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Weight Loss Made Practical » Dieting » Is Chickpea Flour Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

Is Chickpea Flour Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about chickpea flour, is it keto-friendly or not?

Chickpea flour is simply made by grinding down chickpeas. You can use it similar to regular flour as an ingredient in a variety of baked goods.

The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in chickpea flour is around 47 grams per 100 grams.

While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people chickpea flour is not keto-friendly. Even in small amounts, this food takes up a lot of your daily carbohydrate intake.

Luckily there are a few substitutes for chickpea flour that are better for staying in ketosis.

When is a food keto-friendly

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis, a state where it starts mainly burning fat as a fuel (1). This comes down to more or less getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

For most people this comes down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.

In reality, this number is different depending on a lot of factors. For example, people who exercise a lot may be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.

That being said that daily amount can be a good general guideline.

It is also common to exclude fiber from this amount since it doesn’t get absorbed into your body the same way as regular carbohydrates.

Carbs in chickpea flour

100 grams of chickpea flour contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 57.8 grams
  • Of which fiber: 10.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 47 grams

Even on its own, the 47 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of chickpea flour is likely enough to kick you out of ketosis.

One cup of chickpea flour is about 92 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 53.2 grams
  • Of which fiber: 9.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 43.3 grams

The number of net carbs in 1 cup of chickpea flour, 43.3 grams, is basically the same story as 100 grams. You will likely not stay in ketosis when consuming these amounts of chickpea flour.

Other nutrients in chickpea flour

Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.

100 grams of chickpea flour contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 387
  • Protein: 22.4 grams
  • Carbs: 57.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.8 grams
  • Fat: 6.7 grams
  • Folate: 109% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 80% of the DV
  • Copper: 46% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 41% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 32% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Chickpea flour is relatively high in net carbs but it does contain nice amounts of valuable nutrients per 100 grams compared to many other foods.

Substitutes for chickpea flour on keto

Chickpea flour is not the only replacement for regular flour on the ketogenic diet. There are a nice amount of options that are better when it comes to the net number of carbohydrates.

Some of the following substitutes may be better on the keto diet. These are the net carb values per 100 grams of the flour (3, 4, 5, 6):

  • Flaxseed meal: 0 grams of net carbs
  • Ground chia seeds: 10 grams of net carbs
  • Almond flour: 13.3 grams of net carbs
  • Coconut flour: 26.7 grams of net carbs

If you have trouble staying in ketosis but still want to use a flour replacement it may be smart to choose some of these substitutes over chickpea flour.

However, even with these examples you may have to limit the amount you use to stay in ketosis.

What is your goal with keto?

Even a small amount of chickpea flour added to certain daily diets can potentially put you just over the net carbs border, out of ketosis. Depending on the goal you have with keto this may or may not be a problem.

If your goal is to stay strictly in ketosis 24/7 you want to be careful about your carbohydrate intake.

If your goal is to lose weight and become healthier, chickpea flour and chickpeas can be a good food option even if they potentially put you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.


Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.