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Beans And Lentils In Keto Diet

String Bean, Beans, Assortment, Farming

One must select foods with a high fat content and a low amount of carbohydrates when following the ketogenic diet. It’s not very clear what the regulations are regarding whether beans are permissible in a keto-friendly diet.

Beans are an important part of a healthy diet. Legumes, a type of plant food, is the group to which beans, lentils, and peas belong.

The U.S. According to the Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate guidelines, beans should be counted as both a vegetable and a source of plant-based protein. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that all individuals, including those who eat various animal-based products on a frequent basis, should include legumes in their diets.

The sizable downside of legumes is that they generally have a lot of carbohydrates, which are seriously limited on the low-carbohydrate keto diet.

Beans in General

The Bean Institute states that humans have been cultivating beans and other legumes for approximately 25,000 years. There is an incredible array of more than 400 bean types available all over the world, except in Antarctica; making them a cornerstone in many diets.

It is simple to cultivate beans, and some of the most especially consumed kinds in the U.S. can include navy, pinto, black, cranberry, Great Northern, dark red kidney, white kidney, light red kidney, pink, and small red beans.

Beans are Nutritious

Beans are commonly eaten because they provide a good source of dietary fiber and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Beans that are not cooked contain both types of fiber, such as soluble and insoluble. Soluble dietary fiber may reduce your cholesterol levels by connecting with the cholesterol present in your food prior to your digestive system having the ability to take it in.

Beans contain indigestible fiber which causes the stool inside the intestines to become moist, resulting in regular bowel movements. Non-soluble fiber can help alleviate constipation, a frequent yet uncomfortable occurrence linked to following a keto diet.

Beans that are not cooked are an excellent supplier of various vital vitamins and minerals. An illustration of beans being a beneficial food is their high concentration of the mineral potassium, which helps to stabilize blood pressure.

Legumes are rich in thiamin, also referred to as vitamin B1, which is crucial for energy metabolism, as wellas for the growth, development, and functioning of body cells.

Beans provide folate (folic acid), which is essential for the generation of DNA and other genetic content, as well as the development of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow.

Beans possess riboflavin, which is needed to create energy, regulate cells, and break down the fat that comprises the keto diet. Legumes contain vitamin B6 which practices a role in more than 100 bio-chemical processes, the majority of which are linked to the metabolism of proteins.

Legumes have vital minerals as well, such as iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. Beans contain a fundamental element of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the blood to other tissues of the body.

Copper assists with the breakdown of iron in the body, while both copper and magnesium are needed to generate energy. Phosphorus and manganese serve a significant purpose in the digestion of carbohydrates and other nutrients in the body.

Beans are Inexpensive

Protein can be one of the costliest elements of your meals; beans are probably the most cost effective plant-based proteins available. When you look at how much a pound of beans costs compared to a pound of other food items, beans are one of the least expensive.

Price of beans, according to the USDA:

  • Canned pinto beans: $0.80 per pound and $0.48 per cup
  • Dried pinto beans: $1.09 per pound and $0.17 per cup
  • Canned great northern beans: $0.87 per pound and $0.52 per cup
  • Dried great northern beans: $1.59 per pound and $0.26 per cup
  • Canned kidney beans: $0.86 per pound and $0.51 per cup
  • Dried kidney beans: $1.69 per pound and $0.27 per cup
  • Canned pinto beans: $0.80 per pound and $0.48 per cup
  • Dried pinto beans: $1.09 per pound and $0.17 per cup
  • Canned black beans: $0.95 per pound and $0.56 per cup
  • Dried black beans: $1.40 per pound and $0.24 per cup

For the same amount of money, beans containing high levels of protein are much cheaper than meat. The National Chicken Council approximates that the prices of beef, pork and poultry were roughly $5.95, $3.70 and $1.90 in 2019.

Beans are Convenient and Versatile

Legumes can be enjoyed at any part of the day, from having black beans in the morning to having a Tuscan white bean skillet for dinner and coconut red bean pudding for dessert. Canned beans are extremely simple to include in nearly any dish – just pour the contents of the can into a pot or baking dish and heat it up.

Drawbacks to Eating Beans

There are some disadvantages to eating too many beans. Eating beans can lead to passing gas, especially if you’re not accustomed to ingesting high-fiber foods.

Beans of certain varieties may lead to more flatulence than others. Studies indicate that consuming pinto beans and baked beans result in more flatulence than eating black-eyed peas.

Beans can include elements that can hinder your body from taking in certain vitamins and minerals from food. Animals and many types of plant foods contain anti-nutrients. These anti-nutrients protect plants from bacterial infections and insects.

Legumes such as beans contain lectins which can impede the absorption of essential minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Phytic acid, otherwise referred to as phytates, stops your intestinal region from taking in iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.

Tannins present in beans can reduce the uptake of iron, while the saponins existing in pulses can impede complete nutrient absorption.

Legumes may contain lectin and saponins, which are anti-nutrients which can lead to intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut. A digestive issue characterized by greater intestinal permeability, leaky gut permits bacteria and toxic substances to get by way of the intestinal walls.

Researchers are still determining the amount of nutrients lost from edible beans being exposed to anti-nutrients; this will also depend on an individual’s metabolic rate and how the beans are prepared.

People can reduce the anti-nutrients, like phytates and lectins, in legumes by soaking, sprouting, or boiling them before consuming them. Letting beans soak in water for an entire night can decrease phytates by up to 80%.

The Problem with Beans on Keto

Given all the benefits of eating beans, why don’t they fit into a ketogenic diet?

Beans can provide a wealth of benefits such as versatility, convenience, nourishment, and taste, however their notable carbohydrate content can make including them in a keto diet difficult.

Consuming too many legumes can result in a kick out of ketosis. Consuming inappropriate varieties of legumes can also result in your body reverting to burning glucose instead of fat.

So how many carbohydrates are in beans? It depends on the type. Carb counts for one cup of cooked beans:


Lentils are tiny pulses that are a member of the legume family and are encased in pods. These beans are full of beneficial nutrients due to their sizeable amounts of fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and minerals. Legumes such as lentils are an excellent way of getting protein if you follow a plant-based diet.

Lentils can be quickly obtained from stores, economical, incredibly healthy and can be kept for prolonged periods without cooling.

This food can be beneficial for many different types of diets such as body – building, weight loss, regulating blood pressure, and vegan diets. This makes it a widely popular food consumed by people around the world.

Lentils come in multiple shades and shapes that may also feature different nutritional content but, for the most part, provide the same nutrients. The most oft-encountered types of lentils are brown, green, red, and golden.

Types of Lentils

1. Brown Lentils

Brown lentils are widely available and quite cheap compared to other types of lentils that can be found at the grocery store.

These legumes are extremely nourishing, loaded with protein, vitamin B, and fiber. They can come in various hues from khaki to black and have a flavor range from delicate to earthy.

2. Green Lentils

Green lentils differ from brown ones mainly in their shade – from salty green to dark green. Their taste has a salty and pungent kick to it, and the sizes range from small to large.

These are also easily available and inexpensive as well. Green lentils offer the same nutrition benefits and are widely used in the food of Northern India, for instance in the dish ‘dal’.

3. Red and Yellow Lentils

Red and yellow lentils come in an array of shades, from a bright red to a lighter tint of orange and golden hue, down to a deep yellow. These are usually large quantities of lentils that have been divided and processed for sale.

The flavor of these lentils is somewhat sweet and they can be found throughout India as well as certain regions of the Middle East.

It’s essential to Indian cooking, and is the basis of regular staples such as Indian daal or tadka and other sides like dal makhani, paneer makhani, etc.

Health Benefits of Lentils

Lentils contain an impressive array of nutrients that offer a wide range of health benefits. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Lentils are extremely low in Fats.
  • Lentils are very high in Protein. (26% of the total calorie intake from lentils are in the form of proteins.)
  • Lentils are super rich in Folate. (More than any other plant diet)
  • Lentils are high in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. 
  • Lentils are high in Vitamin B. (Best for curing vitamin B deficiency)
  • Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein. (On a bodybuilding diet, vegan diet)
  • Lentils are high in fiber as well. (It helps in supporting a healthy digestive tract and the growth of good gut bacteria.)
  • Consuming lentils regularly can help get rid of constipation and improve stomach functioning. 
  • Lentils have the presence of soluble fiber which helps in regulating high levels of cholesterol and fluctuating blood sugar levels.
  • Lentils contain phytochemicals which help in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, renal problems etc. 

Nutritional Value of Boiled Lentils

The information provided below follows the United States Department of Agriculture guidelines. (THE UNITED STATES’ DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE)

  • Amount- 100 GRAMS
  • Calories- 116

Nutrients and Daily Value in %

  • Total Fat (0.4 g) – 0%
  • Saturated fat  (0.1 g) – 0%
  • Polyunsaturated fat ( 0.2 g)
  • Monounsaturated fat (0.1 g)
  • Cholesterol (0 mg) – 0%
  • Sodium  (2 mg) – 0%
  • Potassium (369 mg) –10%
  • Total Carbohydrate (20 g) – 6%
  • Dietary fiber (8 g) – 32%
  • Sugar (1.8 g)
  • Protein (9 g) –18%
  • Vitamin A – 0%
  • Vitamin C – 2%
  • Calcium – 1%
  • Iron – 18%
  • Vitamin D                                                             
  • Vitamin B-6 –10%
  • Cobalamin – 0%
  • Magnesium – 9%

Lentils as Keto Friendly

The Keto diet focuses primarily on fatty foods, with 20% of nutrition coming from protein and just 5% from net carbohydrates. Lentils contain a significant quantity of both carbohydrates and proteins, thus making it a tricky query to answer from an individual’s standpoint.

It is known that lentils contain a lot of both carbohydrates and fiber. Therefore, they are usually not included in a strict Keto diet, which does not allow for the consumption of high carb foods while continuing to provide nutritional benefits.

It’s an undeniable reality that net carbs make reference to the sum of carbohydrates that can be processed from a sustenance item, computed by evacuating the dietary fiber sum from the all out carbs, accordingly making it to some degree great with a Keto eating routine.

The quantity one consumes of Lentils, the level of physical activity they engage in, and other elements all play a role in determining how much Lentils should be consumed, in the same way as with Quinoa.

Those on an exact Keto plan should stay away from consuming lentils, while non-strict dieters and exercisers who do occasional workouts can have some lentils occasionally, as they are nutritionally beneficial.

Carb Content in Lentils

The carb content of cooked lentils (180 grams) is 36 grams with 14 grams of fiber. If the amount of fiber is taken away from the quantity of carbohydrates, the result is 22 GRAMS OF NET CARBS.

In reality, the best Keto diet allows one to consume no more than 50 grams of net carbohydrates and a minimum of 20 grams of carbohydrates a day.

So, lentils contribute half of your daily carb allowance and can be eaten in moderate amounts without getting in the way of being in a state of Ketosis.

Calories in Lentils

About 100 grams of cooked lentils holds 230 calories, making this food a low-calorie option.

Lentils are a beneficial food option for anyone on a weight loss plan since they contain little calories. Some dieters, such as those on the Keto diet, can receive good benefits from eating lentils since they are filling and reduce the likelihood of intense hunger cravings.

Side notes

The Keto diet involves eating fewer carbohydrates while emphasizing fats and proteins which aid the body in reaching a certain state.

The body may enter a state of ketosis when it has a deficiency of carbohydrates to generate energy, and relies on fatty acids and amino acids from fats and proteins instead.

Figuring out the net carbs can be tricky, and since making an error can destroy the metabolic state of ketosis, many individuals on the ketogenic diet entirely steer clear of beans.

Giving up beans all of a sudden may be difficult since they are so influential in the world of food. Fortunately, there are a variety of beans that can be included in a ketogenic diet.

Lentils contain a high amount of both carbohydrates and proteins, so even those who are on a specific diet regimen, the casual keto diet, or those who engage in vigorous physical workouts can eat them sparingly to allow for the continual process of ketosis.

In general, Lentils are beneficial and essential for the body to work properly, so it is advisable to incorporate them into your diet in reasonable amounts, unless you are following a Keto diet where they should be consumed in small amounts.

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