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Are Blackeyed Peas Keto-Friendly?

Blackeyed Peas on a kitchen counter

If you're following a ketogenic diet, one key question you might be asking is, "Are Blackeyed Peas Keto-Friendly?" While nutritious and packed with essential nutrients, they present an interesting case for those following a low carbohydrate regime.

Keto diets require careful consideration of carbohydrates in your meals, in which regard, blackeyed peas may not necessarily be your best friend.

Throughout this article, we've delved into the carbohydrate content of blackeyed peas, their role in a keto diet, potential health implications, and practical tips on avoiding them while sticking to a ketogenic meal plan, and viable alternatives.

Join us as we explore this intriguing interplay between blackeyed peas and the keto lifestyle.


  • Blackeyed peas may seem like a healthy food choice, but aren't exactly keto-friendly due to their high carb content.
  • They do, however, offer nutritional benefits such as fiber, protein, and essential minerals.
  • Fitting blackeyed peas into a keto diet can be challenging and potentially disrupt ketosis.

Are Blackeyed Peas Keto-Friendly?

In the broad universe of legumes, blackeyed peas hold a unique place on account of their taste and texture. However, when it comes to the keto-friendly status of blackeyed peas, their standing isn't as high.

Breaking it down by macros, blackeyed peas comprise primarily carbohydrates, a nutrient that ketogenic diets notably limit. Precisely, blackeyed peas contain around 48.94g of net carbs per 100g. To put this into perspective, most keto diets confine carbohydrate intake to just 20 to 50 grams daily, pushing the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis is achieved when the body, due to a deficit of carbohydrates, starts utilizing fat as its primary energy source.

When compared to a day's worth of carb allocation on a keto diet, it's quite clear that blackeyed peas' carbohydrate content alone categorically places them on the 'avoid' list. To maintain ketosis, an individual must create a type of nutritional atmosphere where carbs are rare, prompting the body to burn fats. Adding blackeyed peas to your meal plan could quickly use up your daily carb limit, disrupting the careful carb-fat-protein balance that a ketogenic diet seeks to establish.

Now, this doesn’t take away from the multiple nutritional benefits that blackeyed peas offer. They are a rich source of fiber, and packed with essential nutrients like folate, Vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium. Whether these benefits can persuade the keto-conscious to carve out a small space for blackeyed peas in their meal plan is a topic we will explore further.

Can Blackeyed Peas be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet, characterized by its low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat ratio, provides very little leeway for high-carb food items. With a strict daily net carbs limit (usually between 20 to 50 grams), every bite matters significantly. So, when we consider incorporating a carb-rich food like blackeyed peas into a strict keto diet, the mathematical discrepancy becomes apparent quickly.

Let's crunch the numbers here for clarity: one serving of blackeyed peas (approximately 100g) has nearly 48.94g net carbs. If you're sticking to the lower end of the recommended daily carb intake for a strict keto diet, say around 20 grams, a single serving of blackeyed peas would surpass that by more than double! Even if you're on the more generous side of the keto plan with a limit of around 50 grams of net carbs per day, blackeyed peas would still consume almost the entire daily allowance in one go. Clearly, from a nutritional standpoint, incorporating blackeyed peas into a strict ketogenic plan becomes highly impractical, if not impossible.

However, knowing the numbers is just one half of the task. The other is ensuring adherence to them. We understand that cutting out a particular food group, especially one that you may enjoy, is challenging. This challenge increases when you're transitioning from a regular diet to a strict diet like keto. To be successful, it is essential to keep a close eye on your food intake and use accurate methods to record it.

Food and nutrient tracking apps can be a fantastic help in this scenario. These apps allow you to log in everything you eat, providing you with a clear vision of your daily nutrient intake. Some even let you set goals for macronutrients distribution. Utilizing such tools, you can ensure that your consumption of carbs, proteins, and fats aligns with a strict keto diet. Subsequently, this helps keep inadvertent consumption of high-carb foods like blackeyed peas at bay and guarantees optimal adherence to the ketogenic lifestyle.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Blackeyed Peas

Carbohydrates are a key macronutrient, and they're prominently present in blackeyed peas. Emphasizing just how carbohydrate-dense these legumes are, a 100g serving of blackeyed peas contains roughly 48.94g of net carbs. Understanding 'net carbs' is crucial if you're pursuing a keto diet. But what are net carbs exactly? Essentially, net carbs are the total carbs minus dietary fiber and sugar alcohols. They represent the carbohydrates that your body can absorb and convert into glucose. In a keto diet, keeping a tab on net carbs is vital to maintaining and managing ketosis.

Now, a one-cup serving (about 172g) of cooked blackeyed peas contains a whopping 33.5 grams of net carbs. To provide a bit more context, if you were following a strict 20g net carbs per day ketogenic diet, just over half a cup of blackeyed peas would exceed your daily carb quota. And it's not just about the numbers. These carbs can add up quickly, and before you know it, you could be out of the state of ketosis that you worked so hard to reach.

Revisiting these serving sizes and the corresponding net carbs, it becomes clearer that the carbohydrate content of blackeyed peas makes them a challenging fit into a keto menu plan. For instance, you decide to have approximately a cup of Blackeyed peas with your meal. This would mean that even before considering your other food items, you've clocked in 33.5g net carbs already. Balance that with the strict daily 20-50g net carbs limit catering to keto requirements, and the impracticality of blackeyed peas in a keto diet begins to fall into place.

Nutritional Snapshot of Blackeyed Peas

Blackeyed Peas, also known as 'Cowpeas, catjang,' shine brightly in the vast arena of superfoods, thanks to their diverse and rich nutrient profile, as is evidenced by data from the US Department of Agriculture. Notably, for a 100g sample, Blackeyed Peas come packing with an impressive 23.85g of protein, providing an abundant source of this crucial macronutrient necessary for muscle growth and repair.

The carbohydrate count stands at 59.64g, with a differential value of 48.94g of net carbs and 10.7g of dietary fiber, denoting the peas' capacity to aid digestion without overloading your system with excessive sugars. Blackeyed peas' fat content is comparably low, tallying at just 2.07g with a balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

On the micronutrient side, Blackeyed Peas are particularly high in essential minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus, boasting respective concentrations of 1375.0mg, 333.0mg, and 438.0mg. These play critical roles in body functions from heart health to bone strength. Moreover, the peas are a great source of Iron (9.95mg), supporting good circulation, and are generally rich in several B-Vitamins, that significantly contribute to overall metabolic health.

The unique nutritional makeup of Blackeyed Peas extends to its amino acid profile as well, housing all 9 essential amino acids, in addition to others. Particularly, Glutamic acid towers at 4.52g, followed by Leucine and Aspartic acid, capping at 1.83g and 2.88g respectively. These amino acids serve various fundamental bodily functions, including boosting brain health and muscle coordination.

Worth mentioning is the substantial amount of Folate(639.0ug) detected in Blackeyed Peas. This important nutrient is critical for cell growth and DNA synthesis, among other functions.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 48.94g
Carbohydrate, by difference 59.64g
Fiber, total dietary 10.7g
Total fats 2.07g
Protein 23.85g
Sodium, Na 58.0mg
Potassium, K 1375.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 333.0mg
Calcium, Ca 85.0mg
Vitamin A 2.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.36mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 1.5mg
Copper, Cu 1.06mg
Iron, Fe 9.95mg
Phosphorus, P 438.0mg
Selenium, Se 9.1ug
Zinc, Zn 6.11mg
Manganese, Mn 1.54mg
Thiamin 0.68mg
Riboflavin 0.17mg
Niacin 2.8mg
Pantothenic acid 1.51mg
Folate, total 639.0ug
Calories 343.0kcal
Water 11.05g
Tryptophan 0.29g
Threonine 0.91g
Isoleucine 0.97g
Leucine 1.83g
Lysine 1.61g
Methionine 0.34g
Cystine 0.26g
Phenylalanine 1.39g
Tyrosine 0.77g
Valine 1.14g
Arginine 1.65g
Histidine 0.74g
Alanine 1.09g
Aspartic acid 2.88g
Glutamic acid 4.52g
Glycine 0.98g
Proline 1.07g
Serine 1.19g
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.54g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.17g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.89g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Blackeyed Peas' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Cowpeas, catjang, mature seeds, raw' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Blackeyed Peas on a Keto Diet

Despite their dubious position in a ketogenic diet, blackeyed peas do not lack in their contribution to your health in a general sense. However, their high carbohydrate content creates a dilemma for those following a keto diet and wanting to stay in ketosis.

Maintaining the state of ketosis demands a strict limit on daily carbohydrate intake, and here's where blackeyed peas prove to be a barrier. With nearly 48.94 grams of net carbs per 100g serving, blackeyed peas can consume much, if not all, of your daily carb allotment on a keto diet. This poses a genuine challenge for those striving to keep their bodies in the fat-burning state of ketosis. Failing to maintain a low enough level of carbohydrates in the diet puts ketosis at risk, undercutting the fundamental objectives of a ketogenic lifestyle.

However, there's no denying that blackeyed peas are rich in several nutritional components that contribute positively to overall health. They are rich in fiber, known to aid in digestion and contribute to feelings of satiety, thereby potentially limiting unnecessary snacking. Besides, they are a good source of plant-based protein and pack in essential nutrients like folate, Vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium.

Outside a ketogenic context, the high fiber and protein content, coupled with vital nutrients, make blackeyed peas a worthy addition to most diets. However, for someone adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle, these advantages must be weighed against the potential disruption to ketosis caused by overconsumption of carbohydrates.

It's important to note that the understanding of keto diets continues to evolve, so these interpretations are only current to what we understand today.

Avoiding Blackeyed Peas in Your Keto Meal Plan

Transitioning to a ketogenic lifestyle involves brushing up on your label reading skills, developing an understanding of net carbs, and being conscious of what you're consuming. Reaching and maintaining ketosis is a balance art, and seemingly healthy foods, such as blackeyed peas, can disrupt that balance due to their high carb content. So, let's explore some effective strategies for avoiding blackeyed peas in your keto meal plan.

  1. Know Your Food: To avoid any food, first, you need to know where it might show up. Blackeyed peas are a popular inclusion in numerous dishes, particularly in classic southern and Mediterranean recipes. From warm salads, enticing stews to hearty casseroles, blackeyed peas can feature in numerous meals that could disrupt your keto plan. By being aware of their presence in these dishes, you'll be better equipped to make keto-friendly food choices.
  2. Scrutinize Food Labels: Pre-packaged, canned, or frozen food often contain hidden ingredients that can tip-off your keto balance. Make a habit of reading food labels carefully and thoroughly to spot these potential pitfalls. Look out for blackeyed peas in soups, canned goods, or mixed vegetables.
  3. Meal Planning: One of the most effective ways to avoid blackeyed peas, or any unwelcome food for that matter, is to plan your meals ahead. A well-thought-out meal plan could be the most effective way to make sure you're eating exactly what you need to stay in ketosis. This includes your snacks too.
  4. Find keto-friendly substitutes: This will help manage cravings for dishes that traditionally use blackeyed peas. If you're missing blackeyed peas in your chili or stew, incorporating low-carb beans like green beans or black soybeans can potentially give you a similar taste and texture without the high carb content.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Blackeyed Peas

While blackeyed peas might not neatly fit into a keto diet, the plant world is rich with alternatives that could offer similar texture and flavor without tipping the carbohydrate scale. Here are few keto-friendly substitutes for blackeyed peas:

  1. Green Beans: Green beans are a low-carb vegetable that can be a fantastic substitute for blackeyed peas in many dishes. A 100g serving of green beans contains just 7g of net carbs. They can serve as a great addition to a ketogenic meal plan and can be used in soups, stews, or simple sautés, much like blackeyed peas.
  2. Black Soybeans: If canned beans are a convenient choice for you, consider black soybeans. Despite being a legume like blackeyed peas, black soybeans boast a significantly lower carbohydrate content, with just 2g net carbs per 100g serving. Savory or spicy, they can effortlessly accommodate themselves in a variety of dishes that originally call for blackeyed peas, such as chili or stews.
  3. Cauliflower: Cauliflower, with just 3g of net carbs per 100g serving, can be shockingly versatile. When cooked and mashed, cauliflower can mimic the creaminess of blackeyed peas, providing a satisfying texture in various recipes. Try using them as a base for keto-friendly dips, soups, or simply as a side dish.

Comparatively, these keto-compatible alternatives have lower carbohydrate content and can support an individual in maintaining ketosis without sacrificing culinary variety. Do keep in mind, however, that these substitutions may alter the taste of certain dishes. It's a small trade-off considering the progress you're making in your keto journey.

Concluding Thoughts on Blackeyed Peas and Keto

Embarking on and maintaining a ketogenic diet is a significant lifestyle change for many people. It involves a delicate balance of what you eat, paying close attention to each food item passing your palate. This becomes particularly difficult when addressing certain foods that seem healthy but are challenging to fit into a keto diet. Blackeyed peas, with their high net carb content, falls directly into this category.

Despite being a wholesome and nutritious food in a general context, packed with fiber, protein, and vital nutrients like folate, Vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium, blackeyed peas are too carb-dense to fit conveniently into a strict ketogenic meal plan. We've examined that even small servings can significantly impact your daily carbohydrate limit, bringing potential disruption to ketonic states.

Certainly, one could argue for the nutritional value of blackeyed peas, but when faced with the protocols of a ketogenic diet, this value needs to be appraised in the light of its carb content. This doesn't mean you need to compromise taste or variety - there are alternatives available that can fill the gap left by blackeyed peas. Green beans, black soybeans, and cauliflower are just some of the low-carb alternatives that could replace blackeyed peas in many recipes, keeping your meals diverse and satisfying.

This brings us to an important consideration: the sense of balance between sticking to your calories, hitting the right macronutrient ratio, and not feeling too restricted in your diet. Ultimately, it's crucial to find a dietary approach that works for you and your lifestyle. If you find it tough to stick to a ketogenic diet due to missing some of your favorite foods, perhaps it's worth exploring a more flexible low-carb diet that allows for more variety but keeps the principle of low-carb intact.

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

In a strict sense, blackeyed peas are not typically keto-friendly due to their high carb content. However, it ultimately depends on individual goals, variations in carbohydrate tolerance, and the precise carb limit determined for your specific keto diet.

A 100-gram serving of cooked blackeyed peas contains approximately 20 grams of carbs, which is generally more than what most people can afford in a daily limit while following a strict ketogenic diet.

Technically, you can, but remember, even small portions can significantly add to your daily carb limit, so it's crucial to factor this into the rest of your dietary intake for the day.