Published On By Rachel Nall

Are Beans Keto?

Beans are a nutritional food with protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. However, their carbohydrate content might raise concern for those following a low-carb, high-fat keto diet.

People following a keto lifestyle strive to restrict their daily carb intake. Beans may provide essential nutrients such as magnesium, iron, and potassium.

However, beans contain some carbohydrate content, which may raise questions regarding their addition to a keto diet.

Understanding the carb counts of different bean varieties is vital for making informed dietary choices that align with keto principles.

This article will help you learn the compatibility of beans with the ketogenic diet, explore the carb profiles of specific bean types, and identify keto-friendly alternatives to beans.

Are beans keto-friendly? Continue reading to clarify your confusion regarding beans and whether they could make it to your keto diet routine.

Nutritional Value Of Beans

According to the USDA, 100g of black mature beans contain 21.6g of protein, which optimizes muscle maintenance and repair. It has 15.5g of fiber (per 100g serving) that aids digestion and promotes satiety.

As per their mineral profile, black beans may provide 5.02mg of iron (in a 100g serving), which may support oxygen transport in the body.

They also contain magnesium (171mg), phosphorus (352mg), and potassium (1480mg). These minerals are vital for physiological functions like bone health and muscle contractions.

Beans offer essential nutrients such as zinc (3.65mg), copper (0.841mg), and manganese (1.06mg). These essential nutrients encourage immune function, energy production, and antioxidant defenses.

Keto-Friendly Beans

As per USDA, 100 grams of black soybeans contain 6. 15 grams of carbohydrates and around 8.46 grams of protein.

As per a study, eating black soybeans might disrupt hormonal balance while on keto. However, only singular reports explain this effect. Black soybeans have lower total and net carbs, which may help you stay in ketosis.

Green beans are typically prepared more like vegetables. 100 grams of green beans could offer you 6.97 grams of carbs with 211 milligrams of potassium. It could make them a suitable option for those following a keto lifestyle.

You could also opt for edamame in your diet. A 100g serving of cooked edamame contains 140 calories, 8.63g of carbs, and 5g of dietary fiber. It comprises essential minerals and vitamins, encourages healthy blood sugar regulation, and might reduce cholesterol.

It is vital to monitor bean consumption carefully to prevent exceeding daily carb limits and potentially disrupting ketosis.

Benefits Of Beans

  • Rich Source of Fiber: Beans are high in dietary fiber, which optimizes digestive health and helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • Plant-Based Protein: Beans are a rich source of plant-based protein that could encourage muscle development, support immune function, and aid satiety.
  • Nutrient-Dense Profile: Beans contain various essential minerals and vitamins, such as B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients may support bodily functions, including energy production, red blood cell formation, muscle function, and overall health.
  • Aid weight loss: The high fiber and protein content of beans with a low-calorie count could help reduce body weight, improve nutrition, and reduce belly fat. These virtues may contribute to sustainable weight management.
  • Support heart health: A diet that includes beans and other legumes may significantly lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, a chief risk factor for heart disease. Such effects may support healthy heart function and mitigate the risk of heart disease.

Carbohydrate Counts Of Various Beans

In a keto diet, most people aim to maintain a carbohydrate intake of less than 50g daily. Many focus on the “net carb” content, which is total carbohydrates minus fiber. Fiber is excluded from the count as the human body does not digest it.

Below is a table showing the total carbs and net carbs for 100 grams of matured beans after cooking, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA):

Bean Type Total Carbs (g) Net Carbs (g)
Black Beans 23.7 11-12
Navy Beans 26 13-14
Kidney Beans 22.8 12-13
Black Soybeans 6.15 1-2
Green Beans 4 1-2
Chickpeas 27.4 17-18
Lima Beans 20.9 11-12
Pinto Beans 26.2 15-16
Lentils 20.1 10-11
Black-eyed Peas 10.8 14-15
Great Northern Beans 21.1 12-13

Possible Health Risks

Beans and legumes, while nutritious, may lead to adverse reactions in some people. Allergic reactions, particularly to peanuts and soybeans, are common and warrant caution.

Lectins, proteins found in many beans and pulses, might pose potential risks to human health. It may induce nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort in some people. However, soaking and boiling beans could help reduce lectin levels and mitigate associated risks.

In some people, bean consumption may lead to stomach pain, bloating, or flatulence. Raffinose, a fiber in beans, might be responsible for inducing these digestive discomforts. However, soaking beans overnight or thoroughly boiling dry beans may reduce raffinose levels and their oligosaccharide content.

Gas and digestive discomfort are prevalent side effects of bean consumption. While these effects may be bothersome for some, they are typically not harmful. Gradually increasing bean intake allows the gut to adjust and may aid in preventing gastrointestinal discomfort.

Therefore, people considering including beans in their diet should be mindful of these possible side effects and make informed decisions based on their health needs and tolerances.

Consulting a doctor/nutritionist for personalized advice, especially for those with known allergies or digestive sensitivities, is advisable.

Recommended: How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?

Keto-Friendly Alternatives For Beans

Keto-friendly bean substitutes offer a low-carb option for people seeking to reduce their carbohydrate intake while enjoying diverse and satisfying meal choices.

  • Mushroom: It has a low-carb and low-calorie content that could replace beans in soups, stews, and chili. They might significantly reduce the overall carb content of the dish.
  • Diced eggplant: It is another versatile substitute for beans in various recipes. For instance, you could create a keto-friendly baba ganoush dip as a substitute for traditional hummus.
  • Avocado provides a creamy and flavorful alternative to high-carb bean dips in Mexican cuisine, such as guacamole.
  • Ground meat: You could add ground meat like beef, turkey, or pork to soups or chili instead of beans. This could also increase your protein intake.
  • Boiled peanuts: They could offer a texture similar to cooked beans and are rich in protein and fiber, making them a suitable replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Beans Be Included in a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?
    In a cyclical ketogenic diet that allows carb indulgence on specific days, include the beans cautiously. Monitoring portions and carb intake is crucial to maintain ketosis. Opt for lower-carb bean substitutes like edamame or black soybeans for better compliance.
  2. How Do Different Cooking Methods Affect the Carb Content of Beans in Terms of Keto-Friendliness
    Different cooking methods may impact the carb content of beans. Boiling or soaking beans might reduce antinutrients, which may affect keto-friendliness. Opt for methods like pressure cooking to minimize carb impact while enjoying beans occasionally on a keto diet.
  3. Are Specific Types of Beans Better Suited for Individuals With Digestive Issues on a Keto Diet?
    For people with digestive issues on a keto diet, opting for easily digestible beans like black soybeans or green beans may be beneficial. These lower-carb options may be gentler on the stomach, aiding in digestion.
  4. Can Sprouting Beans Reduce Their Carb Content, Making Them More Suitable for a Ketogenic Diet
    Sprouting beans may reduce their carb content, making them more suitable for a ketogenic diet. The process helps break down starches, leading to a decrease in net carbs. However, individual reactions to sprouted beans may vary.
  5. How Do the Micronutrients in Beans Compare to Other Low-Carb Vegetables Commonly Consumed on a Keto Diet?
    When comparing micronutrients, beans offer a rich profile of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, rivaling low-carb vegetables commonly consumed on a keto diet. Their nutritional density makes them a suitable addition to a balanced dietary approach.


The compatibility of beans with the ketogenic diet hinges on their carb content and impact on ketosis. Beans offer nutritional value, improve satiety, and aid weight loss. However, their high carbohydrate content may challenge those following a low-carb lifestyle.

Consuming bean varieties mentioned in the article (in moderation), like edamame, black soybeans, or green beans, may align with the low-carb ideology of a keto diet.

Understanding the carbohydrate profiles of different bean varieties and exploring keto-friendly substitutes could help you make informed dietary choices.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this review.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.

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