Carbs in Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Nutritional Information, Glycemic Index, Calories, Protein

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans. Lilly Day/Getty Images

Chickpeas (also known as chick peas and garbanzo beans) are a type of legume which can be purchased dried or canned. There are advantages to cooking them yourself, as the impact on blood sugar will be less, and the benefits to gut flora will be maximized.

There are broadly two types of chickpeas, the "blond" variety (Kabuli) which makes up the vast majority of the chickpeas sold in most of the Middle East and North America, and darker ones (Desi, also called black chickpeas) found in India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and a few other countries.

They vary in color but are rarely actually black. The desi type are higher in phytonutrients. Also, if you are at a farmer's market at just the right time, you can sometimes find fresh chickpeas, which are green.

Chickpea flour (besan) is often used in Indian curries as a thickener. It has about half the carbohydrate of wheat flour.

A special note about hummus: Hummus, made from pureed chickpeas, varies widely in its calories, carbs, and glycemic index and load. This is probably primarily due to the amount of sesame tahini (sesame seed paste) in the recipe. More tahini in the recipe will produce hummus that is lower in carbs and glycemic index/load, and higher in calories. Ordinarily you could expect a pureed bean to have a higher glycemic index than the whole bean, but in the case of hummus the reverse is true, most likely due to the fat content of the tahini. One study of hummus was as low as 6!

Others have been in the low 20's.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

  • ½ cup of cooked chickpeas (not canned): 16 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 6 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 134 calories
  • ½ cup of canned chickpeas: 22 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 5 grams of fiber and 143 calories
  • ½ cup of raw chickpeas (cooks up to at least 2 servings): 43 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 17 grams of fiber and 364 calories
  • ½ cup of besan (chickpea flour): 22 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein, and 178 calories

Glycemic Index of Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Two studies for soaked boiled chickpeas reported average glycemic indexes of 10 and 36. Two studies of canned chickpeas reported an average glycemic index of 40.

More Information About the Glycemic Index

Glycemic Load of Chickpeas

  • ½ cup of cooked chickpeas(homemade): 9
  • ½ cup of canned chickpeas: 11

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a truly excellent source of fiber (about a third of which is soluble), as well as manganese, and folate. They are also a very good source of magnesium, iron, and copper. and thiamin, and a good source of potassium and iron.

Chickpeas, like other legumes, are perhaps the best food source of slowly-digested carbohydrate and resistant starch.

Essentially, this means that they contain starch which is slowly converted to glucose, and starch which is not digested in the small intestine at all. At least one study has shown that replacing more rapidly-digested carbohydrates with legumes improved glycemic control in diabetics. Consuming foods high in resistant starch may also improve colon health, including promoting healthy bowel flora. Resistant starch may even improve insulin sensitivity and absorption of minerals such as calcium.

More Information About Chickpeas at Calorie Count.

Serving Suggestion: Try chickpeas in my Low-Carb Four-Bean Salad

More Carb Profiles


Aguilera Y, Esteban RM, Benítez V et al. Starch, functional properties, and microstructural characteristics in chickpea and lentil as affected by thermal processing. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. 57:22 (2009) 10682-8.

Atkinson, F, Foster-Powell, K, and Brand-Miller, J. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008." Diabetes Care. 31:12 (2008).

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.

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