Are Refried Beans Keto? Here Is Why They Are NOT

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Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

Taco Tuesday is upon you, and you’re following a keto diet. What should you do when there are so many delicious Tex-Mex options? Are refried beans keto-friendly?

Are Refried Beans Keto-friendly?

No, refried beans do not qualify as keto-friendly. The traditional refried beans have 13.85 net carbs for every 100g serving. However, there are many ways to enjoy your favorite refried beans flavors and textures while still adhering to your dietary restrictions. You can try a modified keto diet or black soybeans, lupini beans, and mock refried beans as keto-friendly alternatives.

What Makes Food Keto-friendly?

The keto diet is high in fat and low in carbs. It has been used for many years to treat various health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, and more.

Ketosis is the most important aspect of a keto diet. You must not eat more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day to achieve this. Most people preferably consume 25 grams of carbohydrates per day or less.

Carbohydrates should not make up more than 5% of your daily caloric intake. The ideal ratio to follow is 1.5 grams of net carbs for every 100 calories of food.

What Are Net Carbs?

Net carbs do not refer to the total carbohydrates in a food. These are the total carbohydrates minus the fiber amount in the food. This is because fiber doesn’t have any significant metabolic effects on your body, and it does not spike blood sugar.

An Example

What are the net carbs found in carrots? 100g of carrots have 6.7g carbs and 2.8g fiber. Simply subtract the fiber from the carrots to calculate the net carbs.

6.7g carbs – 2.8g fiber = 3.9g net carbs

Therefore, 100g of carrots contains 3.9g net carbs.

Are Carrots Considered Keto-Friendly?

Carrots are not keto-friendly because they contain 3.9g net carbs. The suggested amount of net carbs to be considered as keto-friendly is 1.5g per 100g of food. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t eat carrots while following a keto diet, it does mean that you need to be careful about how much and how often you eat them.

What Makes A Food Keto-Friendly?

A keto diet should have less than 1.5g net carbs per 100g. You should also limit your daily intake to 25-50 grams of net carbs.

Refried Beans: Carbohydrate Content

Let’s take a look at how many carbohydrates are found in refried beans. This chart is based upon 100 grams of refried beans.

This chart uses Amy’s, Eden Organic, and Rosarito canned refried beans brands.

Type of Bean Carbohydrates Fiber Net Carbs
Classic Traditional Refried Beans 18.46 4.61 13.85
Fat-Free Refried Beans 12.50 3.90 8.6
Restaurant Style Refried Beans 10.40 3.20 7.2
Refried Black Beans 14.61 4.61 10
Refried Kidney Beans 14.61 4.61 10

What Are the Net Carbs In Refried Beans?

There are 13.85 net carbs found in traditional refried bean recipes.

Are Refried Beans Keto-Friendly?

Refried beans are not keto-friendly. They have net carbs that are much higher than the recommended 1.5g of carbohydrates for every 100g of food.

How Much Is 100 Grams Of Refried Beans?

100g of refried beans equals a small portion which is slightly less than half a cup.

How to Eat Refried Beans On A Keto Diet

You now know that refried beans do not qualify as a keto-friendly dish. But, how can you still enjoy them while following a keto diet?

Don’t worry! There are many ways you can enjoy your favorite Tex-Mex beans without compromising your diet.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) is where you alternate between a strict low-fat, high-carb ketogenic diet for 5-6 days a week, and a higher carbohydrate intake for 1-2 days.

Refried beans are allowed during higher carbohydrate days.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet

A Targeted Ketogenic Diet is where you follow a strict keto diet most of the time, with the exception of days when you do intense exercise. You can consume more carbohydrates on exercise days.

This version of keto diet is not for casual exercisers. It is designed for endurance trainers or those who do moderate-intensity exercises.

Refried beans can be enjoyed on exercise days if you are following this keto diet.

Standard Ketogenic Diet

What if you strictly follow the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD), and your carb intake is limited all the time? Is it possible to still eat refried beans?

Refried Black Soybean

Refried black soybean is a great way to get that familiar bean texture and taste. Black soybeans have 3.85g net carbs per 100g serving. Although they may not be as low as we would prefer, they can still be included in your diet.

Lupini Beans

Lupini beans, a popular Mediterranean legume, are made from the seeds of the Lupinus albus plant. They are high-protein and low in carbs, like fava beans. This makes them an ideal keto-friendly refried bean choice. It contains 5 net carbs for every 100-gram serving.

Mock Refried Beans

Mock refried beans can be a good option if you don’t want to eat beans at all. There are several mock refried beans recipes with the same flavor and texture of traditional refried beans, but without all of those carbs.

How to Make Keto-Friendly Refried Beans

You can make your own keto-friendly refried bean recipes. This allows you to enjoy the classic flavor of refried beans without the carbs.

Instant Pot Low Fat Refried Beans

This quick and easy recipe for instant pot refried bean recipe uses low-carb black beans. To flavor the beans, this vegetarian recipe uses jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and garlic.

Lupini Beans Refried Beans

Low-carb lupini bean are used in this refried bean recipe. This recipe has all the traditional Tex-Mex flavors, plus a squeeze from fresh lime.

Beanless Refried Beans

This delicious, keto-friendly refried beans recipe uses eggplant. It also includes a mixture of garlic, onion, and traditional Tex-Mex seasonings to create an alternative to enjoy while on a keto diet.


Are Refried Beans Good For A Low Carb Diet?

Traditional refried beans have 18.46 grams of carbs per less than half a cup serving. Therefore, they are not recommended for low-carb diets due to their high carbohydrate content.

Are Refried Beans a Good Source of Carbohydrates?

Yes. Refried beans contain a lot of carbohydrates. Refried beans, therefore, are not keto-friendly because they have a high level of carbohydrates in each serving. However, there are plenty of ways you can still enjoy the delicious and nutritious Tex-Mex, and keep following the keto diet.

Modified Keto Diets

You can eat food with higher carbohydrate content, such as refried beans, if you follow a modified keto diet like the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) or Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD).

Lower Carbohydrate Beans

Lupini and black soy beans are excellent options with lower net carbs for a refried beans recipe.

Beanless Refried Beans

Avoid high-carb beans and substitute them with a mock refried bean recipe, which is rich in flavor and texture.

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