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Adzuki beans are a nutritious protein source.
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Beans, including adzuki and cannellini beans, provide significant amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They may help lower your risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity, according to North Dakota State University Extension. However, they aren't always easy to fit into a low-carb diet. Cannellini beans may be a better option than adzuki beans, since they are lower in carbohydrates.
Beans are relatively high in carbohydrates, so you may need to limit them if you are on a low-carb diet. A one-half-cup serving of cooked adzuki beans contains about 147 calories and 28.5 grams of carbohydrates. Choose cannellini beans instead and you'll be getting 112 calories and 20 grams of carbohydrates for the same amount of beans.
While the carbohydrate content of beans may sound high, they are also high in fiber. Fiber isn't digested, so many people on low-carb diets subtract it from the total carbohydrates to determine net carbohydrates. Each serving of adzuki beans contains 8.4 grams of fiber, making the net carbohydrates 20.1 grams, and each serving of cannellini beans has 6 grams of fiber, making the net carbohydrates 14 grams.
Whether you'll be able to fit either of these types of beans into your low-carb diet depends on which diet you are following and which stage of the diet you are on. For example, the first phase of each the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet only allow about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. However, the second phases allow up to 60 grams and 90 grams per day, respectively. You'll most likely want to avoid beans during the first phase, but should be able to fit in a serving of adzuki or cannellini beans during later phases of the diet from time to time with planning.
Recommended Carb Intake
Low-carb diets recommend getting a lot fewer carbohydrates than the typical 45 to 65 percent of calories recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Registered Dietitian Joan Salge Blake recommends a minimum of 130 grams of carbohydrates per day to ensure your brain gets enough glucose to function properly in a review on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. It's better to focus on getting most of your carbohydrates from foods that have a low glycemic load, meaning those that don't cause large spikes in blood pressure, such as beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, instead of severely limiting your carbohydrate intake, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center.