On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about green beans, are they keto-friendly?
Green beans, also known as French beans, snap beans, and string beans, are a popular type of vegetable. You can eat boiled green beans on their own, with keto-friendly ingredients like cheese and bacon, or as a part of a wide variety of recipes.
The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in boiled green beans is around 4.7 grams per 100 grams.
While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people green beans are keto-friendly. That being said, you do not have to force yourself to eat green beans.
Even if you are not the biggest fan of this food there are substitutes that are even better than green beans 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 green beans
100 grams of boiled green beans contains the following amounts of carbs (2):
- Total carbs: 7.9 grams
- Of which fiber: 3.2 grams
- Net carbs: 4.7 grams
While possible depending on the other foods in your diet, it is unlikely that the 4.7 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of boiled green beans are enough to kick you out of ketosis.
One cup of boiled green beans is about 125 grams, and contains the following amounts of carbs:
- Total carbs: 9.8 grams
- Of which fiber: 4 grams
- Net carbs: 5.4 grams
The number of net carbs in 1 cup of boiled green beans, 5.4 grams, is slightly harder to fit into a keto diet but it is still very doable.
Whether or not green beans are keto for you ultimately depends on what portion you have in mind, your individual situation, and the rest of your diet.
Other nutrients in green beans
Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.
100 grams of boiled green beans contains the following nutrients (2):
- Calories: 35
- Protein: 1.9 grams
- Carbs: 7.9 grams
- Part of the carbs that is fiber: 3.2 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Vitamin K: 20% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin C: 16% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 14% of the DV
- Manganese: 14% of the DV
- Folate: 8% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
Besides being low in net carbs, green beans can also provide you with nice amounts of valuable nutrients. A great combination for a ketogenic diet.
Substitutes for green beans on keto
Green beans are not the only option when you want to eat vegetables on the ketogenic diet. Green beans are not the highest in net carbs but there are many vegetables that are more keto-friendly.
- Chicory: 0.9 grams of net carbs
- Spinach: 1.4 grams of net carbs
- Green leaf lettuce: 1.5 grams of net carbs
- Celery: 1.8 grams of net carbs
- Radishes: 1.9 grams of net carbs
- Asparagus: 2.1 grams of net carbs
If you have trouble staying in ketosis but still want to consume more nutrients or vegetables it may be smart to choose some of these substitutes over green beans. That being said green beans are still relatively low in net carbs.
What is your goal with keto?
Even a small portion of green beans added to certain daily diets could 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, green beans can be a good food option even if they potentially put you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.