Kidney Diet Tips

Food Facts Friday: Garbanzo Beans aka Chickpeas

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, have been eaten in the Middle East for more than 10,000 years. They are a staple of Middle Eastern, African, and Indian cuisines. Garbanzo beans are the second most widely grown legume after the soybean. They have become a popular choice for a plant-based protein source and for making delicious hummus.

Garbanzo Beans and Kidney Diets

Beans are on the list of high phosphorus and high potassium foods, however they can be a part of a kidney-friendly diet. Your individual phosphorus and potassium levels will help determine how much potassium and phosphorus you should consume daily. Your renal dietitian can discuss this with you.

Garbanzo beans are not as high in phosphorus and potassium as other beans. They are considered to be of moderate phosphorus and potassium content. Research shows that only about 50% of the phosphorus in beans is actually absorbed.

Garbanzo beans are high in fiber. Fiber has been found to help improve several aspects of health, including preventing constipation, lowering cholesterol levels, and controlling blood sugar levels. Garbanzo beans are also a good source of protein , which can help improve albumin levels. Add garbanzo beans to a salad or soup to easily add protein and fiber. Make homemade hummus for a protein-packed dip for vegetables or pita bread.

Garbanzo Beans Serving Size and Nutrition Facts

One serving of garbanzo beans is 1/4 cup dry or 1/2 cup cooked. A serving contains 110 calories, 6 g protein, 2 g fat, 18 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 96 mg phosphorus and 173 mg potassium. A half cup serving of canned garbanzo beans also contains 40 mg calcium and 1.44 mg iron. Sodium content of canned beans can vary from 10 mg to 330 mg per half cup serving. It is important to look at the Nutrition Facts label to see how much sodium the beans contains. Draining and rinsing the canned beans can help reduce the sodium content.

Preparing Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans can be bought dried or canned. Dried beans will double in size when cooked. Place the dried beans in a large bowl that allows room to expand. Fill the bowl with water at least 3 inches above the beans. Soak overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and then place beans in a pot with water covering beans. Bring pot of beans to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until beans are cooked through, usually about an hour. Canned beans can be a quick fix for a meal. Put the beans in a colander and rinse them. They can be eaten right away or you can simmer the rinsed beans in a broth with spices to add more flavor.

DaVita Garbanzo Bean Recipes


  1. Chickpeas vs Garbanzo Bean: What’s the Difference? Spoon University Accessed on April 5, 2019.
  2. K. Kris Hirst. The Domestication History of Chickpeas. ThoughtCo Accessed April 5, 2019.
  3. USDA Food Composition Databases: Garbanzo Beans.
  4. The Food Processer by ESHA nutrient database, version 11. 1, 2016.
  5. Kalantar–Zadeh et al; Understanding Sources of Dietary Phosphorus in the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 5: 519-530, 2010.
  6. Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet. Mayo Clinic Accessed April 5, 2019.

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This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Sarah Alsing, MS, RD, CSR

Sarah Alsing, MS, RD, CSR

Sarah has been a dietitian since 2016 working in acute care, including transplant, and currently works in dialysis with in-center and peritoneal dialysis patients. She loves staying up-to-date on the latest nutrition research and discussing it with her patients. Sarah also has a passion for fitness and cooking healthy meals, as well as baking sweet treats for family and friends.