Are Bean Sprouts Keto Friendly? Different Varieties & Keto Bean Sprouts Recipes

When it comes to the ketogenic diet, bean sprouts are likely something you eat on the regular.

However, do you know if they’re keto-friendly? It turns out that like many vegetables and fruits, beans can be low-carb to high-carb depending on how they grow.

Today, we will talk about all different varieties of bean sprouts, their nutritional data, and health benefits and find out the answer to “Are Bean Sprouts Keto Friendly?”

In addition to carb counts for each type of bean sprout, we also have recipes for some delicious dishes, including Thai Kale Salad with Bean Sprouts or Spicy Shrimp with Bean Sprouts.

So go ahead – read on to find out more information you need.

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Are Bean Sprouts Keto Friendly?

Yes, most bean sprouts are low-carb and keto-friendly.

The nutritional data sheet for mung beans (green bean sprouts) in particular is very impressive.

are-bean-sprouts-keto-friendly

Mung bean sprouts have only 7 calories per 100g while providing 2g of fat and 5g of protein with 4% RDA of calcium and 10% Vitamin A.

This is important to know since both protein and calcium are required for bone-building processes, while vitamin A helps the body maintain a normal function of eyesight.

Mung bean sprouts are also rich in dietary fiber (26%), which can help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2.

Mung bean sprouts also contain a wide range of B vitamins: 1%, 2%, 5%, and 6%.[1]

Vitamin B1 or thiamine is essential because it helps maintain proper function of the digestive tract, while it’s necessary for carbohydrate metabolism as well.

Things You May Not Know About Bean Sprouts

✅ Bean sprouts are grown and eaten raw, providing the crunchiness that we associate with green salads.

✅ For most people, bean sprouts are a perfect addition to any ketogenic diet because they are rich in protein and healthy fats.

✅ In some cases, they may not be appropriate for those following vegan or plant-based diets as it’s difficult to know if the variety of seeds used contains gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye, or barley.

✅ As a general rule of thumb for beansprouts, you want dark-colored beans, which indicates their age (older seeds), such as black soybeans – these come with a higher carbohydrate count than younger bean varieties that you’ll find at your local grocer, which are green, yellow or orange.

✅ If you wonder which bean sprouts are keto-friendly, it’s best to stick with young grains as their carbohydrate count is relatively low.

How Many Varieties Of Bean Sprouts?

There are many different types of bean sprouts.

Soybean, mung beans, alfalfa, and cowpeas are more common types of sprouting.

There are many other varieties of beans that can be used in a variety of dishes too.

Soybean Sprouts

Mung Bean Sprouts: Green or yellow mung bean sprouts are used for cooking and garnishing in Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.

They can also be used in other dishes (like salads, sandwiches). Mung bean sprouts are used in various dishes along with spinach or cucumber and fish sauce or soy sauce (for dipping). Other dishes include stir-fry vegetables and rice noodles.

Mung bean sprout is also used in various recipes like soups, stir-fries, curries, bean sprout salad and can be a substitute for fried beans.

The University of Kentucky has an amazing list of all the different bean types and their nutritional value.

There are so many different kinds that it can be difficult to distinguish which is which.

To avoid any confusion, make sure that you identify the variety properly when buying it because different varieties have a significant difference in carb counts per 100g as shown below:

  • Soybean sprouts – 9g – net carbs 2g / fiber 7g = 0.2
  • Green bean sprouts – 4g – net carbs 1g / fiber 3g = 0.3
  • Mung bean sprouts – 7g – net carbs 2g / fiber 5g = 0.4
  • Garbanzo Bean (chickpea) sprouts – 9.5g – net carbs 4g / fiber 5.5g = 0.6
  • Amaranth bean sprouts – 4g – net carbs 2g / fiber 2g = 0.3

Bean Sprout Nutrition Facts

Bean sprouts are low in calories and carbohydrates.

A 100 g serving of bean sprout contains only 32 kcals and 10 grams of carbohydrate,3.2 g protein, 0 trans fat, and no cholesterol. 

It also contains dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and Vitamin A. For reference, 8 ounces (228 grams) of raw bean sprouts without the outer leaves contain about 24g of carbs, 2.5g protein, and 3.8g dietary fiber.

Bean sprouts are also high in niacin (vitamin B3), phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid

100 g serving of raw bean sprouts contains about 14 micrograms of folate. A high level of dietary fiber content in bean sprouts helps in maintaining weight and aids digestion.

Moreover, sprouted beans are very rich in antioxidants due to their vitamin C and A content.

According to a research done by Tamara Duker Freuman, MSPH (2015), bean sprouts are rich in epidermal growth factor, which has been linked with cancer-fighting properties. 

Health Benefits Of Bean Sprouts

There are several health benefits available from bean sprouts:

  • Be a source of plant-based Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and protein.
  • Provide essential for brain development and function, including supporting cognitive, motor, and visual skills.
  • Bean sprouts may help lower the risk of developing diabetes type 2 due to high fiber content.
  • Contain anti-bacterial agents that are effective in fighting lung infections and respiratory tract disorders like asthma.

✅ A good source of vitamins A, C, and B complex, bean sprouts are very healthy for your body.

They tend to be low in calories and fat, too, so they can easily fit into any diet plan without worrying about gaining weight or adding unnecessary fats to your body.

✅ Bean sprouts are known to help with detoxification and are good for cancer prevention as well. They are also known to help lower your bad cholesterol levels too.

✅ Bean sprouts contain phytochemicals that can prevent the growth of cancers in the liver, lung, prostate, breast, colon, or other organs.

Bean sprout is a rich source of glucosinolate, which is a natural anticancer compound and antioxidant.

✅ Researchers have shown that bean sprouts help fight infection as well as offer protection against cancer cells. Another benefit of bean sprouts is that they are easily available, economical, and stored for long periods.

✅ Being rich in fiber, bean sprouts are filled with antioxidants and nutrients that help maintain weight. The fiber in bean sprouts also helps to improve the function of the digestive system and relieves constipation.

Top 5 Delicious Keto Bean Sprout Recipes

Bean Sprout Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bean sprouts, steamed
  • 2 cups mixed salad (romaine lettuce, carrots & cucumber- with extra dressing if desired)
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette dressing (or any natural oil-based dressing of your choice)

Instructions: 

1) Add all the ingredients except salad and almonds in a large bowl and toss gently with dressing. Toss until lettuce is evenly coated with dressing. 

2) Serve immediately. 

Garlic Mung Bean Sprouts Stir Fry 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1) Thoroughly rinse the bean sprouts in cold water until you are more or less confident that all residue of chemicals used for growing is washed off completely. 

2) Heat a wok with some olive oil and add the bean sprouts to it. 

3) Stir until they are cooked, and add the garlic, onions, and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper of your choice as well. Stir in between for a minute or two, then take off the heat. Serve warm with rice cakes/chapattis or bread of choice.

Caramelized Caraway Mung Bean Sprouts Steamed with Coconut Milk

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, carefully washed and dried with a towel
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/4 cup water

Method:

1) Take one pan and add water and sugar to it. Heat for a minute or two until the sugar melts completely and comes to a boil.

2) When the liquid starts boiling, add bean sprouts and caraway seeds to it. Occasionally stir as you wait for them to cook well.

3) Add coconut milk after about 5 minutes have passed. Stir again.

4) Take off the heat after about a minute of simmering and wait for the bean sprouts to cool enough before you serve them with bread or rice cakes/chapatti, as desired.

Kimchi Mung Bean Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch mung bean sprouts 1 Asian pear (soaked to remove extra starch)
  • 1/2 green onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed 2 inches fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cabbage kimchi juice of one lime

Method:

1) Thoroughly rinse the bean sprouts in cold water until you are more or less confident that all residue of chemicals used for growing is washed off thoroughly. 

2) Heat a wok with some olive oil and add the bean sprouts to it. 

3) Stir until they are cooked, and add the garlic, onions, and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper of your choice as well. Stir in between for a minute or two, then take off the heat. Serve warm with rice cakes/chapattis or bread of choice.

Tips For Buying Or Growing Your Own Bean Sprouts 

Here are some tips for you to consider when buying or growing your own bean sprouts.

When purchasing the seeds, make sure you get organic ones because conventionally grown seeds may be coated with fungicides and other chemicals used in toxin-free seed farms.

Also, before planting them, soak them in cold water overnight so that they will germinate better.

Bean sprouts grow best on a light bulb, so place them near the lamp or any other light source and remember to change their water often because they are highly susceptible to fungus, especially when wet for long periods.

You can also pick up these seeds online or at your local store.

FAQs

Are bean sprouts low carb?

Yes, for sure. Bean sprouts are low carb and high in plant protein.

A cup of bean sprouts contains around 10 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat. The calories are negligibly small at 33 calories per cup.

One cup also contains 4 grams of fiber, a full day’s worth, 2 grams of proteins, and 3 grams of healthy essential fats.

This gives you nearly half your daily intake for vitamin A (in the form of retinol), a good source for B vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, and niacin, Pantothenic acid that helps to metabolize food into energy) as well as C vitamin (folates)—all measured per 100g portion size (2 cups).

Are any beans keto-friendly?

Beans are keto-friendly in the sense that they are fat and protein-rich, but carbs still won’t allow a certain percentage to be reached if you eat enough of those.

Eating beans during the ketogenic diet is not an issue because they are low in sugar, unlike fruit and raw vegetables.

The only time this may be an issue is if you’re tending to overeat on them while limiting other carbohydrates, which could cause digestion problems for some people.

The most common types of beans eaten on the keto diet are black or pinto beans, while tofu, nuts/seeds, and olives can also make excellent additions to any meal plan at low or no carbohydrate levels.

Are cooked bean sprouts healthy?

Cooked bean sprouts are healthy for people on a keto diet because the process of boiling, cooking, or frying can break down carbs.

Final Words

The benefits of bean sprouts are endless. They’re a great source of protein. They help regulate blood sugar levels and even boost the immune system. They can be eaten raw, in salads and sandwiches, or cooked as an addition to soups and curries.

If you’re looking for ways to get more greens into your keto-friendly meal plan without turning them into salad dressings, as many people do, then adding bean sprouts is one way you could go about doing this!

So next time someone asks “Are bean sprouts Keto Friendly?” just say yes!

We hope this post has provided you all things you need to know about bean sprouts and their benefits for your diet. Which bean sprout recipes do you like most? Let me know in the comment section.

Take care!

References

[1] – Bean Sprouts: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and How to Prepare Them (https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-bean-sprouts#1)

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