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Can You Have Bean Sprouts On The Atkins Diet? The Complete Guide

The Atkins diet has a strict set of rules about what followers can and can not eat, which must be adhered to for best results. As bean sprouts shoot from the legume, mung beans, it can cause confusion as to whether or not you can eat them. The answer is yes, you can eat bean sprouts when on the Atkins diet.
[Warning: Before trying a new diet or changing your existing diet consult your family doctor. Rapid changes to your diet can be potentially dangerous for your health - below is not medical or nutritional advice]
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What Is The Atkins Diet?

The Atkins diet promotes eating a low carb, high protein diet. The founder, Robert Atkins, claimed that it was the carbohydrate food group which caused people to gain weight. Although this is still hotly contested with many claiming the exact opposite! Many proponents of the Atkins diet anecdotally tout the health benefits they’ve experienced from their weight loss.
Many studies have been conducted and have not shown that there is a higher amount of sustained weight loss by following the Atkins diet. A study concluded that there was only a 1-2.9% higher amount of weight loss than when compared to behaviour counselling. You can read the study here on

How Is It Different From A Conventional Diet?

The recommended conventional food pyramid suggests that you should consume mostly fruits and vegetables, then incrementally lower amounts of carbs, dairy, meat, protein, and junk food (The EU Food Pyramid Diagram). Robert Atkins instead turned the pyramid upside down, promoting a diet extremely high in protein, and fat with little to no carbohydrate consumption.


What Are Bean Sprouts?



Bean sprouts are the shoots that grow out of mung beans when you start to grow them. They’re white and skinny in appearance, and have that characteristic crunchy texture. Their taste is relatively bland, as they contain over 90% water by volume.
Most enjoy eating bean sprouts when incorporated into other stronger tasting dishes. Popular dishes include East-Asian inspired stir-fries, tangy or spicy salads or just as a crunchy snack. More recently bean sprouts have become popular and now appear in grocery stores and asian supermarkets.
Growing bean sprouts is very quick, simple and easy. To grow bean sprouts you just need to soak your mung beans in water for 6-8 hours in a jar. After which you need to thoroughly rinse your beans and drain them twice per day. After 3-4 days you will have fully grown sprouts.


What Makes Something Atkins Compatible?

When starting the Atkins diet, you will need to cut your carbohydrate intake down to 20-25g per day. This will deplete your glycogen supplies in your muscles and liver, until you start burning fat instead of sugars.


What Are The Atkins Rules?



There are eleven rules of the Atkins diet, however the most important three can be described in a few sentences. 
Consume Less Than 20-25g Of Carbohydrates Per Day - By eating very few carbohydrates it will keep you in the ‘fat burning’ zone. They recommend that half of this carb intake comes from green salad and vegetables. Which are packed with high amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Protein With Every Meal - Protein will keep you fuller for longer, and is packed with many health benefits too. The Atkins diet recommends eating between 4-6oz a day when starting out (112-168g). Recommend protein sources are fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs and red meat. 
Watch What You Eat - When you need to adhere to very strict rules of low carbohydrate and high protein it can be hard to know what to eat. The Atkins website has a long list of acceptable foods which you should check before doing your grocery shopping. Check it out here: Approved List Of Food. Each ingredient has the associated nutritional information, ensuring you stick to within your range.
Other 7 rules are general dieting rules, they include not skipping meals, reducing quantities of food you eat, try to avoid fake or artificial sugars and sweeteners, drink lots of water, avoid excessive caffeine, and consume a multivitamin daily. 



Can You Eat Bean Sprouts When Following The Atkins Diet?

Yes, mung bean sprouts are on the approved list of foods, they class mung beans as ‘foundational vegetables’. To see more foundational vegetables check them out here: Foundational Vegetables.

Why Can You Eat Mung Bean Sprouts On The Atkins Diet?

Quantity Of Carbs - Mung beans are very low in carbs only containing 2.2g per ½ cup (roughly 50g). Making them ideal for snacking on, adding to your stir-fries to bulk out your other protein packed meals.
Warning: As mung beans are a high carbohydrate food, be sure to peel the bean away from the sprout. To ensure that you eat only the shoot and not the bean too. We would recommend after sprouting that you pull away the beans before you store them. For a guide to storing your bean sprouts check out our article: How To Store Bean Sprouts.


Atkins And Other Types Of Sprouts

On the list of foundational vegetables you’ll find many types of bean sprouts listed, all with the associated carbohydrate quantities too. Alfalfa sprouts being the lowest in carbohydrates coming in at 0g per ½ cup! Whereas tomato sprouts can contain up to 8.6g per ½ cup (50g). Be sure to review each sprout before consuming to ensure you keep within your daily limit.


Bean Sprouts Nutrition

Are Sprouts High In Carbs?
No bean sprouts are very low in carbohydrates. In fact you could eat roughly 5 cups (500g) before hitting your daily carb quota!
Are Sprouts Protein Or Carb?
Bean sprouts are actually particularly low in both protein and carbs. Most people eat them to enjoy the texture when incorporated into a meal or to snack on too.
How Many Net Carbs Are In Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts have only 2.2g per ½ cup (50g) of sprouts.
Are Bean Sprouts Low Glycemic?
According to NutrionalData.Self.Com, ½ a cup of bean sprouts has an estimated glycemic load of 1.5. Meaning that they can be called a low glycemic food too.
How Many Carbs In 1 Cup Of Bean Sprouts?
There are roughly 4.4g of carbs per 1 cup of mung bean sprouts. 
How Many Carbs In 100g Of Bean Sprouts?
There is roughly 2.1g of carbs per 100g of mung beans. For more information check out the nutritional information link. 


Common Questions

Can You Eat Bean Sprouts On A Low Carb Diet?
Yes, you can eat bean sprouts on a low carb diet. In fact most specialty diets such as ketogenic diet, and paleo diet allow for mung bean sprouts to be eaten.
What Vegetables Can You Eat On The Atkins Diet?
The Atkins diet suggests getting at least half of your daily amount of carbs from leafy greens and other salad. They recommend salad leaves such as spinach and lettuce.
How Do You Prepare Bean Sprouts?
The best way to prepare bean sprouts is by first thoroughly cleaning them before blanching them. Once blanched you can add them into a salad or stir-fry. It’s necessary to thoroughly clean and blanch them before eating as food-borne diseases and bacteria can grow on the surface.
Are Bean Sprouts Good For Diabetics?
Bean sprouts are low on the glycemic index which means that they may be suitable for diabetic people to eat them in small quantities. They also are high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If you have a long-term health condition always consult your doctor before changing your diet.



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