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Beans are a key food staple around the world (much like rice), and commonly used as a high fiber substitute for meat. If they are so commonplace, are beans keto as well?
Here’s your full guide to beans on keto — complete with carbs in beans for common varieties, keto bean substitutes, and recipes for keto beans.
Are Beans Keto Friendly?
No. Unfortunately, keto and beans don’t mix… for the most part. Most beans contain too many carbs to fit easily in a low carb diet.
There are hundreds of varieties of edible beans, dozens of which you can find in conventional grocery stores. Most of them are not keto beans, but always read labels to be sure. Usually, you’ll want to find alternatives to beans on keto – I’ll share some ideas below.
How Many Carbs In Beans?
Do beans have carbs? Yes, without a doubt! For most varieties, the carbs in beans add up quickly.
On average, they most beans have between 12-20 grams net carbs per 1/2-cup serving. Below, we’ll go over the carbs in beans for individual varieties.
How Many Carbs In Black Beans?
Are black beans keto? Not really. A 1/2-cup serving will cost you 13 grams of net carbs [*].
How Many Carbs In Green Beans (String Beans)?
Here’s where keto and beans can work — you can have green beans on keto! A 1/2-cup serving contains 2.9 grams net carbs [*].
How Many Carbs In Pinto Beans?
Are pinto beans keto? Sorry, no — 1/2 cup tallies up at 15 grams of net carbs [*].
How Many Carbs In Refried Beans?
Are refried beans keto? You guessed it — they’re not. You’ll consume 12 grams of net carbs in every 1/2-cup serving [*].
Carbs In Kidney Beans
What about kidney beans — are they keto? Also no: 1/2 cup of plain kidney beans will cost you 14 grams of net carbs [*].
Carbs In Lima Beans
You shouldn’t have lima beans on keto, either. 1/2 cup contains 13 grams of net carbs [*].
Carbs In Garbanzo Beans
Are garbanzo beans keto? Still no… If you eat 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans, it will cost you 16 grams of net carbs [*].
Carbs In Navy Beans
Navy beans on keto aren’t a good idea, either. 1/2 cup contains 14 grams of net carbs [*].
Carbs In Baked Beans
Are baked beans keto? Definitely not — especially because they contain added sugar. Just 1/2 cup of baked beans has 20 grams net carbs [*].
Carbs In Soy Beans
Technically, soy beans (and edamame, which are young soybeans) are keto friendly beans — you can eat an entire cup of regular soybeans for 4 grams of net carbs [*].
However, soy beans carry similar problems to soy sauce on keto. They can act like estrogen in the body, are often genetically modified, and can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb key minerals [*, *].
If you practice a “clean” keto diet, you should enjoy these low carb beans in moderation (if at all). Learn more about the difference between clean and dirty keto in these keto cheat sheets.
Chart For Carbs In Beans
Pin the chart below to see the net carbs in beans at a glance for all the most common varieties:
Keto Bean Substitutes
Try these substitutes for keto beans. While they may not work in every bean recipe, they’ll still add bulk and flavor to dishes without the high carbs.
- Black Soybeans – These are a popular “dirty” keto bean substitute, and taste similar to black beans.
- Boiled Peanuts – Sounds strange, but these make a popular keto white bean substitute! You may want to soak peanuts before using so they taste less salty. (Keep in mind this is a “dirty” keto option as well.)
- Keto Chili – You won’t miss the beans in this meaty dish.
- Cheesy Taco Skillet – You can still get taco flavors in this skillet without beans.
- Chipotle Turkey Burgers – If you’re used to black bean burgers, this makes a flavorful alternative.
- Chili Cheese Fries – Tastes like the original, without the beans.
- 7 Layer Taco Dip – Who needs refried beans? This dish still packs in flavor without them.
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup – Tastes reminiscent of white beans, without the high carbs.
- Cauliflower Rice – Like beans, cauliflower absorbs spices well in many dishes.
- Chopped Zucchini – Since it cooks up soft, zucchini may substitute for beans in some cases.
- Ground Beef – Add more protein and fat to bean dishes with zero carbs.
- Omit The Beans – In recipes where beans don’t play a starring role, try eliminating them altogether — you might not miss them!
Keto Recipes With Beans
While you can’t eat most beans on keto, green beans are still a clean option for low carb beans. Try these recipes to see for yourself!
Keto Green Bean Casserole
A holiday classic, complete with creamy mushrooms and a crumbly topping.
Green Beans Almondine
A naturally keto dish, loaded with sliced almonds and crisp bacon.
Oven Roasted Green Beans
Pop green beans in a hot oven for an easy side dish that’s ready in a flash.
Keto Vegetable Soup
All the flavors of fresh, seasonal veggies — just no beans! You’ll love this simple and comforting soup.
So, are beans keto friendly? Keto and beans aren’t compatible in most cases. However, you can serve up dishes with green beans or try a variety of keto bean substitutes to satisfy your cravings.