Are you bored of having the same keto meals? Are you looking for a new low-carb vegetable to spice up your daily dishes?
Bean sprouts might be the answer.
Bean sprouts contain only 5.9g of total carbs per 100g and can add volume and a satisfying crunch to your stir-fries.
How much bean sprouts can you eat on keto? Are they more healthy than regular mung beans? And are there any other keto low carb sprouts?
Read on to find the answers to all your questions about this exotic vegetable.
What Are Bean Sprouts?
Sprouting is a method of soaking and rinsing food products such as beans, grains, or nuts. It is a natural process by which seeds or spores germinate or produce new shoots. (*)
While there are many available, the sprouts that come from mung beans are the most common, popularized by Asian cuisines. The sprouted mung beans are referred to as bean sprouts.
Are Bean Sprouts Low In Carbs?
Mung bean sprouts contain 5.9 grams of total carbs per 100g. With 1.8 grams of fiber, the same serving only contains 3 grams of net carbs (*). This makes bean sprouts ideal for all low-carb diets.
Apart from carbs, bean sprouts contain mostly water, therefore, they are also low-calorie. The generous 100 gram serving of bean sprouts will only cost you 30 calories and boost your daily intake with 3 grams of protein.
Can I Eat Bean Sprouts On Keto?
The guidelines for ketogenic diets recommend a daily intake that is high in fats, very low in carbs, and moderate consumption of protein (*).
Most standard ketogenic guidelines recommend consuming less than 30 grams of net carbs per day in order to maintain ketosis, which is a state where your body utilizes fats instead of glucose for energy (*).
With only 2 grams of net carbs per one-cup serving beans sprouts contain, they are perfect for keto diets.
Are Bean Sprouts Keto-Friendly?
Since bean sprouts are mostly made out of water, fiber, and very little amount of carbs, even in larger amounts, they can be an effective way to add volume to your meals and boost satiety.
Bean sprouts are a whole food that contains no added ingredients or refined additives, ticking another box from the keto-approved checklist.
The only concern when eating bean sprouts on a keto dies is that they are very low in fats.
That’s why we would recommend that you include sources of fats, such as fatty cuts of meat, oil, or butter, to ensure the meal is more filling and more suitable for keto diets.
Are Bean Sprouts Healthy?
The sprouting process boosts the nutritional value of mung beans. Sprouted beans contain higher amounts of Vitamin C, Calcium, Antioxidants, and Iron (*).
The bean sprouts can help to fight free radicals and have the potential benefits of helping to fight cancer.
Other health-boosting benefits include improved digestion, eye health, and blood pressure (*).
What Is the Reason For Sprouting Beans?
Apart from providing health benefits, sprouting also adds a bit of flavor to the beans.
You can buy sprouted beans from the store but you can also do it by yourself by purchasing home-sprouting kids.
Watching sprouts grow every day in your home sprouting station can be a fun activity, especially for kids.
Mung Bean Sprouts vs Soy Bean Sprouts
While the two are often confused, they are not the same.
Although they are both sprouted the same way they come from a different type of bean. As the names suggest, the mung bean sprouts come from mung beans while soybean sprouts come from soybeans.
The mung bean sprouts are the more common kind and are also lower in carbs.
Sourced from a different type of bean, one cup of sprouted soybeans contain 6 grams of net carbs, which is slightly more than sprouted mung beans (*).
In terms of nutrition, the sprouted soybeans contain a reduced amount of Physic acid, which makes the minerals in soybeans, such as Iron, easier to absorb for the human body (*).
Are Any Other Sprouts Keto-Friendly?
While the two types of sprouts are most common, there are more than 10 different sprouts available, such as lentil sprouts or chickpea sprouts. Out of the additional varieties, the only kind of beans suitable for keto dieters are kidney bean sprouts.
Kidney Bean Sprouts
Have you never heard of sprouted kidney beans? This is because they are not very common.
Since it is not likely that you’ll spot sprouted kidney beans in the grocery store, the best way is to sprout kidney beans at home.
A 100-gram serving contains 4 grams of carbs, as well as high amounts of melatonin, the chemical responsible for balancing our sleep pattern and containing powerful antioxidant properties (*).
Melatonin in kidney bean sprouts can help to prevent chronic disease and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (*).
These kidney beans are also a good source of Vitamin C and Folate but they have to be cooked before consumption.
Keto Recipes With Bean Sprouts
There are many ways in which you can incorporate mung bean sprouts into your ketogenic diet. The sprouts are traditionally used in Asian dishes, in Thai, Korean or Chinese cuisine.
Getting inspired by these cuisines, try making your own keto-friendly version of a Chinese stir fry, a Korean-style mung bean salad, or a Thai-inspired low-carb pad thai.
These traditional dishes often require noodles or other ingredients that are high in carbohydrates. Make sure you substitute these foods for low-carb alternatives suitable for the keto diet.
Keto-Friendly Bean Spout Stir Fry
Accompany your meat and low-carb vegetable dish with mung bean sprouts. This will add volume and a satisfying crunch to your meals, without many carbs.
You can combine the bean sprouts with beef, chicken, tofu, or seafood, depending on your preference.
To add an authentic Asian flavor to your keto-friendly stir fry, we recommend moderate amounts of soy sauce, traditional spices, and sesame oil.
While lots of Asian dishes demand some sweetness, you can substitute the traditional palm sugar for sweeteners suitable for the keto diet, such as stevia or Erythritol.
What Do Bean Sprouts Taste Like?
Since mung bean sprouts are largely made out of water, when eaten by themselves, they have a bland flavor. It is the characteristic crunch that can add an interesting texture to your meals.
When cooking with mung bean sprouts, they are best accompanied by other strong flavors.
Do I Need To Cook Bean Sprouts?
No. You can eat mung bean sprouts both cooked or raw in a salad or a snack.
What to Cook Bean Sprouts With?
As mentioned, since mung bean sprouts don’t have a strong taste when eaten alone, we recommend combining them with other flavors, meats, spices, herbs, aromatic oils, or fresh spring onion.
Are Bean Sprouts Zero Carb?
No. While a serving size of bean sprouts is very low carb and contains only 30 calories, they are not zero carbs.
Are Bean Sprout Salads Keto?
Yes. Bean sprout salads are keto, even when they contain a large serving of sprouts.
Combine the fresh sprouts with spring onions, sesame oil, fish sauce, and some meat for an authentic Vietnamese-inspired salad.
How Much Bean Sprouts Can I Eat On Keto?
Since mung bean sprouts are very low carb and low calorie, with 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, even a large serving would be suitable for keto.
Factor the carbs in bean sprouts when calculating the carbohydrate content of the whole meal, but otherwise, feel free to be generous with your serving.
Are Bean Sprouts Keto-friendly?
Mung bean sprouts are very low in carbs and therefore suitable for keto. They can boost your Asian-inspired dishes when cooking stir-fries or making salads.
The sprouting process enhances the nutritional value of mung beans and eating them will provide vitamins, minerals, and health benefits.
Due to their low carb content, you can add large quantities of bean sprouts to your meals and still maintain ketosis.