Chickpeas: Carbs & Nutitional Value, Is It Keto Friendly?

are chickpeas keto

Chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans, are popular in many dishes, but do they fit into a keto diet?

Chickpeas contain protein and fiber, but if you are on a keto meal plan, the amount of carbs they contain makes them unsuitable for your consumption.

Can they be made to work on a keto diet?

Some would argue in favor of it in minimal quantities devoid of threats to your state of ketosis.

However, we shall explore chickpeas further here, how well they fit into keto diets and other alternatives to chickpeas.

Nutritional Content of Chickpeas

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s FoodData Central, one cup of chickpeas has:

  • 269 calories
  • 14.5 grams (g) of protein
  • 4.25 g of fat
  • 44.9 g of carbohydrates
  • 12.5 g of dietary fiber
  • 80.4 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 4.74 mg of iron
  • 78.7 mg of magnesium
  • 276 mg of potassium
  • 11.5 mg of sodium

Chickpeas are obviously very healthy.

They provide lots of protein, calcium, fiber, and a host of other nutrients.

They could easily work on a low-carb diet, but they are too high in carbs for a keto diet.

How many Carbs are in Chickpeas

How many carbs are in chickpeas?

Half a cup of canned, no-added-fat garbanzo beans contains 20.2 grams of total carbs, while a ½-cup serving contains nearly 13 g of net carbs.

Most ketogenic diet guidelines recommend a daily keto diet aim of about 30 grams of carbs.

This implies that a serving of chickpeas could account for over 50% of your daily net carbs and could easily tip into too many carbs for you.

Why Are Chickpeas Bad on a Keto Diet?


Maintaining ketosis is the primary aim of a ketogenic meal plan.

In ketosis, your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use as fuel; hence, it burns fats and turns them into ketones which it uses for fuel.

Many cells in the body prefer using carbs as a fuel source. But when the body runs out of carbs to power these cells, they turn to fat for energy. This often results in weight loss.

If you consume a significant amount of carbs after your body has attained ketosis, it will cause the body to return to burning carbs instead of fat as a fuel source.

The ideal ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The net carbs of garbanzo beans are simply too high for many keto diet lifestyles.

Even when consumed in small quantities, chickpeas can easily bring you out of ketosis.

As such, it is not one of the recommended legumes in a keto diet.

1) Too many net carbs

As stated above, the total carbs in chickpeas are higher than those of keto-friendly diets.

Consequently, most keto dieters are better off avoiding it in their diets and looking for other alternatives with low-carb recipes.

To remain in ketosis, it is better to limit total carbs consumption to 20g – 30g daily.

2) Low in Fats

Chickpeas are low in fat. One cup (180g) of canned, no-added-fat garbanzo beans contains about 5.83g of fat in comparison to 40.3 grams of carbohydrate. This is the exact opposite of an ideal keto diet.

An ideal keto diet has a macronutrient ratio of 70% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbs.

This implies that to maintain ketosis, the majority of your food should be low in carbs but high in healthy fats.

Since keto dieters can not eat chickpeas as they would love to, we will explore chickpeas’ suitable keto alternatives.

Keto-Friendly Alternatives

Keto dieters who still crave garbanzo beans have some alternative legumes which can still deliver the low carb, high healthy fat diet.

Low-carb diet versions of chickpea recipes

A safe way to eat chickpeas on keto is by grounding them into hummus. After chickpeas have been combined with other ingredients (which are all low carbs) in hummus, the carb count reduces.

There are 2 chickpeas keto-friendly recipes that present less worry for keto dieters.

1) Keto hummus

Humus is made of cooked chickpeas; as a result, it contains carbohydrates.

However, it is a low-carb diet rather than chickpeas in isolation.

Basic hummus recipes are a blend of roasted chickpeas, cauliflower, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini.

A ¼ cup serving of hummus contains only 12 grams of carbs.

Homemade hummus is recommended over retail store ones because store-bought hummus often contains oils like soybean and canola oil which are sources of trans fats with adverse effects like inflammation.

2) Keto Falafel

The keto falafel is prepared with cooked chickpeas, cauliflower, spices, and other ingredients. It is made to be a low-carb meal and keto-appropriate.

Nutritional Content of Hummus

The nutritional content of any hummus depends on how it was prepared and the specific manufacturer. Different brands of hummus are known to contain varying amounts of ingredients.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a typical 100-gram (g) serving of hummus will usually contain:

  • 214 calories
  • 10.71 g of protein
  • 8.93 g of fat
  • 28.57 g of carbohydrates
  • 7.1 g of fiber
  • 3.57 g of sugar
  • 71 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 2.57 of iron
  • 607 mg of sodium

Hummus obviously will deliver lower net carbs than chickpeas.

It also has a higher fat content; therefore, it is a better keto diet than chickpeas.

Other Keto-appropriate alternatives to Hummus

1) Avocado Hummus

Avocado is a very popular food in keto diets.

It can be used to make a variety of low-carb foods with numerous health benefits, for example, avocado brownies, guacamole, salad dressings, and hummus.

Avocado is a low-carb food with a rich source of fatty acid.

Home-made recipes are often healthier than those sold in stores as you can use healthier oils.

2) Cauliflower hummus

A head of cauliflower contains 17grams of net carb. This makes it a very popular vegetable in keto recipes. Cauliflower hummus can be prepared with ingredients like tahini, garlic, olive oil, avocado oil, lemon extract, and cumin.

As always, it is better to eat homemade ones than those sold in stores.

3) Almond Hummus

Almonds can be made into milk or flour.

They are a favorite nut in keto recipes due to their low-carb, high-fat content. Almond hummus is a great substitute for regular hummus.

Almonds are a favorite because they can be made into almond milk, almond flour, and other keto-friendly foods and substitutes.

4) Keto protein powder

Chickpeas are often used for their protein content. As an alternative, you can try using keto protein powders.

They are just as healthy and fit perfectly into the regime of ketosis.

Learn more in our article about the best keto protein powders on the market.

Final Thoughts

Note that the keto diet does not restrict your consumption of specific foods, so long as you stay within the recommended daily carb limit.

It is possible to consume small quantities of chickpeas on keto and still remain in ketosis, but you have to pay attention to how many carbs you are consuming daily.

They are high in carbs and can easily push your total carbs above your daily limit.

Chickpeas also contain a significant amount of sugar, which can cause a sudden increase in blood sugar and further threaten your ketosis.

Hummus is often seen as an alternative to chickpeas.

Indeed they have lower carbs than chickpeas per serving and are better options for a keto diet.

However, it is recommended that you opt for homemade hummus because most hummus sold in stores contains bad oils that have unhealthy trans-fats.

As chickpeas only constitute some part of your daily carbs on keto, it is equally important that you pay attention to the carbs contained in other foods you eat so as to maintain your ketosis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are chickpeas good for keto diet?

The garbanzo bean is a legume rich in carbohydrates but low in fats. Though it is a healthy food, it is not a suitable option for keto diets.

Can I eat chickpeas occasionally while on a keto diet?

Chickpea is a nutritionally important food, but its high carb content does not aid you in reaching and maintaining ketosis. If you consume chickpeas while in ketosis, you run the risk of coming out of ketosis.

Which beans are keto-friendly?

Beans and other legumes are not keto-friendly due to their high carbohydrate content. Consuming them in isolation is generally poor for weight loss. However, their carbohydrate content decreases when they are combined with other ingredients in hummus.

Is Hummus keto?

Hummus is a chickpea-flavored food. Regular hummus is not allowed on the keto diet because of its high carb content.

Can I eat hummus on keto?

The carb content in chickpeas is reduced in Hummus; nonetheless, regular hummus, even when consumed in small quantities, still does not work for weight loss because their net carbs are still too high.

What garbanzo beans substitute is there?

Almond-based hummus, Zucchini-based hummus, and cauliflower-based hummus are all substitutes for the garbanzo bean-based hummus.

What other types of food are good for a keto diet?

Other Foods You Can Eat on the Ketogenic Diet include Eggs, Plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, low-carb veggies, Fish, and other seafood. Their net carbs per serving fall well within that of an ideal keto diet.