Are Lentils Keto?

Last Updated on Feb 17, 2024 by HappyDieter

Lentils are a popular choice for plant-based protein due to their nutritional value and affordability. However, if you are following a keto diet, you may wonder if lentils can still fit into your meal plan. In this article, we will explore whether lentils are keto-friendly and discuss their carb content.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lentils are not considered keto-friendly due to their high carbohydrate content.
  • 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 36 grams of carbs, making it challenging to fit into a keto diet.
  • Smaller portion sizes of lentils may still be an option depending on individual carb intake.
  • There are other keto-friendly alternatives, such as non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits, that provide similar nutrients.
  • Understanding the carb content of lentils can help you make informed choices about your keto diet.

Carb Content of Lentils

Lentils, despite being a nutritious legume, have a high carbohydrate content, which makes them incompatible with a strict keto diet. For individuals following a keto diet, keeping track of the carb intake is crucial, as it typically requires limiting net carbs to around 25-50 grams per day.

If we take a look at the carb content of lentils, 1 cup of cooked lentils contains approximately 36 grams of total carbs. This amount can significantly impact the daily carb allowance for a keto dieter, leaving little room for other low-carb options.

When it comes to a keto diet, distinguishing between total carbs and net carbs is important. Net carbs represent the digestible carbohydrates obtained by deducting the fiber content from the total carbs. In the case of lentils, a cup of cooked lentils provides around 22 grams of net carbs after subtracting the fiber.

While smaller portions of lentils, such as 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup, may still be feasible depending on the dieter’s remaining carb intake for the day, it’s crucial to consider the carb content carefully.

Total Carbs (g) Net Carbs (g)
36 22

It’s worth noting that lentils offer various nutritional benefits, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, for individuals strictly adhering to a keto diet, there are other keto-friendly options available that provide similar nutrients without the high carb content found in lentils.

Understanding the carb content of lentils enables individuals to make informed decisions about incorporating them into a keto diet and explore alternatives that better align with their dietary goals.


Lentils, while nutritious, are not considered keto-friendly due to their high carbohydrate content. The keto diet requires strict carbohydrate restriction to achieve and maintain a state of ketosis, which is essential for fat burning. With around 36 grams of carbs in 1 cup of cooked lentils, incorporating this legume into a keto diet can be challenging.

However, it’s important to note that individuals following a keto diet may still be able to enjoy small portions of lentils depending on their overall carbohydrate intake. By carefully monitoring their macros and adjusting portion sizes, some may find room for lentils in their keto meal plans.

For those looking for alternatives to lentils on a keto diet, non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower can provide similar nutrients without the high carb content. Low-sugar fruits like berries and avocados, as well as nutrient-dense seeds like chia and flaxseeds, are also excellent options to consider as replacements.

By understanding the compatibility of lentils with a keto diet and exploring alternative keto-friendly foods, individuals can make informed decisions about their food choices. This allows them to enjoy the benefits of a keto diet while ensuring they stay on track with their health and wellness goals.


Q: Are lentils keto?

A: Lentils are not considered keto-friendly due to their high carbohydrate content.

Q: Can I have lentils on a keto diet?

A: Lentils are high in carbohydrates, making them incompatible with a strict keto diet.

Q: How many carbs are in lentils?

A: Lentils contain a significant amount of carbs, with 1 cup of cooked lentils providing 36 grams of carbs.

Q: Can I include small portions of lentils in a keto diet?

A: Depending on your overall carb intake, you may be able to incorporate smaller portion sizes of lentils.

Q: What alternatives are there to lentils on a keto diet?

A: Instead of lentils, consider opting for non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, or seeds as keto-friendly alternatives.

Q: Are there any nutritional benefits to eating lentils?

A: Lentils do offer protein, fiber, and important nutrients, but their carb content can make it challenging to stay within the desired carb limits of a keto diet.