Are beans high in sugar?

Most beans & legumes are low in sugar. They have less than 1 g per serving.

Sugar & health

Excessive sugar consumption can be bad for health. It has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Also, too much sugar may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased uric acid and high cholesterol.[1]

How much sugar can we consume in a day?

We shouldn’t consume too much sugar. We shouldn’t consume more than 25 g of extra sugar a day. As sugar is added to sodas, sweets, and most processed products, people who follow the standard American diet probably consume much more.[2,3]

Most noteworthy, cutting down sugar isn’t easy. Sugar interferes with the reward system of the brain. It affects eating behavior and causes overeating. Also, too much sugar causes weight gain because it prevents the production of the leptin hormone. This hormone helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.[4]

How much sugar is in a serving of beans?

Most beans are pretty low in sugars. For instance, common beans, such as navy, kidney and pinto beans contain less than 1 g of sugar per serving!

Lima beans, soybeans, lentils, and fava beans contain low amounts of sugars as well.

sugar (g)
per 100 g
sugar (g)
per serving
lima beans2.95.5
fava beans1.83.5
navy beans0.40.7
pink beans0.40.7
kidney beans0.30.6
pinto beans0.30.6
Sugar content of common beans.[5]

Chickpeas are the richest common beans in sugar. They contain almost 8 g of sugars per serving.

Can people with diabetes eat beans?

Although, beans are low in sugars, they’re high in carbs. So, people with diabetes should avoid consuming high amounts.

But, all beans are particularly high in dietary fiber! Actually, beans are among the richest foods in fiber. For instance, a serving of chickpeas and kidney beans has approximately 13 g of fiber, while a serving of lentils has more than 15 g of fiber.

Fiber and resistant starch in beans prevent spikes of blood sugar. Thus, the American Diabetes Association recommends consuming beans and legumes in moderation.[6]

If you’re using the Plate Method, beans should make up about a quarter of the plate.

Beans and legumes are considered healthy carbs. People with diabetes can consume them, along with vegetables, fruits, and whole-grains.[7]

After all, beans and legumes are packed in vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting phytochemicals. For instance, they’re particularly high in magnesium and potassium, which may help control blood glucose.[8]

In addition, beans are among the richest foods in iron while they have a pretty high calcium content!

Certainly, you should consult your physician before start eating beans. Ask her/him for proper portion sizes.

Can people on a ketogenic diet eat beans?

People who follow a ketogenic diet better avoid chickpeas and lima beans. They’re rich in carbs and sugar. Prefer consuming moderate amounts of soybeans or tofu. Soybeans are low in carbs, while they’re pretty high in protein and fat.

Better prefer green beans, though. They have a much lower carbohydrate content as compared to mature seeds.

Consuming beans, even in moderation, is beneficial for our health. Bean consumption has been linked to significant reduction of all-risk mortality.[9]

Also, beans may reduce LDL-cholesterol, high blood pressure, and improve glycemic control.[10]

In addition, beans may protect the heart, help lose weight, reduce low-grade inflammation and play a role in immune-related disease risk management.[11]

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