Are Pinto Beans Healthy
According to the USDA, every 1/2-cup serving of cooked pinto beans without salt provides:
- Dietary fiber: 8 g
- Sodium: 1 milligram
- Folate: 147 micrograms
Pinto beans are highly nutritious, and research suggests that eating them may help provide protection against many chronic illnesses. They are gluten- and cholesterol-free and are rich in protein, fiber and folate. Pinto beans also have essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, thiamin, calcium and zinc. They are low in fat and sodium when they are prepared without any salt and additives.
Protein In Beans And Legumes Compared With Alternatives
Beans and legumes should be combined with other protein sources to help you reach your daily protein target, increase the variety of nutrients youre consuming, and to optimize how these proteins are used by the body.
Below, Ive included a table showing the amount of protein in different food sources to show how they compare with the protein in beans and legumes.
Beans and legumes can become complete sources of protein if theyre combined with other foods that contain the amino acids that theyre missing.
The Top 15 Legumes And Beans With The Most Protein
There’s no doubt that protein is vital for our health. It’s responsible for building muscle and preventing diseases, like obesity and diabetes. To get the protein we need, many of us turn to high-protein legumes and beans. The good news is that these 15 legumes and beans have plenty of protein – black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, split peas, chickpeas, white navy beans, pinto beans, and adzuki beans. Plus, several of them are also vegan, making them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. If you’re looking to increase your protein intake, consider adding some high-protein beans and lentils to your diet!
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Beans Can Be A Good Option Not Just For Protein Needs But Also If Youre Looking For Something Filling To Help You Manage Your Weight
Whether youre a vegetarian or a meat-eater, chances are you seek to eat a well-balanced diet largely made up of whole foods to meet various health and nutrition needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Beans are one of the most versatile options out there, whether youre enjoying them as a side dish to your main course, a base for vegetarian burgers, or in a hearty soup or filling salad.
In this article, well cover some of the most protein-dense bean options out there, as well as their nutrition stats and health benefits.
The Different Types Of Beans
There are more than 40,000 different types of bean, most of which arent edible. Of the ones that are though, weve got our favourites:
Green beansThis vibrant, folic acid rich bean tastes as fresh as it looks. You might not know it, but the grown-up version of this bean is the one in your fry-ups!Queen bean for: Salads, sides and great fish dishes. Find me in the Birds Eye Italian 3 Bean Mix.
Kidney beansThis deep purple chap is the best bean to eat with meat, but its smoky flavour when cooked is all its own.Queen bean for: Chilli con carne . Find me in the Birds Eye Mexican Bean Mix.
Borlotti beansA colourful bean that doesnt get enough recognition in cooking! Its got all the fibre youd expect of any self-respecting bean.Queen bean for: Spicing up a family favourite, like spaghetti Bolognese . Find me in the Birds Eye Italian 3 Bean Mix.
Cannellini beansThe top bean of Italian cuisine, this meaty maestro is also packed full of fibre.Queen bean for: Slow-cooked stews and as a meat substitute. Find me in the Birds Eye Italian 3 Bean Mix.
Black beansThe small bean with big ambitions it names calcium and iron amongst its benefits.Queen bean for: Full-flavoured, spicy dishes this bean can handle the heat! Find me in the Birds Eye Mexican Bean Mix.
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What Beans Are Highest In Protein
According to Palinski-Wade, out of the beans listed above, the highest protein source comes from soybeans with 30 grams per cup, which is good news if you enjoy snacking on edamame or prefer soymilk as your choice of non-dairy milk.
The remaining beans and lentils contain between 15-17 grams of protein per one-cup serving, she says.
May Promote Heart Health
Adding black beans to your diet may help lower blood cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.
For example, saponin compounds in black beans act as antioxidants with cholesterol-lowering capacities. The beans fiber may also help reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels .
In fact, studies show that for every 10 grams of total fiber consumed, the risk of mortality from heart disease may decrease by 27%. Similarly, consuming 510 grams of soluble fiber per day may reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 5% (
However, another study found that consuming 1/2 cup of beans daily had no significant effect on cholesterol levels. So, it is possible that heart health benefits may only be seen if you eat more than this serving size of beans daily .
Research has also found an inverse correlation between bean fiber intake and blood pressure, specifically that higher fiber intakes result in lower readings .
In addition, flavonoids in black beans may help prevent platelet aggregation and encourage muscle relaxation, which further contributes to the blood-pressure-lowering effect .
Similarly, another study determined that consuming 3/4 cup of black beans had a vasorelaxant effect, meaning that it helped relax the muscles within blood vessels to lower blood pressure (
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Dry Beans Provide Complex Carbohydrates
- Complex carbohydrates, also referred to as dietary starch, are made of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace. Complex carbohydrates are typically rich in fiber.
- The majority of the calories in dry beans come from carbohydrates in the form of starch, resistant starch , and small amounts of non-starch polysaccharides .
- Being rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as a good source of protein, beans have a low glycemic index. This makes them an ideal food for the management of insulin resistance, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.
- Beans contain some complex sugars called oligosaccharides , which are non-digestible, fermentable fibers. They are broken down by beneficial bacteria in the colon, which may result in gas production and flatulence. There is increasing research and attention about the health of the gut or gastrointestinal tract, and how certain foods benefit or harm the gut . Beans may be a very important food for a healthy gut!
What Beans Have More Protein Than Meat
We hate to burst your bubble if youre looking for beans that surpass the protein content of meat. But there are some that come pretty darn close, while also providing key health benefits that meat doesnt, Palinski-Wade says. Beans can be a good option not just for protein needs, but also if youre looking for something filling to help you manage your weight.
Although beans contain slightly less protein than meat , they also provide a significant source of fiber along less saturated fat, which can make them a beneficial swap when it comes to promoting lower cholesterol levels, she explains. The high fiber content in beans and lentils can also provide a significant source of fullness with few calories, making beans an excellent choice for weight management.
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Beans In Special Diets
An increasing number of people are following special diets, such vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. While each special diet has different requirements, a common factor among them is that certain foods that normally would provide vital nutrients are eliminated. Beans can play a role in providing a variety of nutrients for individuals following these diets.
Pinto Beans Have A High Carb Count And Should Not Be Consumed During Ketosis
Pinto beans have a high carb count and should not be consumed during ketosis.
Pinto beans are also high in carbs, with one cup containing 42 grams of net carbs. Pinto beans contain fiber, which is important for a healthy gut, but the carb content is too high for most people on a ketogenic diet.
However, you can reduce the carb content of pinto beans by soaking them in water overnight before cooking them in a slow cooker. This will help reduce the amount of carbohydrates in each serving.
If you want to include pinto beans in your diet, try using them as a side dish instead of eating them as a main meal.
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Who Is The Biggest Source Of Protein Soybean Or Tuna Fish
Soybeans are the largest source of plant-based protein and contain all eight essential amino acids, so they’re often recommended as a vegetarian or vegan source of protein. In addition to soybeans, other plant-based proteins that are high in quality include hemp seeds, chia seeds, peanut butter, quinoa flakes, and Eggs.Tuna fish is a good option if you’re looking for an animal-based source of protein because it contains high levels of omega-three fatty acids.
Nutritional Value Of Protein
The nutritional value of a protein is measured by the quantity of essential amino acids it contains.
Different foods contain different amounts of essential amino acids. Generally:
- Animal products have all of the essential amino acids and are known as ‘complete’ protein .
- Soy products, quinoa and the seed of a leafy green called amaranth also have all of the essential amino acids.
- Plant proteins usually lack at least one of the essential amino acids and are considered ‘incomplete’ proteins.
People following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet need to choose a variety of protein sources from a combination of plant foods every day to make sure they get an adequate mix of essential amino acids.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as long as you eat a wide variety of foods, you can usually get the protein you need. For example, a meal containing cereals and legumes, such as baked beans on toast, provides all the essential amino acids found in a typical meat dish.
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What Are The Benefits Of Eating Legumes
There are a lot of health benefits of beans and legumes, which include reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics, aiding in weight loss, treating arthritis, etc. Beans and legumes are also great sources of protein, fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, and other essential nutrients. In addition to being an excellent source of nutrition, beans and legumes are also low in calories, making them a valuable weight loss tool.
Getting More Protein Into Your Day Naturally
If youre looking for ways to get more protein into your diet, here are some suggestions:
- Try a peanut butter sandwich. Remember to use natural peanut butter with no added salt, sugar or other fillers.
- Low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese is high in protein and can go in your scrambled eggs, casserole, mashed potato or pasta dish. Or spread it on your toast in the morning.
- Nuts and seeds are fantastic in salads, with vegetables and served on top of curries. Try toasting some pine nuts or flaked almonds and putting them in your green salad.
- Beans are great in soups, casseroles, and pasta sauces. Try tipping a drained can of cannellini beans into your favourite vegetable soup recipe or casserole.
- A plate of hummus and freshly cut vegetable sticks as a snack or hummus spread on your sandwich will give you easy extra protein at lunchtime.
- Greek yoghurt is a protein rich food that you can use throughout the day. Add some on your favourite breakfast cereal, put a spoonful on top of a bowl of pumpkin soup or serve it as dessert with some fresh fruit.
- Eggs are a versatile and easy option that can be enjoyed on their own or mixed in a variety of dishes.
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Role Of Beans In Cardiometabolic Health
2.3.1. Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Disease
2.3.2. Vascular Health and Endothelial Dysfunction
Often a consequence of poor lifestyle behavior, chronic nutrition-related disease conditions, T2D, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia, amplify the risk for the development of CVD . Lifestyle interventions are the most important approaches for prevention of CVD. CVD is characterized as a group of heart and blood vessel disorders that includes coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral artery disease, among others . Risk for CVD can be improved by healthy weight maintenance, increased physical activity, and consumption of an overall healthy diet . Epidemiological outcomes from a large-scale U.S. study found regular consumption of legumes to be significantly associated with an 11% risk reduction in CVD and 22% in CHD when eaten at least four times per week, compared to less than once weekly . Although genetics plays a part, lifestyle factors, health behaviors, and diet quality have major influences over the development and progression of both CVD and metabolic dysfunction .
Obesity and nutrition-related chronic diseases.
2.3.3. Microbiome and Cardiometabolic Health
About The Beans Peas And Lentils Subgroups
The nutrition found in beans, peas, and lentils are similar to foods in both the vegetables food group and the protein foods group. Like vegetables beans, peas, and lentils are excellent sources of fiber, folate, and potassium. And like protein foods they are excellent sources of plant protein, also providing iron and zinc.
Both the vegetable and protein food groups provide the body with important nutrition to keep us healthy. For more information, visit the vegetable page and the protein foods page.
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Its All About The Protein Package
When we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes alongside it: the different fats, fiber, sodium, and more. Its this protein package thats likely to make a difference for health.
The table below shows a sample of food packages sorted by protein content, alongside a range of components that come with it.
To call out a few examples:
- A 4-ounce broiled sirloin steak is a great source of proteinabout 33 grams worth. But it also delivers about 5 grams of saturated fat.
- A 4-ounce ham steak with 22 grams of protein has only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but its loaded with 1,500 milligrams worth of sodium.
- 4 ounces of grilled sockeye salmon has about 30 grams of protein, naturally low in sodium, and contains just over 1 gram of saturated fat. Salmon and other fatty fish are also excellent sources of omega-3 fats, a type of fat thats especially good for the heart.
- A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.
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Why Is It Important To Eat A Variety Of Seafood Each Week
Seafood contains a range of nutrients, notably the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Eating about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, the amount recommended for many adults, as part of a healthy diet, can support health. Some types of fish, such as salmon and trout are also natural sources of vitamin D, a nutrient that many people don’t get enough of.
Seafood varieties commonly consumed in the United States that are higher in EPA and DHA and lower in a type of mercury, in the form of methylmercury, include salmon, anchovies, sardines, Pacific oysters, and trout. The amount of recommended seafood varies based on age, weight, and level of physical activity. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provide joint advice to limit methylmercury exposure from seafood for women who might become pregnant or who are pregnant or lactating and young children. See Advice About Eating Fish for more information.
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Beans And Legumes In The Diet
The legume family, Fabaceae , is made up of three subgroups that include oilseed legumes, fresh legumes, and pulses. Legume refers to plants that have their seeds enclosed in a pod. Soybeans and peanuts are considered oilseed legumes, while fresh legumes include beans and peas. Pulses are the dried seeds of legumes and include chickpeas, dried peas, lentils, and dry common beans . The terms seeds, dried beans, and pulses refer to the edible portion of the legume and are therefore often used interchangeably. Dry beans are a staple in the diets of many cultures in both industrialized and developing countries, comprising a significant portion of daily caloric intake. Common beans are widely available, inexpensive, and traditionally associated with frugality and food insecurity . As the sixth-leading producer of dry beans, U.S. farmers annually plant and harvest 1.8 to 2 million acres of beans, including pinto, navy, great northern, red kidney, and black beans . Consumption of legumes in the U.S. increased from 8 to 11.7 pounds per capita between 2014 and 2017, with peas, lentils, and pinto beans accounting for the highest demand. Black bean consumption from 1970 to 1990 was near zero but began to increase in popularity over the next several decades to 2.8 pounds per capita, placing them in third to last place from the bottom of the bean hierarchy .
Health benefits of beans and legumes.
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