Are Lentils Better Than Beans on a Low-Carb Diet?
Lentils and beans are foods you’d typically avoid on a low-carb diet.
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Following a low-carb diet can lead to weight loss, but to meet your diet’s parameters, you have to be careful about what you eat. Lentils and beans aren’t typically the best choices if you’re limiting your carbs. However, if both foods are on the menu, a small serving of lentils is likely the better choice for your diet.
Carbohydrates, which convert to glucose to provide energy for your body, are a staple in many diets. If you enjoy lentils and beans as part of your standard diet, you can still enjoy these foods once you switch to a low-carb diet, but you’ll need to reduce your serving size to keep your carb intake as low as possible. Getting your carbs from these foods is better than getting them from cake or cookies, which provide little nutritional value.
Carbs in Lentils
A serving of lentils can provide a significant amount of carbs — perhaps even more grams of carbs than you’re allowed per day within the parameters of your diet plan once you’ve combined them with the other foods in your meal. A 1/2-cup serving of boiled lentils, which is a standard way to cook the legume, has 20 grams of carbs. Sprouting raw lentils is another way to eat this food. One-half cup of sprouted lentils has 8.5 grams of carbs.
Carbs in Beans
Although the carb count of beans depends on the specific type, beans are generally higher in carbs than lentils. One-half cup of plain baked beans, for example, has 27 grams of carbs. One-half cup of boiled black beans has 20.5 grams of carbs. Sprouted beans are a lower-carb choice, although they aren’t as prevalent as baked or boiled beans.
Fiber Plays a Role
High-fiber foods are effective on a low-carb diet because the fiber slows the absorption of the carbs. This slow absorption doesn’t lead to a spike and fall in your blood sugar that can result in a craving for more food. In addition to being lower in carbs, boiled lentils also have more fiber than beans. One-half cup of boiled lentils has 7.8 grams of fiber, while 1/2 cup of baked beans has 5.2 grams of fiber. Cooked black beans have 7.5 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup.
About the Author
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio’s sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.