We know that it can be challenging to know what kinds of food are okay to eat when following a keto diet; don’t worry, we’re here to help. Keto is all about entering ketosis, a unique fat-burning state that can help you lose weight, have fewer cravings, increase mental acuity, and feel more energetic. You can achieve this by following keto’s simple rule: eat low-carb and high-fat foods, but what sort of vegetables fall into this category? Can you still eat beans? Let’s find out.
Want some new delicious keto-friendly recipes to try? Check these out!
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Above the Ground Vs. Below the Ground Vegetables: What’s the Difference?
There is a simple guideline that you can follow when deciding what vegetables are keto-friendly, but there are exceptions to the rule; we’ll get to those in a minute. Vegetables that grow above the ground are typically lower in carbs and the better keto option. Root vegetables, ones that grow below the ground, usually contain more carbs and aren’t as good a choice for someone following the keto diet.
On to the exceptions: corn, quinoa, and legumes all grow above the ground, but are high in carbs. Wheat grows above the ground, although it is grain rather than a vegetable, and contains many carbs that get rapidly digested into glucose that will raise your blood sugar. It is best to avoid both whole and refined grains for this reason.
Are All Vegetables Keto-Friendly?
Most vegetables can be enjoyed, in moderation, while following a keto diet, while some should be avoided as much as possible. Sweet vegetables, like carrots, rutabaga, and onions, are higher in carbs than the most friendly ones, but you can still have a serving here and there.
Root vegetables and legumes like peas, beans, and carrots are generally the highest in carbs and, in most cases, should be avoided. It is not only because they contain many carbs, but also have a higher glycemic load than most other vegetables.
List of Keto-Friendly Vegetables
We know this is what you’ve been waiting for; what are the best vegetables to eat on the keto diet? The net carb counts are all based on a 100 gram serving:
Carb count: ~1.6 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~1.7 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~1.8 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~1.7 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~3.0 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~6.0 grams net carbs
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Can You Eat Beans on a Keto Diet?
Unfortunately, most beans have a high carb content, especially kidney, black, and pinto beans. But don’t fret, there are a couple of great low-carb alternatives and some keto-friendly substitutes.
You should only consume high carb beans on a keto diet if you are following either a targeted (TKD) or cyclical (CKD) diet where you eat more carbs during specified periods.
The carb counts here are also based on a 100 gram serving.
Which Beans Are the Most Keto-Friendly?
- Black soybeans are a keto dieter’s best friend when it comes to satisfying a craving for beans.
Carb count: less than 1 gram
- Green beans can be eaten with salt and pepper alongside your favorite meal.
Carb count: ~2.5 grams
Which Beans Are the Least Keto-Friendly?
- Baked beans might be a barbecue favorite, but should be avoided by keto dieters.
Carb count: ~20.8 grams net carbs
- Chickpeas are another no-go for keto-friendly foods.
Carb count: ~15.2 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~13.1 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~20.1 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~12.5 grams net carbs
Keto-Friendly Bean Substitutes
Beans have a unique texture and are a great complement to many different dishes, and we’ve found two great alternatives that can be used as a substitution.
Carb count: ~3.1 gram net carbs
Many of us love beans, but most of them aren’t very keto-friendly. Luckily, there are a few alternatives, along with so many delicious foods that are great for someone participating in the keto lifestyle. If your favorite vegetables didn’t make the list it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be enjoyed; we listed some of the lowest carb options available, but there are a ton of veggies in the middle area that can be had in moderation. Just be sure to do your best in avoiding extremely high carb foods like most legumes and root vegetables. Ready to find your next keto favorite? Take a look at Keto and Co’s fantastic selection of high-quality keto-friendly food, drinks, and snacks!