Are Garbanzo Beans Keto?

The keto diet has been around for almost 30 years now, and yet there are so many foods we are still unsure of. 

Garbanzo beans are one of the most confusing ingredients out there but have no fear. We will explain everything you need to know about the beans and the keto diet.

Are Garbanzo Beans Keto?

Are Garbanzo Beans Keto?

Garbanzo beans are not keto friendly. The amount of carbs you will find in this ingredient is too high to be accepted into the keto diet.

Garbanzo beans are a type of legume, and anything in the legume family shouldn’t be entered into a keto diet.

Legumes are another word for pulse or bean. They technically refer to the entire plant, not just the seeds. However, everything in this food group contains carbohydrates. 

This means that black-eyed peas, edamame beans, red beans, and lentils should all be rejected from the diet. 

Legumes are very common in Mediterranean diets, which means heading to a Mediterranean country or restaurant could pose a problem for people on keto. 

Remember to always look ahead before booking a table somewhere, so you can see if their menu suits your dietary requirements.

What’s The Difference Between Garbanzo Beans And Chickpeas?

You may have noticed that people use garbanzo beans and chickpeas interchangeably. That’s because they are different words that refer to the same thing.

Chickpea comes from the Latin word “cicer”, while garbanzo comes from the Spanish language.

The word you use to refer to these beans indicates the common tracer languages in your mother tongue. 

Both are correct, but chickpeas tend to be the most common label in the western world.

This ingredient is often used as a carby filler in a salad, a thickening agent in a soup, or turned into flour as a wheat alternative.

This alone should tell you that garbanzo beans are a form of carbohydrate.

Many vegans use chickpea liquid to create “aquafaba”. Aquafaba is a thick liquid starch that can be used to bind and thicken properties in a dish. Where most bakers would use egg whites, vegans use aquafaba as a flavorless alternative.

What Makes Something Keto?

Are Garbanzo Beans Keto?

“Keto” is shorthand for the “Ketogenic Diet”. This diet wants you to eat low-carb meals to avoid overfilling on a nutrient type that is everywhere in the western world.

Many people eat too many carbohydrates due to their easy access, however, our bodies only need a small amount of the nutrient to be healthy.

Go over that amount and your body will have trouble balancing its needs. So how many carbohydrates is too much? Well, the keto diet suggests that you should be eating less than 50 grams of carbs a day.

After 4 days on this diet, your body will start to break down the fat and protein stored in your body, making you lose weight.

This diet is designed to help you lose weight, rather than maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember that your body needs carbohydrates to give you energy.

How Many Carbs Are In Garbanzo Beans?

So how many carbohydrates are in garbanzo beans? As long as you’re eating less than 50 grams of carbs a day, you could still eat an ingredient with carbs in it.

Half a cup of chickpeas contains around 20.2 grams of carbohydrates. Depending on the brand, a serving of chickpeas will contain around 13.6 grams of carbs.

This means you could have a small number of chickpeas and maintain your keto diet. However, this gives you very little wriggle room for other foods.

For example, an apple contains 14g of carbohydrates (assuming the apple is only 100g). Everything contains at least a little amount of carbohydrates.

If you spend all of your allowances on one big item, you will force yourself into eating nothing for the rest of the day. This is why garbanzo beans are not considered keto friendly.

How Many Carbs Are In Garbanzo Bean Flour?

So what about garbanzo bean flour? Wheat flour isn’t keto-friendly, but will this bean allow you to make keto-friendly bread alternatives? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

As you can see from the numbers above, garbanzo beans are high in carbohydrates. Even when they are turned into flour, you can expect around 13.3 grams of carbohydrates from just a ¼ cup serving.

If you are following the keto diet you shouldn’t take garbanzo beans and chickpeas in any form.

If you eat something with garbanzo beans in it, you will dramatically reduce the amount of food you can eat for the rest of the day.

Remember that following this diet can easily lead to malnutrition, so please consider your food portions and diet choices carefully.

What Are Good Garbanzo Beans Substitutes For The Keto Diet?

If you cannot have garbanzo beans, but the recipe you are following needs it, what can you use as a good substitute?

Well, that depends on the recipe you are creating. Here are some ideas you can use, but keep in mind your goal before picking one.

For Bulk

If you need something to add bulk to your meal, swap the chickpeas for cauliflower rice. 200g of this rice will only contain 5g of carbohydrates, making it a safe swap.

However, if you want something a little more solid, choose boiled peanuts instead. These work well in stews and soups, but they can be a little salty if you don’t rinse them first. ¼ cup of boiled peanuts contains 4g of carbs.

Similar Texture

If you were after the chickpea texture, choose lupini beans instead. You need to boil them first, but 100g of boiled lupini beans contain 10g of carbs.


Garbanzo beans are not keto friendly. They contain a lot of carbohydrates, which will instantly reduce the amount of food you can eat for the rest of the day.

You should substitute chickpeas for cauliflower rice, boiled peanuts, or boiled lupini beans instead.

Jenna Priestly
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