Are Peas Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Legumes are generally not keto-friendly but peas are not standard. Find out whether this food option is keto-friendly and what substitutes there are.

First of all, I will mainly focus on green peas but discuss snow peas and sugar snap peas too.

That aside, peas are small sphere-shaped green or yellow legumes. You can eat them boiled on their own, as the main ingredient in soup, or as an ingredient in other dishes for example with carrots.

100 grams of boiled green peas contains around 10.1 grams of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).

In theory, whether or not you will stay in ketosis depends on things like your portion size and the other foods in your diet.

In practice, peas are not keto-friendly for most people.

This also applies to most legumes although there are more low-carb options. Additionally, you can recreate the texture of peas to some extent with certain substitutes.

How many carbs are there in peas?

While it is not the only important detail, how many carbs peas contain influences whether they are keto-friendly a lot.

100 grams of boiled green peas contains the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 15.6 grams
  • Of which fiber: 5.5 grams
  • Net carbs: 10.1 grams

Together with the other foods in your diet, consuming the 10.1 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of boiled peas can definitely be enough to kick you out of ketosis.

The nutrition details for frozen peas will typically be the same so that means they will also not be that keto-friendly.

One ounce of peas is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 4.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.5 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.9 grams

By making your portions of peas smaller you consume fewer carbohydrates. In turn, they become somewhat easier to fit into ketogenic diets.

At the same time, it may still not be worth consuming so many of your daily carbohydrates in such a small amount of food.

Other nutrients in peas

Carbohydrates do matter on a ketogenic diet but you also don’t want to forget about other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

These still play a role in whether or not you will stay in ketosis and how good your general health is.

100 grams of boiled green peas contains the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 84
  • Protein: 5.4 grams
  • Carbs: 15.6 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin K: 32% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 24% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 17% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Peas are somewhat higher in net carbohydrates but they do contain a variety of valuable nutrients in nice amounts.

In theory, you could consider fitting in small amounts of peas in your ketogenic diet for these nutrients.

Carbs in snow peas

Snow peas are another type of peas with an edible pod. 100 grams of them contain the following amounts of carbohydrates (2):

  • Total carbs: 7.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 4.7 grams

It should be clear that snow peas are a lot lower in carbs than green peas and in turn, more keto-friendly.

Carbs in sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas are a pea variety with rounder pods than snow peas. 100 grams of sugar snap peas contains the following amounts of carbs (3):

  • Total carbs: 7.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 4.7 grams

While they are not the exact same types of foods, the carb content in sugar snap peas is similar to snow peas. In turn, this is another pea variety that is more keto-friendly than green peas.

Why you can sometimes eat peas on keto

To understand why you can sometimes eat peas on keto in small amounts it can be helpful to quickly go over the keto fundamentals. These will also help you approach this diet in a more effective way.

The main goal of ketogenic diets is getting into a state of ketosis where you mainly burn fat as a fuel (4). To do this, you have to keep your carb intake low enough.

Just how low depends on details like your body weight, muscle mass, activity levels, time of the day, etc. For example, people who are very active tend to be able to eat more peas while staying in ketosis.

That being said, there are some general keto stats to get you in the right direction. You want about 55%-60% of your calories to come from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

In practice, most people will be able to consume somewhere around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day while staying in ketosis.

One important thing to note is that you typically don’t include fiber in these carb guidelines. It is true that fiber is a category of carbohydrates but your body processes them in a more keto-friendly way.

Are snow peas keto-friendly?

With the ketogenic diet fundamentals above, you can conclude that snow peas are somewhat keto-friendly. At least more so than regular green peas.

At the same time, you want to keep in mind that you may still have to limit your portions and pay attention to the other foods in your diet.

Are sugar snap peas keto?

Since sugar snap peas contain similar amounts of carbohydrates as snow peas the same applies.

Sugar snap peas are somewhat keto-friendly but you may need to keep your portions small enough. There are also other foods that are better for this type of diet.

Substitutes for peas on keto

By now, it should be clear that peas are not that keto-friendly even though they are one of the more low-carb legumes.

Besides the other peas mentioned above, there are still a few other legumes that contain fewer carbs. These may be able to satisfy your cravings for this food category without kicking you out of ketosis.

The values next to the legumes are the amounts of carbohydrates in 100 grams of the boiled versions (5, 6, 7):

  • Soybeans: 3.9 grams of net carbs
  • Lupins: 7.1 grams of net carbs
  • Peanuts: 7.6 grams of net carbs

You definitely want to keep in mind that these still contain good amounts of carbohydrates. To stay in ketosis you may have to keep your portions small.

Another way to approach finding substitutes for peas on keto is by looking at other food categories like lower-carb vegetables. A few examples include asparagus, cauliflower, and bell peppers.

How to avoid eating too many peas on keto

Instead of searching for substitutes, you can also consider just keeping your portions of peas really small. In combination with a diet that is low enough in carbs, this could keep you in ketosis.

To keep your portions small, you don’t just want to prepare a big bag of peas with your favorite side ingredients, herbs, and spice. Instead, some of the following tips can help:

  • Figure out how many grams of peas would align with your health goals
  • Weigh out this amount, prepare it, and put the rest of the peas somewhere else
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts while doing other things

If you still get out of ketosis while following these tips, you may need to implement smaller quantities of peas or choose one of the lower-carb alternatives.

What is your goal with keto?

Even small amounts of peas could kick you out of ketosis if you combine them with suboptimal diets and lifestyle habits. How much of a problem this is depends on your goals with this diet.

For example, some people need/want to stay in ketosis 24/7. These individuals want to be really careful about their carb intake and likely want to stay away from peas.

On the flip side, peas can be good for weight loss and general health even if they kick you out of ketosis. The ketogenic diet is typically not the only way to achieve these health goals.

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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.