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On vegetarian or vegan diets, one wouldn’t think twice about enjoying lentils — but as we know with other keto foods, it’s important to give traditionally healthy choices a closer look. So, are lentils keto friendly, or do they fall in the same carb ranges as food like beans or chickpeas? Let’s take a closer look at carbs in lentils, and what you can do if you want to enjoy them on a keto diet.
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Are Lentils Keto Friendly?
Sorry, carbs in lentils are too high to easily enjoy on keto — regardless of variety.
If they aren’t strictly keto, are lentils low carb? Not particularly, but it depends on your personal macros.
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Is lentil soup keto?
If you can’t easily have plain lentils on keto, what about lentil soup on keto? Unfortunately, carbs in lentil soup are also too high to enjoy on a ketogenic lifestyle.
How Many Carbs In Lentils?
Take a look at the numbers, and it’s easy to see why keto and lentils don’t mix. Lentil carbs per cup (plain and cooked) add up to 39.8 grams total carbs [*]. Since they have a little bit of fiber, net carbs in lentils clock in at 24.2 grams for the same amount.
How many carbs in lentil soup?
Do lentils have carbs if you add them to soup? Absolutely. One cup of lentil soup contains 21.9 grams total carbs and 14 grams net carbs [*].
The chart below summarizes the lentil carb count for all varieties and serving sizes.
|Serving Size||Total Carbs||Net Carbs|
|1 cup, plain lentils||39.8g||24.2g|
|1 cup, lentil soup||21.9||14g|
Keto Lentils Substitutes
Lentils carbs per serving may be high, but rest assured — you can find plenty of keto-friendly substitutions! Try these alternatives the next time you want to prepare lentils:
- Cauliflower Rice – Like lentils, it can cook up nice and soft — even in soups!
- Keto Friendly Nuts – When finely chopped and soaked, they can take on the softer consistency of lentils.
- Ground Beef – Lentils often substitute for beef in meatless recipes, so try it the other way around! Use 1 pound of beef for every uncooked cup of lentils.
- Shirataki Rice – Grains can commonly substitute for lentils, and here’s a keto-friendly version.
- Lupini Beans – They have a similar soft texture to lentils, but much lower carbs.
Conclusion: Can You Eat Lentils On Keto?
Carbs in lentils are too high to be keto friendly. However, you can find plenty of substitutions that fit more easily into a carb-conscious diet.
Hi, I am a vegetarian, I use lentils as a mince substitute, is there something I can use to replace lentils in these recipes that would be keto friendly, or can I still use them because I’m replacing meat in my diet. Thank you
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Sylvie, In the article, you will find some low-carb replacements for lentils.
What about red lentils? I’ve read (but quite a long time ago… I remember it was an article from an ayurvedic blog) they have a particular profile due to a different distribution of starches/fiber and nutrient availability when properly cooked (also lower in saponin and lectins if soaked or cooked with some kombu or wakame pieces, like other beans). They would probably be anyway too much carby, but maybe mixed with other keto-friendly nuts and seeds there’s a way to benefit from the iron content and other positive things they might offer including them in recipes once in a while…
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Roberta, As with the lentils on this list, red lentils would still be too high in carbs to be considered keto.