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Are Red Beans Keto-Friendly?

Red Beans on a kitchen counter

If you're wondering, 'Are Red Beans Keto-Friendly?' the simple answer is no.

With their high carbohydrate content, Red Beans do not align well with the fundamental principles of a ketogenic diet.

However, don't be disheartened.

In this article, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of why Red Beans do not fit into a strict keto diet, dissect their nutritional profile, and discuss potential health implications.

We'll also explore some fantastic keto-compatible alternatives to ensure you don't miss out on the textures and flavors that Red Beans bring to your plate.

So, buckle up and let's dive into the world of Red Beans and the ketogenic diet!


  • The short answer to 'Are Red Beans Keto-Friendly?' is no.
  • High in carbs, Red Beans can disrupt ketosis, making it harder to reap the benefits of a keto diet.
  • Despite their nutritional value, the carb content in Red Beans presents a significant drawback for keto dieters.

Are Red Beans Keto-Friendly?

Based on the nutritional data provided, Red Beans are not considered keto-friendly. This is primarily due to their carbohydrate content. One serving, which is typically 100g, contains 15.4g of net carbs.

This amount of carbohydrates is rather high for someone following a ketogenic lifestyle, which typically restricts daily carb intake to 20-50g. Given that just a single serving of Red Beans already provides a substantial portion of this limit, its regular consumption could potentially hinder the maintenance of ketosis.

Moreover, it is also important to note that the carbohydrate content we refer to here is net carbs, calculated by subtracting the fiber content from the total carbohydrates. This is what counts towards your daily carb limit on the keto diet. Considering that Red Beans have 22.8g of total carbs and 7.4g of fiber, their net carb content comes out to be 15.4g per 100g serving. This further emphasizes why Red Beans are not typically included in a keto-friendly food list.

Can You Have Red Beans On a Strict Keto Diet?

In the context of a strict ketogenic diet, which generally limits carbohydrate intake to less than 20g per day, Red Beans would not typically be a suitable choice. Their high carbohydrate content of 15.4g net carbs per 100g serving size directly conflicts with the ultra-low-carb nature of a strict ketogenic plan.

Even for those who are following a more relaxed version of the diet, often referred to as low-carb keto, where daily net carb intake is restricted to 30-50g, adding Red Beans may still prove challenging. The high carb content of Red Beans could take up a significant portion of this increased limit, leaving little room for other nutrient-dense foods necessary for a well-rounded diet.

However, if Red Beans are a must-have, keeping track of carb intake is crucial to ensure that it doesn't disrupt ketosis. There are numerous tools and mobile applications available for tracking net carbs, calories, and other macronutrients. These can be beneficial in planning meals and keeping a check on daily food intake, helping to strike the right balance between enjoying favorite foods and maintaining a ketogenic lifestyle.

Carbs In Red Beans

Taking a closer look at the carbohydrate content in Red Beans, we find that a typical serving size of 100g contains 15.4g of net carbs. The net carb value is calculated by subtracting the fiber content from the total carbohydrates, providing a more accurate measure of the carbohydrates that our bodies actually absorb.

In the case of Red Beans, the total carb content is 22.8g per 100g. However, given their high fiber content of 7.4g per 100g, the net carbs come down to 15.4g per 100g. This is the amount that counts towards your daily carb limit, particularly if you're following a ketogenic or low-carb diet.

Now, let's touch upon the concept of the glycemic index (GI). The GI is a rating system that measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood sugar levels. The lower a food's GI, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.

Red Beans Nutrition Facts

Red Beans exhibit a diverse nutrient profile. Each 100g portion contains a net carb content of 15.4g and total carbohydrates of 22.8g. It is also a rich source of dietary fiber, offering 7.4g per 100g serving. Protein enthusiasts will appreciate the 8.67g present in this portion size.

When we delve into the micronutrient content, red beans do not disappoint. They contain notable amounts of vital minerals like sodium (2.0mg), potassium (403.0mg), magnesium (45.0mg), calcium (28.0mg), copper (0.24mg), iron (2.94mg), phosphorus (142.0mg), selenium (1.2ug), and zinc (1.07mg).

Moreover, red beans are also a source of essential B-vitamins. They have B-6 (0.12mg), thiamin (0.16mg), riboflavin (0.06mg), niacin (0.58mg) and pantothenic acid (0.22mg). They also contain folate (130.0ug) and choline (30.5mg), crucial for brain development and function.

The vitamin content extends to vitamin C (1.2mg), vitamin E (0.03mg), and vitamin K1 (8.4ug), all of which play essential roles in the body, from immune support to blood clotting.

Notably, red beans are low in fat, with just 0.5g of total fats per 100g serving, consisting of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

They also offer a good hydration source providing 66.94g of water per 100g serving. Furthermore, they contain essential amino acids, including tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cystine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, and serine.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs15.4g
Carbohydrate, by difference22.8g
Fiber, total dietary7.4g
Total fats0.5g
Sodium, Na2.0mg
Potassium, K403.0mg
Magnesium, Mg45.0mg
Calcium, Ca28.0mg
Vitamin B-60.12mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid1.2mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.03mg
Vitamin K18.4ug
Copper, Cu0.24mg
Iron, Fe2.94mg
Phosphorus, P142.0mg
Selenium, Se1.2ug
Zinc, Zn1.07mg
Manganese, Mn0.48mg
Pantothenic acid0.22mg
Folate, total130.0ug
Choline, total30.5mg
Aspartic acid1.05g
Glutamic acid1.32g
Fatty acids, total saturated0.07g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.04g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.28g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Red Beans' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Red Beans on a Keto Diet

Including Red Beans in a ketogenic diet can be quite challenging due to their high carbohydrate content. Consuming this food in significant amounts could potentially throw a person out of ketosis, which is the metabolic state essential for the benefits of the keto diet to take effect.

On the other hand, Red Beans are packed with numerous healthy nutrients. They contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, and are a good source of protein. Furthermore, Red Beans are rich in various vitamins and minerals, such as Magnesium, Calcium, and Vitamin B-6, which play crucial roles in overall health and well-being.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Red Beans

  1. Black Soybeans: These are a fantastic low-carb, high-fiber alternative to Red Beans. With roughly 2g of net carbs per 100g, they can easily fit into a keto meal plan. They can be used in similar ways to Red Beans, such as in chili or as a salad topping.
  2. Pinto Beans: Although still relatively high in carbs, Pinto Beans have a slightly lower carb count compared to Red Beans. They can be used sparingly in keto-friendly recipes where a bean texture is desired.
  3. Zucchini: If it's more about replacing the texture of Red Beans in dishes like soups or stews, zucchini can be a great vegetable alternative. It's incredibly low in carbs and blends well with a variety of flavors.
  4. Cauliflower: Another versatile vegetable, cauliflower, can be cooked and mashed to mimic the creaminess of beans in certain recipes. With only 3g of net carbs per 100g serving, it's a much more keto-compatible choice.

Concluding Thoughts on Red Beans and Keto

Red Beans, although packed with beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals, unfortunately, do not fit comfortably into a ketogenic diet due to their high carbohydrate content. Consuming Red Beans can potentially throw one out of ketosis, making it difficult to enjoy the benefits that the keto lifestyle offers.

That said, this doesn't mean that you'll miss out on the flavors or textures that Red Beans provide. There are several keto-friendly alternatives, such as Black Soybeans, Pinto Beans, Zucchini, and Cauliflower, which can be included in your diet. These alternatives not only offer their own unique nutritional benefits but also allow more room for variety in your keto recipes.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, no. Red Beans have a high carbohydrate content that can disrupt the state of ketosis central to the keto diet.