Beans are among the nutritious legumes with numerous health benefits. It is one of the healthy foods accepted in many forms of dieting. Keto dieters, however, wonder if it is friendly to their diet.

Ketogenic or keto diet is a popular form of dieting that involves eating foods low in carbs but high in fat. Beans provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in carbs and proteins, making people wonder if it can fit in the high fat keto diet. It is worth mentioning that not all beans are keto-friendly. However, there are some varieties that can be used in keto diet. The amount of carbs referred to by keto dieters here is obtained by subtracting fiber from total carb content. This gives net carb. Most people on this form of dieting aim for 25 g of net carbs per day. This article discusses total and net carb content keto-friendly varieties of beans.

Carb Counts of Different Varieties of Beans

There are very many types of beans in the world, with some localized to a specific region. Depending on your region, you will find a few types of beans and knowing their carb counts is very important for those on low-carb foods, such as keto dieters. The data provided here are obtained from the Food Data Central of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database. A half-cup serving of each bean variety weighs 90 g apart from green beans which weighs 60 g for a half-cup serving.

Black beans contain 20 g of total carbs, 8 g of fiber, and 12 g of net carbs. Navy beans contain 24 g of total carbs, 10 g of fiber, and 14 g of net carbs. Kidney beans contain 20 g of total carbs, 7 g of fiber, and 13 g of net carbs. Black soybeans contain 8 g of total carbs, 6 g of fiber, and 2 g of net carbs. Green beans contain 4 g of total carbs, 2 g of fiber, and 2 g of net carbs. Chickpeas contain 25 g of total carbs, 7 g of fiber, and 18 g net carbs. Lima beans contain 19 g of total carbs, 7 g of fiber, and 12 g of net carbs. Pinto beans contain 23 g of total carbs, 8 g of fiber, and 15 g of net carbs. Lentils contain 18 g of total carbs, 7 g of fiber, and 11 g of net carbs. Black-eyed peas contain 21 g of total carbs, 6 g of fiber, and 15 of net carbs. Great Northern beans contain 19 g of total carbs, 6 g of fiber, and 13 g of net carbs.

Beans Suitable for Keto Diet

From the data above, you can clearly see that some varieties of beans can contain high amounts of carbs – both total and net – while some varieties are fairly low in carb counts. If you are strictly following a keto diet, it will help to go for either black soybeans or green beans, as their carb counts are considerably lower than others. Navy beans are the worst option. You can prepare green beans in your own preferred way, but most commonly, they areprepared the same way as vegetables. You can also substitute starchier beans with black soybeans, which are a great alternative for bean dips, soups, refried beans, or any other recipe.

Soybeans have been met with a lot of controversies, with some claiming that it can mimic and imbalance some hormones. For this reason, some people don’t include black soybeans in the keto diet. However, there is no established backing to such claims and drawing conclusions out of them is irrelevant. Whichever the reason, if you are on a keto diet, you can easily meet your goals by using black soybeans due to their low total and net carb counts. Additionally, the other varieties of beans can also be added to a keto diet once in a while. All you need to do is sticking to a portion size of half a cup weighing 90 g. It will also help to check the package label for more nutritional information. Baked beans for example, contain added sugars and this can significantly increase their carb count.

Ketogenic diet is only maintained by ketosis, a low carb intake. If you consume too many carbs, your body will start making ketones from carbs instead of fat. This will make it hard for you to lose weight and control blood sugar. Other benefits like reduced episodes of seizures in epileptic patients will also be hard to achieve. Some actors may influence the designation of beans as keto-friendly. The main one being the method of preparation. What you eat alongside the bean will also affect the number of carbs you will get in that meal. Considering these factors and taking them into account will support your efforts to maintaining ketosis.


If you don’t like beans or you want other substitutes for beans that are keto-friendly, you can use the following alternatives:


Mushrooms are very low in carbs, as well as their calorie count. Cooking them in soups, stews, and chili is the best way of reducing the carbs significantly.


Is the best alternative for bean dips or refried beans. Avocados are perfect in Mexican foods.


They can be made into baba ganoush, a keto-friendly dish that replaces chickpeas perfectly.

Ground meat:

Ground meat, such as pork, beef, or turkey, can replace beans in a chili or soup recipe. This will also pump more protein into your body, than the alternatives mentioned above.

Boiled peanuts:

Boiling peanuts makes them have a texture more or less the same to that of beans. They also provide high amounts of fiber and protein.


Those on the keto diet must maintain ketosis by eating low-carb foods. Some beans, like navy beans, are high in carbs and are not suitable for keto dieters. Black soybeans and green beans are very low in both total and net carbs, making them keto-friendly.


We would like to thank the below contributors who have helped us to write this article:

Clarity Clinic

Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

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