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Is Edamame Keto? [TRUTH About Those Shiny Little Beans!]


written by

Husein Gradasevic

is edamame keto

Eating grains and legumes on a KETO Diet is a sure-shot way to ruin your ketosis! But Edamame seems to have a quite interesting nutrition profile. Today you’ll find out: Is Edamame Keto Approved?

We keto-ers need to keep our daily carbs under 20g to achieve and maintain ketosis. Since most legumes are high in carbs, they are strictly prohibited in keto!

Edamame is made of soybeans that are STILL in their pods. Salty edamame makes for a scrumptious appetizer which is also served at many restaurants!

is edamame keto

So what makes Edamame different? Why are we even wondering whether it is keto?

Well, Edamame isn’t your regular legume! It has a lot of fiber that lowers its quantity of total net carbs!

In this article, you’ll find out how Edamame fits in the keto universe, its various health benefits, and how you can make the most of it on keto!

Is Edamame Keto Friendly?

Edamame is keto-friendly when consumed in moderation. A half-cup serving (75g) of cooked edamame has a total of 3.5g net carbs. You can have it as an occasional keto snack.

However, a lot depends on how you prepare the Edamame! The ingredients of your recipe can make or break a perfect keto-friendly Edamame dish.

There are tons of different ways to prepare this highly versatile snack item! You can steam it, fry it, or even boil it.

Some people include the fizzy outer pods in their recipe while others just stick with the shiny-bright green beans inside. Either way, it makes for a delicious appetizer!

Heck, you can even make a puree out of them and use it as a dip or dressings for your salads!

I’d like to emphasize one major point here: Always count the total carbs in your meal.

It may seem like very obvious advice, but trust me, so many people get kicked out of ketosis due to this trivial reason!

What you are eating along with the Edamame also contributes to the total net carbs in your meal. It’s quite easy to almost double the carbs with unnecessary condiments or dressings!

You may think that it’s just some mayo, some ketchup, some salsa, etc. But they all add up to significantly high carbs in the big picture!

edamame net carbs

An occasional serving of Edamame on the keto diet can provide you with lots of vital minerals and nutrients.

It is an excellent source of essential nutrients, such as fiber, iron, protein, folate, and vitamins C and K. Soybeans are quite rich in protein and can be a good supplement to your overall macros.

Edamame is one of the rare legumes that have very few net carbs. The reason for this is that they are quite rich in fiber!

Since fiber is deductible from total carbs to determine net carbs, Edamame is one of the most keto-friendly legumes! Moderation is the key to enjoying Edamame on keto.

Net Carbs in Edamame

A half-cup (75g) of cooked Edamame contains 3.5g of net carbs, which is not very poor as per keto standards.

You don’t have to fear the carbs on a keto diet. In fact, the key to successful ketosis involves various adjustments for a practical diet!

However, net carbs aren’t the only factor to judge the keto-friendliness of a food item! Glycemic index is also a vital factor when determining how something affects your ketosis.

It is a scale that ranks foods based on how quickly they raise your blood sugar.

You see, even if two foods have the same number of net carbs (let’s say 5g), both of them will impact keto in different ways!

The one with the lower G.I. should always be preferred as it is absorbed slowly into your bloodstream. On the other hand, foods with high G.I. like simple sugar can even throw you out of ketosis!

MORE: Is Miso Soup Keto?

All About Edamame

Soybeans are one of the most versatile foods I’ve ever come across!

There are so many products which highly differ from each other, but yet come from the same plan: soybean!

Some of them include: tofu, soybean oil, miso, tempeh, soy sauce, etc.

Edamame is yet another way (a pretty scrumptious one!) to consume soybeans in your diet. It is a preparation of immature whole soybeans eaten with or without their outer pods.

While it’s a staple in Chinese and Japanese cuisines, Edamame is slowly branching out to the western part of the world, in countries such as America.

Edamame beans are quite different than regular soybeans. It is bright and shiny green in color whereas the matured soybeans tend to be tan and brown.

They are available in restaurants as a salty appetizer and you can also buy them frozen in most grocery stores.

You can cook it by any method you want, but salt seems to be it’s most preferred soulmate! Adding them to soups and noodles significantly enhances their taste!

Edamame is quite easy to prepare, has a lot of essential nutrients, and packs good amounts of protein and fiber. It can be a great keto snack in moderation!

However, if you’re on a strict keto diet, the Edamame isn’t the right fit for you.

Confused? Don’t worry if it’s the first time you have heard about this term!

Let me give you a refresher for different types of keto in our low-carb community!

Strict Keto vs Lazy Keto vs Dirty Keto

The low-carb high-fat diets have taken many forms in the modern world! Whether you call it the lchf diet or keto diet, more and more people are creating their own flavors to this diet.

Keto began as a very strict diet obsessing about having less than 20g of carbs per day.

More and more people joined the keto trend after seeing hugely promising results from celebrities and fitness influencers all over the world!

This lead to the birth of lazy keto where people are much more laidback and flexible in their weight loss approach. The majority of us fall under this segment because we love variety and flexibility.

On the other hand, dirty keto is a version of the ketogenic diet that simply focuses on weight loss while enjoying a flavorful life! Even if that includes unhealthy (but low carb) foods!

Strict Keto

Strict keto is the oldest forms of keto diet involving a fixed daily carb limits and tracking down all your meals.

It is the best way to enter ketosis as a beginner, and also to train your body to start shedding fat by eating more fat!

As a newbie, you should track each and every food that goes in your belly. Since it’s a completely new diet, you may fall into a trap of untracked carbs and hidden carbs.

That’s why you should not leave things for approximation and be rigid about your macros!

keto diet pyramid

You need to give up all grains, legumes (including Edamame), sugar, most fruits, and vegetables or tubers.

Your new friends are fatty meat, leafy green vegetables, veggies that grow above the ground, high-fat dairy (such as heavy whipped cream), and sugar-free beverages like black coffee and plain water.

Other high-fat foods include oils, nuts, and seeds. Fruits like avocados and low carb berries (such as blackberries) can also be enjoyed in moderation.

Processed foods and cheat meals are a sin on a strict keto diet and you should avoid them completely!

One of the reasons for these strict rules is that as a beginner you can’t just read a label and determine whether it’s good for keto!

You’ve got to consider things like net carbs, glycemic index, hidden carbs, sweeteners, etc which require some first hand experience.

So is Edamame Keto-friendly? The answer is NO if you are on strict keto because soybeans are also a legume!

Lazy Keto

Lazy keto is a much more flexible version of keto diet where you simply stick to the low-carb diet.

There is no need to track each and every meal like a maniac but you’ve still got to stay under daily carb limit.

Beginners who have tasted the keto diet through strict keto, usually slip into this much lazier approach.

Lazy keto makes sense when you’ve successfully transitioned into ketosis and identified what food really work for you on keto.

Strict keto takes a lot of time and effort, and honestly, if you’re in this for the long term, you need a much more practical approach!

Strict keto significantly limits our food options but lazy keto provides more flexibility. On a lazy keto diet, you can adjust your meals in a way so that your daily carb limit is maintained.

You can have Edamame on lazy keto and then pair it with a high-fat food to make it a keto-friendly meal!

Dirty Keto

Dirty keto is a version of the keto diet that tends to shift towards processed, convenient foods rather than organic whole foods!

With the surge in the keto diet’s popularity, so many brands have come into the market with their keto-friendly versions of tortillas, cookies, pizzas, chips, etc.

If you are a busy professional, cooking and prepping separate keto meals can be overwhelming! That’s why this sudden wave of convenient keto foods has taken the market by storm!

Want something to drink? You have got zero carb beverages like Zevia soda.

Want a quick on-the-go snack? You have low carb beef jerky!

It’s a common myth that people who eat processed foods on keto don’t care about their health!

However, I feel it’s the convenience factor that helps us stay sane on the keto diet while also enjoying an occasional snack or dessert!

If you are a beginner, I highly recommend you start with the strict keto diet.

Once you get comfortable with the diet pattern and know more about keto foods, you can slip into a lazier approach!

Either way, you should get all the vital nutrients from your diet and minimize the number of junk foods!

Edamame is still a keto-friendly option if you are in the dirty-keto category!

Edamame Health Benefits on Keto

Edamame is a common sight in Japanese and Chinese cuisines.

If you are a Sushi enthusiast, I bet you’ve tasted to Edamame once in your life!

Edamame is made with young and unmatured soybeans that are cooked into a lip-smacking appetizer!

Here are some of the promising health benefits of eating Edamame on a keto diet.

Rich in Protein

In a quest for high-fat and low-carb foods, we often neglect the third vital macronutrient i.e. protein!

Vegan keto is now very popular but people have a tough time filling their protein requirements. Since plant-based foods have very low protein, beans like soybeans are a blessing to vegetarians!

A 100g serving of Edamame has 12g protein which is considered excellent as per vegetarian standards.

Soybeans are a source of whole protein, which means it has a complete amino acid profile! It’s hard to find a whole protein source in plant based foods.

Edamame can be an excellent source of protein for vegetarians on the keto diet!

Vitamins & Minerals

Not just protein, but Edamame is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber!

Based on RDI, a 100g (3.5 ounces) serving of Edamame has the following nutritional profile:

  • Folate: 78%
  • Vitamin K1: 33%
  • Thiamine: 13%
  • Riboflavin: 9%
  • Iron: 13%
  • Copper: 17%
  • Manganese: 51%

Doesn’t Raise Blood Sugar

Keto is all about having low G.I. foods that don’t raise your blood sugar levels!

Whether you’re doing it for weight loss or for the purpose of reversing type-2 diabetes, principles remain the same.

Edamame has a low glycemic index which means that it does not cause sudden spikes in blood sugar.

Moreover, eating a lot of simple carbs on a regular basis can increase your risk of chronic diseases.

So Edamame is a good source of protein for diabetics and also keeps you in ketosis because of its low G.I.


Is Edamame Keto Approved?

Edamame is keto only when consumed in moderation. Depending on the seasonings and dressings, an average half-cup serving (75g) has 3.5 g net carbs.

You can have it as an occasional keto snack or use it in high-fat salads on the ketogenic diet. It is a great source of protein, vitamins & minerals, and fiber. Since it has a low G.I., Edamame is also suitable for people with diabetes.

Edamame is made from unmatured soybeans and is a complete protein source for vegan keto-ers.

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