Legumes can be incredibly helpful for keto dieters who are looking to add more protein into their meals. However, with that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that not all legumes are created equally. Some legumes simply have way too many carbs to be considered viable for the keto diet. Today, we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at edamame in order to definitively answer the question, “Is edamame keto?”
Let’s find out.
What Makes Edamame a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
When you look at just how nutrient-dense edamame is, it’s really no wonder that it’s so hugely popular with people on low carb diets. Here are just a handful of the main reasons why it’s so popular:
- Edamame provides an excellent mixture of both dietary fat and protein.
- Its overall net carb total (total carbs minus fiber) is lower than one might think, thanks to the high fiber content of edamame.
- Edamame is an incredibly nutrient-dense legume, with high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Edamame can be prepared with a bunch of options for keto-friendly seasoning mixtures to make a variety of tasty low carb dishes.
Is Edamame Keto?
While there are plenty of legumes out there that wouldn’t work with a ‘strict’ keto diet, edamame is definitely a legume that falls in a rather gray area.
At first glance, edamame has quite a high carb content. But when you consider that approximately 50% of that carb count comes from dietary fiber, edamame begins to look even more appealing for the keto diet.
Aside from the minimal carb content, edamame truly excels in just about every other way you could hope for from a keto-friendly food option. It’s rich in both dietary fat and protein, it’s packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, and its antioxidant content can even help to offer some protection against disease as well.
All in all, so long as you’re remaining aware of your macros and your total daily carb intake, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t enjoy edamame on a moderate basis.
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that edamame is indeed a keto-friendly food choice.
Edamame Nutrition Facts
As you can see from the following nutritional breakdown for a 100 gram serving of cooked edamame, it checks off just about all of the right boxes for keto dieters:
- 122 calories
- 5 grams fat
- 11 grams protein
- 10 grams carbs
- 5 grams dietary fiber
- 2.2 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 6 mg sodium
- 436 mg potassium
Edamame Health Benefits
On top of nailing all of the right macros for keto dieters, edamame offers some great health benefits as well. Here are a few of the best ones:
- May protect against heart disease. There is mounting evidence that including soy based protein sources in your diet can help to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. One study in particular found that individuals who consumed at least 47 grams of soy protein per day managed to lower total cholesterol levels by 9% and LDL cholesterol levels by almost 13%. (1)
- High antioxidant content. Edamame is also rich in 2 key antioxidants – vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A is necessary for a multitude of vital bodily functions (including maintaining vision and muscle growth and development), while vitamin C has been proven to boost the strength of your immune system, relieve chronic inflammation in the body, and help to protect against disease. (2)
- Improved gut health. Thanks to its high fiber content, edamame offers a few great benefits for your gut health as well. Dietary fiber can reduce total cholesterol levels, normalize bowel movements, and even help to reduce your risk of colon and gastrointestinal cancer. (3)
Keto Edamame Alternatives
On occasion, I’ve been unable to find edamame at my local grocery store. If you ever find yourself with the same problem and you need to come up with a keto-friendly replacement for edamame in a recipe, you can try one of the following substitutes:
- Green peas
- Lima beans
- Fava beans