Can you eat lentils on keto?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat lentils on keto, what is keto, what are lentils, are lentils healthy to eat when on keto, and what you can eat when you are on keto. 

Can you eat lentils on keto?

No, you can eat lentils on keto. Lentils are a healthy legume with high fiber and high carbohydrate content. Even if it is considered a vegetable source of protein it doesn’t fit a ketogenic diet. 

You can eat very small amounts but ½ cup of lentils contains 11 net carbohydrates. The only beans you can eat are black soybean and green beans with 2 net carbs both. 

What is keto?

Keto or ketogenic diet is a term to refer to very low carbohydrate diets. The main idea of the keto diet is that you eat your whole calories from fat and protein. Fat is the main source of energy for your body in this diet. 

When on keto, you have to cut all carbohydrates like sugar, soda, pastries, white bread, rice, and high carbohydrates fruits and vegetables.

Keto works when you eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, your body starts running out of its main source of energy, carbohydrates, so it starts using fat as the main source of energy. It takes about 4 to 7 days to achieve this process known as ketosis. 

You need to eat enough fat so you can ensure that your body dont use proteins from your muscles as energy or you will lose muscle mass. This whole process has one objective and it is to lose weight. 

Keto diets are also used with patients that have epilepsy. When you are on keto, your brain activity decreases because you are not using carbohydrates as the main source. This process helps epilepsy or the brain activity that causes convulsion to decrease. 

The ketogenic diet is also used to prevent heart disease, brain disease, acne, and other medical conditions. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to do the keto diet always with a doctor or nutritionist’s supervision because it can lead to other health problems. 

There are several versions of the keto diet including

  • Standard ketogenic diet: This is a low carbohydrate diet with moderate protein intake and high fat intake. This is the most common and medically used ketogenic diet. 
  • The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) involves periods of high carbohydrate intake followed by 5 days of the standard ketogenic diet. 
  • The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): You can eat some whole carbohydrates only when you workout to help you to gain muscle mass.
  • A high protein ketogenic diet: is similar to standard ketogenic but your main source of energy is protein instead of fat. 

When you achieve a metabolic state of using fat as the main source you can use blood, urine, or breath tests to confirm you have entered ketosis. 

What are lentils?

Lentils are considered small legumes that are highly nutritious. They can range from yellow to other colors such as green, brown, black, and red. They are inexpensive, easy to store, and easy to cook. 

They are an excellent source of vegetable protein but they do contain carbohydrates contrary to animal protein. 

½ cup of lentils gives you 11 grams of net carbohydrates, 8.2 grams of protein, and 6.6 grams of fat. Of 162 calories in ½ cup of lentils, 33% of calories are from fat, 44% of calories are from carbohydrates and 20% of calories are from protein. 

Are lentils healthy to eat when on keto?

Lentils are very healthy food but you need to add them in very small quantities of lentils because they can add too many carbohydrates. You can eat no more than ½ cup per day of lentils and try not to add more carbohydrates that day. 

Vitamins and minerals found in lentils can be added to your diet from other sources such as low carbohydrates vegetables and fruits. 

You need to eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day so you keep your body in ketosis. 

What can you eat when you are on keto? 

When you are on keto you should focus on eating fat and protein. Try to eat as simple as you can with a low quantity of processed products so you can keep a healthy diet with no side effects. Some basic food you can eat when you are on keto is

  • Meat can be lean or fatty protein
  • Fish and seafood
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and healthy oils
  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese and cream cheese
  • Dark chocolate
  • Unsweetened coffee and tea
  • Low carb veggies

Try to add as much low carbohydrate vegetables and low carbohydrate food and healthy fats so you do a ‘clean keto’. There is a type of keto that is called dirty keto where you focus your calories on processed food. Dirty keto can lead you to health problems. 

Some vegetables and fruits you can add when on keto are 

  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries (only ½ cup per day)
  • Raspberries (only 1 cup per day)

Follow this link for a full keto food list

Other FAQs about Lentils that you may be interested in.

Can you eat lentils without rice?

Can you cook dal in a rice cooker?

Why rinse lentils?


This article answered can you eat lentils on keto, what is keto, what are lentils, are lentils healthy to eat when on keto, and what you can eat when you are on keto.