Are Green Beans Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Beans are typically not helpful for staying in ketosis but green beans are not quite the same. Find out if they are keto-friendly or not.

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.

100 grams of boiled green beans contain around 4.7 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber).

This makes green beans relatively keto-friendly.

At the same time, you may still need to pay attention to your portions and the other foods in your diet.

Additionally, there are definitely also substitutes that are more helpful for people who have trouble staying in ketosis.

How many carbs there are in green beans

To figure out whether green beans are keto-friendly and how many grams you can eat, you need the amounts of carbs in them.

100 grams of boiled green beans contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 7.9 grams
  • Of which fiber: 3.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 4.7 grams

It is possible that these 4.7 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of green beans are enough to kick you out of ketosis.

That being said, this is still a somewhat low amount of carbohydrates. In turn, you can say that green beans are relatively keto-friendly.

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

As you can expect, making the portion of green beans you eat bigger will also increase the amounts of carbohydrates you consume.

One cup of boiled green beans could still fit into your ketogenic diet but you may have to pay a bit more attention to the other foods you eat.

Other nutrients in green beans

The amounts of carbohydrates in foods like green beans are definitely important on keto but you want to keep in mind that there are other nutrients too.

Fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals can also influence whether you stay in ketosis and how good your general health is.

100 grams of boiled green beans contain the following nutrients (1):

  • 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.

There are foods that are more impressive in these areas too but green beans still contain nice amounts of a variety of valuable nutrients.

In combination with their relatively low-carb count, this makes green beans a good option for people who want to follow a healthy ketogenic diet.

Why green beans are not always keto-friendly

Quickly going over the keto fundamentals can help you understand why green beans are not just always or never keto-friendly. This information will help you follow this diet in a smarter way.

The main goal of ketogenic diets is getting and staying in ketosis. This is a state where you mainly use fat as fuel (2). To achieve this, you need to keep your carb intake low enough.

One challenge with this and in turn what portions of green beans are keto-friendly is that “low enough” can mean different amounts for different individuals.

For example, people with higher body weights and more muscle mass tend to be able to consume more carbs while staying in ketosis.

To make things somewhat more straightforward, there are general keto macronutrient guidelines. These are not perfect but can steer you in the right direction.

A typical recommendation to get and stay in ketosis is getting 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

This will likely mean eating around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day for you.

Keep in mind that you typically don’t include fiber in these amounts. Fiber is a category of carbs but your body processes them in more keto-friendly ways.

With these general guidelines, you can start to estimate how many grams of green beans and other foods you can eat while staying in ketosis.

Are canned green beans keto-friendly?

It is also possible to buy and eat canned green beans. You would expect these have the same amounts of carbs but the USDA nutrition data implies differently.

100 grams of canned green beans (drained) contains the following amounts of carbohydrates (3):

  • Total carbs: 4.3 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.4 grams

This nutrition data implies that canned green beans are even more keto-friendly than the regular boiled version.

Substitutes for green beans on keto

Green beans are relatively low in carbohydrates but there are vegetables that are even more helpful for staying in ketosis.

You may prefer these substitutes over green beans in taste anyway or simply want to switch up what vegetables you eat on keto.

The numbers next to these substitutes are the amounts of net carbohydrates per 100 grams (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9):

  • 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

These vegetables are lower in carbs than green beans but keep in mind that they still contain some amounts.

That means you may still have to keep an eye on your portion sizes and the other foods you eat to stay in ketosis.

What is your goal with keto?

By now it should be clear that even relatively low-carb foods like green beans can kick you out of ketosis in certain situations. How much of a problem this is depends on why you are following or considering a keto diet.

There are individuals who need/want to stay in ketosis 24/7. These people could still consider certain amounts of green beans but want to be very careful.

On the other hand, green beans can still benefit weight loss and health even if they would increase your carb intake too much to be considered keto.

This popular diet has its benefits but it is typically not the only way to lose weight and get healthier.

Are green beans low-carb?

Boiled green beans contain around 4.7 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams. This is relatively low-carb.

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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.