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Are Beans Keto? All Facts & Info 2024

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Beans are known for their nutritional properties, providing high amounts of protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. The carbohydrate content of beans may pose a challenge to include them in a strict ketogenic diet.

People following a keto lifestyle focus on consuming low amounts of carbs throughout the day to stay in ketosis. 

Understanding which keto-friendly beans could help you make informed choices when planning your meals. This method could also help you add more protein and nutrition to your keto diet without disturbing the ketosis process. 

This article highlights the health benefits of beans along with their potential drawbacks and nutritional values. It mentions some of the best bean varieties that you could add in moderate amounts or when you are keto cycling. 

Health Advantages Of Beans

Beans and legumes have a high content of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins, and essential vitamins and minerals. Including beans in your diet could positively impact overall heart health. 

Studies have shown that consuming beans in meals can improve cholesterol profile, help reduce blood sugar levels, and promote a healthy gut microbiome. 

Beans are a sustainable protein source, making them a suitable meat alternative. They could help you maintain a healthy digestive tract function, promoting regular bowel movements.

Beans contain folate, which may promote red blood cell production. It can help in the prevention of neural tube that affects during pregnancy. 

Beans also possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Research indicates that beans, particularly black beans, exhibit strong antioxidant activity, which may help fight bowel cancer symptoms.

Are Beans Keto?

Are Beans Keto-friendly?

Most beans contain high amounts of carbs, so eating them in moderation may require extra effort to avoid the overconsumption of carbohydrates.

Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, and chickpeas have a high net carb count, ranging from 23.5g to 32.5g per serving, making them less suitable for a strict ketogenic diet.

However, some exceptions, like green beans and black soybeans, are lower in carbs, with options like edamame containing 8.63g net carbs and Black Soybeans with only 2g net carbs, making them a more suitable keto-friendly choice. 

Carb Content Of Beans

Here are the carb counts for some common beans per 1/2-cup (60–90-gram) serving when cooked:

  • Black beans: 20 grams total carbs, 12 grams net carbs
  • Navy beans: 23 grams total carbs, 14 grams net carbs
  • Kidney beans: 20 grams total carbs, 13 grams net carbs
  • Black soybeans: 8 grams total carbs, 2 grams net carbs
  • Green beans: 4 grams total carbs, 2 grams net carbs

It is essential to consider these carb counts when planning meals to ensure they align with the desired macronutrient consumption for a successful ketogenic diet. 

Keto-friendly Beans

When considering the compatibility of beans with a ketogenic diet, it is crucial to prioritize those varieties with lower carb content, such as green beans and black soybeans. 

People following a ketogenic lifestyle can prepare green beans as vegetables, which offer a lower carb of around 6.97 grams. You can saute green beans or add them to your salad dressing, dips, or sauce as a quick way to include them in your keto meal.

You can switch black soybeans from higher-carb legumes in various dishes like soups or refried beans. Hummus, salsas, and stew are great ways to combine soybeans in your keto-friendly lifestyle.

However, some concerns exist regarding the effect of soy on hormone balance, particularly with black soybeans. 

Make sure to keep the portion size of beans in a moderate ratio so you don’t consume excessive carbs. 

Excessive intake of beans would affect your weight loss goals, causing a hindrance in your keto lifestyle.

Nutritional Value Of Beans

Beans are a powerful source of essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, iron, vitamins, and minerals, as per the nutritional profile provided by the USDA.

  • Beans are rich in protein, providing 21.6g per 100g serving.
  • They are high in fiber, with 15.5g per 100g, assisting digestion and promoting satiety.
  • Beans contain significant amounts of iron, crucial for red blood cell function, with 5.02mg per 100g.
  • They are a good source of minerals like magnesium (171mg), phosphorus (352mg), and potassium (1480mg).
  • Beans also offer essential nutrients such as zinc (3.75mg), copper (0.841mg), and manganese (1.06mg) in notable quantities.

However, people following a ketogenic diet should stay mindful of the carbohydrate content of beans to maintain ketosis.

Possible Side Effects

It is essential to understand the side effects that may occur in some people due to the excessive consumption of beans.

  • Beans and other legumes, particularly peanuts and soy, could cause allergic reactions in certain people. The allergic reaction could manifest in the form of rashes or red spots on the skin.
  • Lectins, potentially harmful proteins, are present in many beans and may cause vomiting, nausea, and upset stomach even if consumed in small quantities. You can reduce the effect of lectins through soaking and boiling. 
  • Some people can experience gas and digestive discomfort after consuming beans as they have a high fiber content. You may notice bloating or cramps in the stomach due to excessive gas buildup. 
  • Lentils and snow peas could trigger headaches.

Keto-friendly Alternatives For Beans

Here are some promising alternatives to include in place of beans:

  • Mushrooms: They are low in carbs and calories. Cooked mushrooms can replace beans in soups, stews, and chili, significantly reducing your carb count.
  • Eggplant: Diced eggplant can serve as a bean substitute in various recipes. It can also create a keto-friendly dip like baba ganoush, a chickpea-free alternative to hummus.
  • Avocado: When enjoying Mexican cuisine, choose guacamole or smashed avocado instead of high-carb refried beans or bean dip. 
  • Ground meat: Increase the protein content in soups or chili by adding extra ground meat like beef, pork, or turkey instead of beans.
  • Boiled peanuts: Peanuts could mimic the texture of cooked beans when boiled and offer a similar protein and fiber content, making them a reliable bean alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Beans Be Consumed on a Keto Diet in Moderation?

Edamame and black soybeans are low-carb substitutes for the keto diet routine. Thus, you can consume these beans in moderation on a keto diet. However, beans might consume much of your daily carb allowance for keto.

How Can Soaking Beans Reduce Antinutrients and Improve Digestibility?

Soaking beans helps break down antinutrients like phytic acid, lectins, and tannins, which could hinder mineral absorption and cause digestive discomfort. Thus, the breakdown process helps enhance beans’ digestibility and nutrient availability.

Are Any Specific Bean Varieties More Suitable for Individuals With Digestive Issues?

People dealing with digestive concerns can consider beans like lentils, mung beans, and chickpeas, as they are gentle on the digestive system and may not cause discomfort. You can also choose beans lower in fermentable sugars, like green beans or black soybeans, as they do not complicate digestion.

What Are Some Creative Ways to Combine Low-Carb Substitutes for Beans in Keto Recipes?

You can saute mushrooms for an evening snack or salad instead of beans. Adding diced eggplant, avocado, ground meat, or boiled peanuts to your salad dressing or soups will give you bean-like textures and flavors.

Are There Any Special Precautions for Individuals With Allergies When Consuming Beans on a Keto Diet?

Individuals with allergies should take caution when including beans in a keto diet. Allergic reactions, particularly to peanuts and soy, are possible. It would help if you started consuming beans gradually to notice any allergic triggers so that you can take proper measures before the allergy worsens.


Beans may offer a variety of nutrients, but their overconsumption can hinder ketosis. You can include low-carb alternatives like edamame, which is a suitable option for maintaining ketosis while still enjoying a similar texture to beans.

Monitoring portion sizes and dietary needs may help you balance your nutritional requirements while following a ketogenic diet.

If you are allergic to beans, you can include mushrooms, eggplant, and boiled peanuts as a substitute for beans during your ketosis. 

Put a limitation on your daily carb intake, as it will help you avoid the food choices that can add extra carbohydrates to your keto diet.


  • 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.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any product or tips.
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