When searching for the perfect side dish to go along with those tacos on your plate, refried beans are one of the first dishes that come to mind.
Refried beans are a staple in the Mexican food culture. The dish is a combination of cooked and mashed beans.
But, as delicious as they are, do they qualify for the keto diet food list?
Carbs in Refried BeansA single cup of cooked refried beans can be 236 calories, 40g of carbs, 14g of fiber, and 14g of protein.
Net carbs (total carbohydrates - fiber - sugar alcohols) in refried beans are also very high, at 26g.
You might be thinking 26g of net carbs sounds like a lot, and it is. In fact, this exceeds many people’s daily carb limit.
Not only are beans high in carbs, but they can also cause inflammation and digestive problems.
Are Refried Beans Low-Carb or Keto-Friendly?Not all beans are created equal with respect to carb count. If you want to fit refried beans into a keto diet, you must watch your carb intake closely.
What are Refried Beans?Often considered one of the oldest foods on the planet, beans have been around since nearly the beginning of time. As a member of the legume family, they can provide a non-meat source of protein with plenty of dietary fiber.
Refried beans are made from mashed pinto beans and are generally served as a side dish in Mexican restaurants.
You can dip your chips in them, eat them with a spoon, use them in a tostada, or even put them inside of a burrito. The possibilities are endless.
How Are Refried Beans Made?Refried beans are made with pinto beans that are cooked dry or soaked overnight. They are then stewed and drained to get rid of most of the remaining liquid. Afterward, they are converted into a paste with a masher. The paste is baked or fried with some type of cooking oil and seasoned to taste.
How to Eat Refried Beans on a Ketogenic Diet
Most beans contain carbs in one form or another, which can spell disaster for people on the keto diet. The good news is you can modify the standard refried beans recipe to create one that can fit in your diet.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make refried beans a bit more keto-friendly.
Low-Carb Refried Beans RecipeMost beans are typically a no-go on a ketogenic diet as they are all relatively high in carbs. However, some forms of the keto diet allow you to have carbs on a regular basis.
There are three types of ketogenic diets:
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
The CKD involves following a diet low in carbs the majority of time, but allows for moderate carb consumption 1-2 days per week.
The TKD is another diet strategy for precisely timing carbohydrate intake around workouts. Consuming all of your carbs pre-workout or post-workout will help ensure your body uses the carbs for optimal recovery purposes.
If you choose to follow either of these modified versions of the traditional keto diet, it would be a great opportunity to incorporate a low-carb refried beans recipe.
How to Make Low-Carb Refried BeansPopular recipes can be modified to fit your diet. If you are looking for a way to lower the carb content, then you'll have to get creative with the ingredients.
Typically, refried beans are made with pinto beans. Pinto beans are high in carbs. However, you can swap pinto beans with organic black soybeans.
Organic black soybeans are low in carbs and can be incorporated into almost any refried beans recipe. They tend to be bland in flavor, but that’s okay. You can always add flavor later to spice up the taste.
If you’re looking for something to dip into your low-carb refried beans, be sure to try KetoLogic Keto Crisps.
With only 1g of carbs per serving, this crunchy, savory chip substitute will fill you up without breaking your diet. The best part - it comes in five different flavors: buffalo, cheddar, chili lime, pizza, and ghost pepper. Be sure to try them all!
As you can see, refried beans aren’t completely off-limits for the keto dieter. By creating new alternative recipes, you can still enjoy refried beans without all the carbs (plus enjoy the less-than-pleasant gassiness associated with them).
Just be sure whichever recipe you choose, it fits within your own macro needs.
What's the Verdict on Refried Beans?If you’re following a strict low-carb or ketogenic diet, you should be careful with what beans you choose to consume. Black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans should generally be avoided due to their high carb content.
There are some circumstances where a flexible ketogenic diet can allow for occasional consumption of refried beans. The targeted ketogenic diet allows for extra carbs before or after workouts. The cyclical keto diet allows for extra carbs one to two days per week in limited amounts.
As discussed earlier, there are ways around the carb content you choose to consume daily. Be sure to figure out what your daily carb limit is and try to stick to your goals. Always keep in mind... the best diet is the one you can stick to in the long-term.
If you’re looking for other keto recipes, be sure to check out our KetoLogic Recipe Book filled with great low-carb recipes to keep your meals fresh and exciting!