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Are Tepary Beans Keto-Friendly?

Tepary Beans on a kitchen counter

The ketogenic diet, with its focus on high-fat, low-carb foods, raises many questions about which foods can fit into such a diet.

A commonly asked question is, 'Are Tepary Beans Keto-Friendly?' In this article, we've explored the nutritional profile of Tepary beans, delved into their carbohydrate content, and shed light on their compatibility with a keto diet.

Despite their numerous health benefits, we've found that Tepary beans, due to their high net carb content, can be challenging to incorporate into a ketogenic diet.

We also provided you with practical advice on avoiding Tepary beans in your keto meal plan and suggested several keto-compatible alternatives.

By the end of this article, you'll have a clear understanding of where Tepary beans stand in relation to the ketogenic diet and how to navigate your food choices to maintain a successful keto lifestyle.


  • Tepary Beans are not keto-friendly due to their high net carb content.
  • While nutrient-rich, Tepary beans can disrupt ketosis, making the keto diet less effective.
  • There are plenty of delicious, keto-compatible alternatives to Tepary beans. Keep reading to learn all about them.

Are Tepary Beans Keto-Friendly?

Let's cut to the chase: Tepary beans, despite their nutritional benefits, are not keto-friendly. This might seem surprising, considering they are a robust source of protein and fiber, not to mention their rich concentrations of vitamins and minerals. But here's the catch: it's their carbohydrate content that tips the scale.

Per 100g serving, Tepary beans pack a whopping 46.86g of net carbs. This is a substantial amount, especially when we consider the cardinal rule of a ketogenic lifestyle: keeping your daily net carb intake to around 20-50 grams. Just a single serving of Tepary beans would nearly meet or even exceed this limit, making it difficult to fit into a ketogenic dietary plan without disrupting the state of ketosis.

Now, let's not forget that carbohydrates in foods come in different forms: sugar, fiber, and starch. In the case of Tepary beans, the high carbohydrate content is largely due to the presence of starch, which, unfortunately, is not excluded from the calculation of net carbs in a food item.

So, from a simple numerical perspective—particularly with respect to the carbohydrate content—Tepary beans do not fit neatly into the keto framework. Remember, the goal of a keto diet is to limit your carb intake significantly to put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where it efficiently burns fat for energy. The high net carbs in Tepary beans pose a challenge to maintaining this state.

Can Tepary Beans be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Incorporating Tepary beans into a strict keto diet would indeed be a challenging endeavor. As I mentioned earlier, these beans are packed with a substantial 46.86g of net carbs per 100g serving. When you're aiming to keep your daily net carb intake between 20-50 grams to maintain ketosis, a single serving of Tepary beans could nearly meet or surpass that limit.

The ketogenic diet is not just a diet—it's a lifestyle that requires continuous, careful management of your carb intake to ensure your body remains in a state of ketosis. This state, where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs, is the core principle of the keto diet.

Now, you could argue that perhaps a smaller portion of Tepary beans might work within the strict guidelines of a ketogenic diet. While technically true, remember that even small amounts of high-carb foods can accumulate and push you out of ketosis. This might lead to fluctuations in your diet and make it harder for your body to stay in a consistent state of ketosis.

The key to success here is vigilance and careful planning. It's crucial to track your daily carb intake meticulously. Numerous apps and tools can assist with this, providing a breakdown of the nutritional content of various foods and helping you monitor your daily intake. By using these tools, you can ensure that high-carb foods like Tepary beans don't inadvertently slip into your keto meal plan.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Tepary Beans

Understanding the carbohydrate content of your food is crucial when following a ketogenic diet, and Tepary beans are no exception. Let's delve deeper into their nutritional composition to understand why they are considered high in carbs.

In every 100g serving of Tepary beans, there's a hefty 46.86g of net carbohydrates. What does this mean, you may wonder? To understand this, we need to delve into the concept of net carbs.

Net carbs are essentially the digestible carbohydrates in a food item. They're calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber (which your body can't digest) from the total grams of carbohydrates. The resulting figure tells you how many grams of carbohydrates your body can actually absorb and use for energy from a particular food.

Now, why are net carbs so significant for individuals on a keto diet? The answer lies in the core principle of this diet, which is maintaining a state of ketosis – a metabolic state where the body burns fat for energy due to a lack of carbohydrates. So, keeping track of net carbs helps ensure you're not consuming more carbs than your body can burn, which could kick you out of ketosis.

Let's illustrate this with an example using Tepary beans. Say you decided to include 50g of these beans (roughly 3 tablespoons) in your meal. This amount would still provide you with around 23.43g of net carbs, which is nearly half or could be more than half of your daily carb limit on a keto diet, depending on your individual guidelines.

This high carbohydrate content is largely due to the presence of starch in Tepary beans. Unfortunately, dietary fiber, which can be subtracted from total carbs to calculate net carbs, makes up a much smaller proportion of the carbs in these beans. So, despite their nutritional benefits, the high net carb content in Tepary beans makes them a challenging fit for a ketogenic diet.

Nutritional Snapshot of Tepary Beans

Tepary Beans, a nutritious powerhouse, offer a comprehensive nutritional profile. A 100g serving of Tepary Beans contains 341.0 kcal, providing a robust energy boost to your diet. High in carbohydrates, they contain 62.36g per 100g, primarily composed of 46.86g of net carbs and a substantial 15.5g of dietary fiber which aids in digestion.

They are also a great source of protein, delivering 21.6g per 100g. This makes them an excellent plant-based protein source, perfect for vegetarians and vegans. However, their total fat content is quite low, at 1.42g per 100g, with a balanced mix of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

In terms of micronutrient content, Tepary Beans are rich in various essential minerals. They outshine in the potassium department, offering a substantial 1483.0mg per 100g. Also, they provide a good amount of magnesium (171.0mg), calcium (123.0mg), phosphorus (352.0mg), and iron (5.02mg). Notably, their selenium and zinc content, at 3.2ug and 3.65mg respectively, contribute to the overall nutritional value.

The beans are also packed with vitamins, including Vitamin B-6 (0.29mg), Vitamin E (0.21mg), and Vitamin K1 (5.6ug). They are particularly high in folate, boasting 444.0ug per 100g, which is essential for DNA synthesis and cell growth.

Moreover, Tepary Beans contain a variety of amino acids like leucine, lysine, and isoleucine, making them a complete protein source.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 46.86g
Carbohydrate, by difference 62.36g
Fiber, total dietary 15.5g
Total fats 1.42g
Protein 21.6g
Sodium, Na 5.0mg
Potassium, K 1483.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 171.0mg
Calcium, Ca 123.0mg
Vitamin B-6 0.29mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.21mg
Vitamin K1 5.6ug
Copper, Cu 0.84mg
Iron, Fe 5.02mg
Phosphorus, P 352.0mg
Selenium, Se 3.2ug
Zinc, Zn 3.65mg
Manganese, Mn 1.06mg
Thiamin 0.9mg
Riboflavin 0.19mg
Niacin 1.96mg
Pantothenic acid 0.9mg
Folate, total 444.0ug
Choline, total 66.4mg
Calories 341.0kcal
Water 11.02g
Tryptophan 0.26g
Threonine 0.91g
Isoleucine 0.95g
Leucine 1.72g
Lysine 1.48g
Methionine 0.32g
Cystine 0.24g
Phenylalanine 1.17g
Tyrosine 0.61g
Valine 1.13g
Arginine 1.34g
Histidine 0.6g
Alanine 0.9g
Aspartic acid 2.61g
Glutamic acid 3.29g
Glycine 0.84g
Proline 0.92g
Serine 1.18g
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.37g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.12g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.61g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Tepary Beans' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Beans, black, mature seeds, raw' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Tepary Beans on a Keto Diet

On a ketogenic diet, the inclusion of Tepary beans presents some significant challenges. The high net carb content of these beans can make it difficult to maintain a state of ketosis, a state that is vital for deriving the benefits of a keto diet. Consuming even a moderate amount of Tepary beans could potentially kick you out of ketosis, making it harder for your body to switch back to burning fats efficiently.

It's important to understand that the ketogenic diet is not just about being high-fat or low-carb—it's about creating a specific metabolic state (ketosis). If you're regularly consuming foods like Tepary beans that are high in net carbs, you could disrupt this state, making the diet less effective.

That said, let's not categorically dismiss Tepary beans based on their incompatibility with the keto diet alone. These beans are rich in nutrients that have various health benefits. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various essential minerals like iron and magnesium. They are also low in fat and can contribute to a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.

Tepary beans also contain a significant amount of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Fiber aids in the maintenance of a healthy gut, supports regular bowel movements, and can contribute to a feeling of fullness, which can help curb overeating.

Moreover, the protein in Tepary beans can contribute to muscle growth and repair, making them a good choice for those engaged in regular physical activity. They also contain important vitamins like B-vitamins, which play a crucial role in energy metabolism and maintaining the health of the nervous system.

Avoiding Tepary Beans in Your Keto Meal Plan

Avoiding Tepary beans while on a ketogenic diet might seem daunting, particularly if you're used to including them in your meals for their nutritional benefits. But remember, the key to a successful keto diet is maintaining a low-carb intake, and unfortunately, Tepary beans simply don't fit that bill. So, let's discuss some practical tips on how to keep these high-carb beans at bay and stay committed to your keto lifestyle.

First, understanding your food is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the nutritional content of foods you regularly consume. Just as we've dived deep into the carbohydrate content of Tepary beans, it's helpful to know the nutritional profile of other foods as well. There are plenty of apps and resources available that can provide this information, which can aid in maintaining your low-carb diet.

Next, be vigilant about reading food labels. Tepary beans could sneak in through processed foods or ready-made meals. Being aware of what's in your food can ensure you're not unknowingly consuming high-carb ingredients.

It's also wise to plan your meals ahead of time. A well-planned meal can prevent impulsive eating choices that might include high-carb foods. This proactive approach can help you create keto-friendly meals that satisfy your appetite without pushing your carb limit.

But what about cravings for Tepary beans? It’s natural to crave foods that you're used to eating. The good news is, there are plenty of low-carb foods that you can use as substitutes. For instance, you could opt for low-carb vegetables or nutrient-dense, low-carb legumes like black soybeans. Experimenting with these substitutes can help you overcome cravings, whilst adding variety to your meal plan.

Finally, remember that a ketogenic diet doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor. There are plenty of spices, herbs, and keto-friendly sauces you can use to make your meals tastier without adding extra carbs.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Tepary Beans

Even though Tepary beans aren't the best fit for a ketogenic diet due to their high net carb content, there are various keto-friendly alternatives that can be used to maintain variety and nutritional balance in your meals.

One option is black soybeans. With only about 2 grams of net carbs per 100g serving, black soybeans are a great low-carb legume alternative. They are rich in protein and fiber, similar to Tepary beans, and can be used in a variety of dishes. For example, you could include them in a vegetable stir-fry or use them as a base for a hearty, keto-friendly chili.

Another excellent choice is zucchini. Zucchini is a versatile low-carb vegetable that has a mere 3 grams of net carbs per 100g serving. It can be spiralized to make "zoodles" (zucchini noodles) as a low-carb pasta alternative, or stuffed with ground meat and cheese for a satisfying main dish.

If you're looking for a protein-rich alternative, consider incorporating more eggs or lean meats into your diet. These foods are virtually carb-free, high in protein, and can be used in numerous ways in your keto meal plan.

For a fiber-rich alternative, consider chia seeds. With almost all their carbs in the form of fiber, chia seeds can be a great way to add bulk to your meals without adding carbs. You can use them to make chia pudding, a filling and nutritious keto-friendly breakfast or snack.

In terms of nutritional profiles, while these alternatives might not match Tepary beans exactly, they provide a balance of key nutrients while complying with the low-carb requirements of a ketogenic diet. For example, black soybeans, like Tepary beans, are also a good source of protein and fiber. Zucchini, while lower in protein, is rich in vitamins like vitamin C and potassium.

Concluding Thoughts on Tepary Beans and Keto

Navigating the food landscape while on a ketogenic diet can be a challenge. As we've discussed throughout this piece, Tepary beans, despite being a nutritionally dense food, do not align well with the low-carb requirements of the keto diet. Their high net carb content, which is largely due to starch, could disrupt the state of ketosis, making the ketogenic diet less effective.

This does not, however, undermine the health benefits of Tepary beans. These beans, packed with protein, fiber, and essential minerals like iron and magnesium, are a worthy addition to a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. The fiber content in Tepary beans aids digestive health, while their protein content supports muscle growth and repair.

Nevertheless, for those following a ketogenic diet, avoiding Tepary beans in your meal plan would be a prudent decision. Instead, experimenting with low-carb alternatives like black soybeans, zucchini, eggs, or chia seeds can provide a balance of key nutrients while keeping your carb intake in check. These foods can be creatively included in your meals to ensure variety and palatability.

As an additional thought, one could consider cycling in and out of the ketogenic diet, also known as cyclical keto or carb cycling. This involves adhering to a ketogenic diet for several days followed by a few days of higher carb intake, during which nutrient-dense, higher-carb foods like Tepary beans could be incorporated. However, this approach should be undertaken with caution and ideally under professional guidance, as it requires a thorough understanding of nutritional principles and careful planning.

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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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

No, Tepary Beans are not keto-friendly due to their high net carb content which could disrupt ketosis.