I'm having trouble figuring out if beans are OK on a low carb diet, or only ok in moderation (and what IS 'moderation'?)? I recently discovered a love for black beans, and I would like to add them to pretty much everything I eat, if possible. I want to do low-carb, but I am sort of going vegetarian-style because I can't afford grass-fed beef and free-range chicken, and I don't want to eat that other stuff. So, how much blackbeans can I eat a day?
PS I am using dry beans, only the canned ones in emergencies.
Since they contain nearly twice the net carbohydrates as protein, I wouldn't consider them a low-carb food. That doesn't mean they can't fit into a low or reduced carb diet.
It really depends on your diet plan and your definition of low-carb (and there really isn't a standard one). To a large degree, low-carb is in the eye of the beholder. Even diets as high as 200g of carbohydrates are considered low (or at least reduced) carb by some of the experts. Though 150g is a slightly more common limit. Still, you'll also find people who argue that anything higher than 60g shouldn't be considered low-carb at all.
1 cup of black beans contains
In an exchange plan, that's 2 bread exchanges, and 2 protein
If you're counting net carbohydrates that's 26g of carbs.
It would be a lot harder to fit them into Atkins (legumes are rung 6 on the carb ladder, so you wouldn't be adding them until several weeks into OWL).
I believe South Beach allows legumes, but I don't remember at which stage II (personally I tend to stall on South Beach, because I have to reduce carbs a bit more even when the carbs are "good carbs").
I follow a higher-protein, lower-carb exchange plan, which limits bread servings to 2 per day. So 1 cup of black beans could fit into my day, but barely.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
You might consider trying Tim Ferriss's Slow-Carb diet from the 4 Hour Body. There's definitely a thread around here somewhere for buddies. Essentially you eat every meal with protein, vegetables, and beans. Definitely the bean-lovers diet! This isn't the best link but something to play around with. I'm a bean addict too!!!
I'm not a diehard low-carber by any means, but I have been low-carbing for a few months now with some pretty encouraging results. I'm also a research nerd, so I have researched the living daylights out of this topic. What I think might be helpful to you is something I have figured out through my research - there's no one-size-fits-all prescription for what carbs we can eat and how many. For some people an apple a day is just fine, but they can't have any beans at all, for others (me) an apple makes them want to eat everything in sight, but about 50g of cooked beans per meal once or twice a day is perfectly acceptable, does not make me hungry and is very satisfying.
My advice - test it out. Try adding 50g of cooked black beans to an otherwise carb-free or nearly carb free meal (to rule out influence of other carbs on your blood sugar and insulin) and see how you feel. If you find that it makes you want to eat more, avoid the beans, and if, like me, you find it satisfying and non-binge-triggering, then go ahead and incorporate them in to more meals. For me, about 100g of cooked beans a day is about the limit, as long as the rest of my food is mostly meat/fish and veggies.