohydrates and only 3.6 grams net carbs. With this low-carb content, green beans are allowed to be consumed while on keto.

High-Carb Bean Sources not Suitable for Keto

Although beans are a great source of proteins and other important nutrients, most beans are not suitable for the keto diet. Why? Beans have high-carb content that can push an individual over the daily carb limit. In each half-cup serving of most beans, there are about 11-15 grams of net carbs. If beans are eaten as whole meals while on keto, it can kick the individual out of ketosis. Some high-carb bean sources not suitable for keto include

Kidney Beans: These have been used in a variety of traditional dishes because of the nutrients they contain. They are not suitable for the keto diet because they contain a lot of calories and carbohydrates. For example, for every 100 grams of boiled kidney beans, there is a total of 127 calories. The carb total is 22.8 grams while that for protein and fat is 8.7 grams and 0.5 grams respectively. From the values stated, the carbohydrate content of kidney beans is far higher than that of fat, making it unsuitable for keto.

Black Beans: Many vegan and plant-based recipes consist of black beans. They are nutritious and contain antioxidants that are useful in the body. However, they also have a lot of calories – about 227 calories in just one cup of black beans. The carbohydrate content of black beans is also on the high side, making it not suitable for keto. There are about 41 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of proteins, and only 1 gram of fat in just one cup of black beans. Consumption of black beans is healthy but is not suitable for a low-carb meal like the keto diet.

Pinto Beans: Pinto beans is very popular and can be added to a variety of recipes. Like the kidney and black beans, pinto beans are also high in calories and carbohydrates. Just one cup of pinto beans gives a total of 245 calories. The macronutrient shows that this type of beans should be avoided on keto. Pinto beans contain a total of 45 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of fat. Since the keto diet is one where high-fat meals are consumed, pinto beans cannot be eaten while on keto.

Chickpeas: These are also referred to as Garbanzo beans. These beans should be restricted while on keto because it can interfere with ketosis. In just a 100 gram serving of chickpeas, there are about 61 grams of carbohydrates. In a cup of chickpeas, there are also 269 calories. The high calories and high-carb content make chickpeas an unfavorable addition to the keto diet.

Conclusion– Are Beans Keto Friendly

Beans have been a staple in several types of diets for a very long time. They are good sources of proteins and antioxidants, but most of them are also high in calories and carbohydrates. Fortunately, there are several low-carb beans to incorporate in diet from time to time to curb bean craving while on keto. Some of these low-carb bean sources are green beans, black soybeans, and lima beans. While on keto, it is best to eat beans in moderation because they can interfere with ketosis. Another reason to limit beans consumption on keto is that they are difficult to absorb due to certain anti-nutrients they contain. If an individual must eat beans while on keto, it is best to stick to the low-carb options.

Michael Jessimy
Michael Jessimy is a qualified Pharmacist with over 10 years experience dealing with a range of both prescription and alternative remedies. He is also an amateur heavyweight bodybuilder and loves spending his spare time hitting the gym. He strives to help others build the best body possible through fitness, health and nutrition consultation and has several published books under his name.