Being on a keto diet, I’m always looking for new keto-friendly food options. After all, it’s easy to get tired of eating similar meals every day! Thankfully, 2022 is a good time for a keto diet as various keto-friendly options are springing up.
This has been a cause of concern, too, because the more lucrative options there are, the more I need to research before incorporating them into my diet. And as someone who loves beans, I was disheartened to know that most of them are not keto-friendly.
But what about lima beans? Are lima beans keto? While they are not exactly the most keto-friendly food option out there, eating a very limited quantity occasionally will not cause ketosis to end.
For me, this is enough of a green signal to devour a few lima beans now and then. Keep reading to find out more if you want to eat some lima beans on the keto diet too!
What are Lima Beans?
If you’re wondering whether or not are lima beans keto, I’m sure you already know what they’re. But a brief recap won’t hurt anyone!
Lima bean is a type of legume that is known as a superfood because it’s rich in nutrients and vitamins.
If you don’t recognize the name, maybe you will identify some of its other names! For starters, my mother knows them as butter beans. Some of the other common names for the legumes are wax bean, double bean, Madagascar bean, and sieve bean.
Lima beans have a distinctly creamy texture and color that can vary between green and beige. Compared to some of the other legumes, lima beans are known to have a very mild taste. Commercially, you can find them in a dried, canned, or frozen form.
Additionally, lima beans are also available in different sizes. In fact, the smaller lima beans are known as baby limas. Personally, I prefer large green lima beans!
Are Lima Beans Keto Friendly?
To identify whether or not are lima beans keto friendly, let’s first look at the nutritional profile of the legume.
Nutritional Value of Lima Beans
According to WebMD, one cup of lima beans approximately has:
- 209 calories
- 12 grams of protein
- 1 gram of fat
- 49 grams of carbohydrates
- 9 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of sugar
Deconstructing Lima Beans’ Keto-Friendliness
Compared to other food types, lima beans are not the most keto-friendly. But, within the bean category, they are your best bet. To understand this, you need to first understand how the keto diet works.
For ketosis to occur, during a keto diet, you need to consume food that has low-carb and high-fat content. The recommended ratio is 70 percent fat, 5 percent carbs, and 25 percent protein. Doing so allows the body to break fat, instead of carbs, for energy, thereby leading to weight loss.
As evident from the profile above, lima beans have a high carb content. This contradicts the law of keto. This is why you need to limit its consumption to ensure that you don’t eat more than the recommended five percent of carbs. It’s also important to note that many other beans have even higher carb content while having low fat.
In short, are lima beans keto friendly? Only when you don’t exceed the recommended ratio.
How to Incorporate Lima Beans into your Keto Diet?
Firstly, when incorporating lima beans into a keto diet, you need to ensure that your net carb intake remains between 20-50 grams. Anything more will affect the ketosis process.
Therefore, if you’re limiting your carb intake to solely lima beans, you can have one cup of lima beans daily. But, I would advise you to mix things up and eat the legumes occasionally as it does not have a lot of fat, which too is required for keto.
I personally like eating boiled lima beans with a pinch of salt. I understand that within the bean world, lima beans are not the favorite of many. As there are not a lot of legume options on keto, you might want to make the most of what is allowed.
You can incorporate lima beans into your keto diet by adding butter to them to enrich their flavor a bit. Add salt for seasoning as well. Or, you can add them to your grilled chicken salad. Here, ensure that the quantity is within the recommended intake of carbs! Do count the net carb of the other items when deciding.
What makes a food Keto Friendly?
Now that you know whether or not are lima beans keto friendly, I’ll share a trick with you that might help you in deciphering whether other popular food items can be eaten on keto too.
Identifying Keto Food
There are two things that make any food keto-friendly – its carb, protein, and fat quantity and the ingredients of the food.
As mentioned above, to achieve ketosis, you need food that has low carb and high-fat content. This is the first thing to check off on your keto checklist.
The second is to dig deeper into the type of carbs and fat. If a given food has a relatively low carb count, but the carbs are coming from an artificial sweetener, then the product isn’t keto-friendly. This is because such sugar alternatives cause a rise in blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, if the high-fat content is coming from types of fat that cannot be broken down by the body (read: saturated fat), then it is of no use to your health or diet!
So, look beyond the fat and carb count. Check the ingredient list too. Sometimes scientific names of sugar or fat will be used. Search about every ingredient before incorporating the food into your keto diet.
The Forbidden Ingredients
Here are some of the ingredients you should avoid during your keto diet:
- Grains, including wheat, millet, corn, oats, and buckwheat.
- Starch, which can be found in pasta, oatmeal, rice, flour, granola, etc.
- Legumes, including black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, etc. Lima beans and soybeans can be eaten in very small amounts.
- Oil from canola, soybean, sesame, peanut, etc.
- Low-fat dairy food, like cream cheese, fat-free yogurt, etc.
- Sugar, including brown sugar, syrups, corn sugar, and coconut sugar.
- Sugar alternatives, natural extracts, and artificial sweeteners.
Let’s briefly summarize it all, shall we?
Are lima beans keto friendly? Due to its high carb content, it is not a go-to food option when on a keto diet. But, if you are very strict about portion controlling and don’t exceed the recommended quantity of 50 grams of carb per day, then you can safely eat them while avoiding ketosis.
Even though I love beans, I have come to terms with the fact that I can no longer eat them as much as I want to. Luckily, I was able to find various other keto-friendly (and surprisingly delicious) food options as well. You can read some of my other guides to find out more about them!
Till then, enjoy your handful of lima beans. Savor every one of them till your keto diet ends.
I hope you enjoy your keto journey!
Check the links below to get more information on keto-friendly foods: