Arе Lentils Keto: Should You Eat Them?

Arе Lentils Keto: Should You Eat Them?

November 04, 2023 4 min read

Lentils, pea-sized beans in the legume family, are among the most nutrient-dense foods, supplying the body with a good amount of plant-based protein.

They’re the go-to nutrient source for people on a weight loss, body-building, or vegan diet because they contain lots of protein, fiber, and minerals.

But what about the keto diet? There’s a lot of confusion surrounding lentils’ keto-friendliness and whether or not they’re okay to consume on a keto diet or completely off-limits. Let’s unravel the answer in this article.

Are Lentils Keto-Friendly?

Lentils are a type of legume, which puts them in the same category as beans, chickpeas, and soy, which are popular no-nos for the keto diet because of their high carbohydrate content.

So, unfortunately, lentils are not keto-friendly. 

Their carb content is too high to allow a keto dieter to consume them while staying within their daily macros.

However, small portions of lentils may be possible depending on what else is consumed for the day.

An alternative to lentils that we recommend are pork rinds.

Pork rinds are keto-friendly (0 grams of carbs total!). They are also a healthy food option that is a good source of collagen protein.


How Many Carbs Do Lentils Have?

1 cup of cooked lentils (about 198 grams) contains 39.8 grams of total carbs. That number goes down when you subtract its dietary fiber content (15.6 grams), but that still equals 24.2 grams of net carbs.

The keto diet strictly limits carbohydrate intake to 25 to 50 grams of net carbs per day. Consuming 1 cup of cooked lentils, then, will already use up about 50% of a keto dieter’s carb allowance.

Because of this, practitioners of the keto diet regime typically avoid or restrict lentils.

Lentils Nutrition Breakdown

Lentils are low in fat, high in fiber, and high in carbohydrates. They also contain good amounts of nutrients. Here’s a nutritional breakdown of 1 cup (198 grams) of boiled and unsalted lentils.




230 kcal


17.9 grams

Total Fat

0.752 grams


39.8 grams

Dietary Fiber

15.6 grams


3.56 grams


37.6 grams


6.59 milligrams


71.3 milligrams


356 milligrams


731 milligrams


3.96 milligrams


2.52 milligrams


0.497 milligrams


0.978 milligrams


5.54 µg

Vitamin C

2.97 milligrams


0.335 milligrams


0.145 milligrams


2.1 milligrams

Pantothenic Acid

1.26 milligrams

Vitamin B-6

0.352 milligrams


358 µg


64.7 milligrams

Beta Carotene

9.9 µg

Vitamin A

15.8 IU

Vitamin E

0.218 milligrams

Vitamin K

3.37 µg

Saturated Fatty Acids

0.105 grams

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

0.127 grams

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

0.346 grams

Health Benefits of Lentils

Lentils are nutrient-dense legumes — a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that yield plenty of health benefits.

They’re low in fats but rich in protein, with 26% of the total calories in lentils coming in the form of proteins.

This makes them excellent sources of plant-based protein for those following a vegan or bodybuilding diet. Compared to other plant diets, lentils provide the most folate. They’re also high in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and vitamin B.

The high fiber content in lentils is worth highlighting, helping support healthy digestion and the growth of good gut bacteria. They also have soluble fiber, which helps regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. This fiber-rich profile can ease constipation and improve stomach functions.

According to studies, lentils have also contributed to the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and renal problems.

This is thanks to their bioactive phytochemicals, including carotenoids, phytic acid, saponins, tocopherols, phytosterols, and extractable and insoluble-bound phenolics.

Conclusion: Are Lentils Keto?

While lentils are rich in nutrients needed to support a healthy diet, they are also very high in carbohydrates.

Because of this, practitioners find that they are unsuitable for the keto diet regime. You may still be able to consume them in moderation, but that entails being very careful about what other carb sources you consume for the day to stick to your daily macros.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat lentils on a low carb diet?

Lentils are not suitable for those following a strict low-carb or keto diet. While they are rich in protein and fiber, they contain a high number of total and net carbs, with one cup of cooked legumes having 39.8 grams of total carbohydrates — that’s already 50% of the daily carb allowance of a keto dieter.

Can I eat beans or lentils on keto?

Beans and lentils, along with other varieties of legumes, are off-limits on a keto diet, according to proponents. They contain large amounts of carbohydrates, which defeats the low-carb principle of the keto diet regime. Most keto dieters say they avoid legumes entirely or consume them in very small portions — as little as ¼ cup a day.

Which lentils are keto-friendly?

Unfortunately, there are no keto-friendly lentils. All varieties have a high carbohydrate content that can easily use up a keto dieter’s entire carb allowance for the day. As a substitute for lentils,  you can consume mushrooms, eggplants, avocado, or boiled peanuts.