Is Besan Keto?

  • Date: January 2, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

If you’re asking, is besan keto? You’ve at least heard of it. It’s not the most popular ingredient in western cooking, but it has a long and rich history, being a widespread staple across the Indian subcontinent and used in a multitude of ways in multiple countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, and Nepal. That said, while besan can help make many a beautiful dish, those dishes are preferably not to be consumed by someone on a keto diet. Here’s why.

What is Besan?

Despite what you may be thinking, you may have actually heard of besan and even consumed it – just under another name! Besan is a type of chickpea flour

Usually, besan is made from one specific variety – Bengal gram chickpea – which is why it’s also often called gram flour.

However, these days most, if not all, types of chickpea flour get referred to as besan, be it gram or not, which is why the name garbanzo bean flour has been used more and more frequently.

Besan has a mild but not wholly neutral taste, with a bit of nuttiness to it. 

It has been gaining quite a bit of momentum recently in the fitness community due to its high protein content as well as being gluten-free, and its versatility.

It can easily be used to make bread, savory snacks, desserts, and coating.

The question is: is besan keto?

A Keto-Cap (aka A Keto Recap!)

If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.

As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.

For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;

  • 70% of their calories from fat
  • 25% from protein
  • 5% from carbohydrates

Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.

There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.

Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.

One of the main benefits which attract people to the keto diet is that it can cause significant reductions in insulin levels (by up to 75%) and blood sugar levels, which can be attractive to those that struggle with diabetes, amongst other health complaints.

What is the Nutritional Value of Besan?

Here’s the nutritional value of Besan per 100g of product:

  • Carbs: 58 grams
  • Protein: 22 grams
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 11 grams
  • Sugar: 11 grams 
  • Calories: ~390

How Many Net Carbs are there In Besan?

Calculating the net carbs using the standard formula – deducting fiber amount from total carb amount, we can see that there are 47 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of besan.

While besan has quite a high amount of dietary fiber (which, along with high protein content, makes it a star in the fitness community), it’s not quite high enough to negate its high carb content.

Is Besan Keto Friendly?

No, unfortunately, regardless of all its health benefits, besan isn’t keto-friendly and should be avoided while adhering to the keto diet.

There’s simply no way to work flour that nets 47g of carbs per 100g in a diet that’s supposed to stick to less than 20g net carbs per day. As always, we have found some perfect keto friendly alternatives to besan for you.

What are the Best Keto Alternatives to Besan?

The best keto alternatives to besan are classic keto staples, coconut flour, and almond flour. But especially almond flour, due to its characteristic nutty taste.

Almond and coconut flours are both rich in dietary fiber and protein, which besan is primarily prized for; both are naturally gluten-free, and, unlike besan, both have high-fat content which is always a plus when it comes to keto.

Keto Friendly Besan Flour Alternatives

Almond Flour

Coconut Flour

Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.

If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.

Summary: Is Besan Keto?

Alas, no, besan flour is not keto, it contains far too many net carbs for it to be incorporated into a keto diet. However, almond flour, with its nutty taste and similar texture can be the perfect keto friendly alternative to besan.

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