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19 Of The Best Legumes For Weight Loss

19 Of The Best Legumes For Weight Loss

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You likely know that legumes can be very helpful when trying to lose weight. But do you know these 19 of the best legumes for weight loss?

Legumes, which include beans, are a category of foods that is generally great for weight loss for a variety of reasons. The main reason legumes are that great for weight loss is due to their nutritional composition.

While different types of legumes have varying nutrient contents, most of them are relatively high in fiber and protein and at the same time relatively low in calories.

It’s true that vegetables and fruits are generally even lower in calories but legumes are often still a great addition to your weight loss diet.

Besides nutritional benefits legumes are also an inexpensive and very versatile food option. You should have no trouble finding a wide variety of different recipes that implement legumes.

The differences between these legumes will in most cases not make that much of a difference when it comes to losing weight. If you like all these legumes equally you might as well choose the alternatives that are slightly better for weight loss.

1. Green peas

Green peas really stand out in this list of legumes for weight loss. Both because many people don’t know they are actually legumes and because they have an especially great nutrient composition when it comes to losing weight.

The lowest-calorie per 100 grams legume on this list is by far green peas.

100 grams of cooked green peas contains (1):

  • Calories: 78
  • Protein: 5.2 grams
  • Carbs: 14.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Vitamin A: 42% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 30% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 19% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
  • Folate: 15% of the DV
  • Manganese: 14% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

You can eat boiled green peas as a regular vegetable side dish, combined with for example carrots. Another popular way to eat this legume is as pea soup.

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Plate of green peas

2. Mung beans

The second option on this list is the low-calorie mung bean. This type of legume has a distinct more round shape. Mung beans are mostly popular in the East but available all around the world.

100 grams of cooked mung beans contains (2):

  • Calories: 105
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Carbs: 19.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Folate: 40% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 15% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 11% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. These are not very high levels of vitamins and minerals so keep in mind to eat enough other nutritious foods too.

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3. Split peas

You get split peas from removing the outer layer of dried regular peas and splitting the result. This leads to a different, slightly less weight loss friendly, nutritional composition compared to regular peas.

100 grams of cooked split peas contains (3):

  • Calories: 118
  • Protein: 8.3 grams
  • Carbs: 21.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Manganese: 20% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 16% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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4. Lentils

Lentils are a type of gluten-free legume that has been rising in popularity, and for a good reason. They are relatively low-calorie, have a nice amount of protein, and a big amount of fiber.

100 grams of cooked lentils contains (4):

  • Calories: 116
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 20.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Folate: 45% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 25% of the DV
  • Iron: 19% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 18% of the DV
  • Copper: 13% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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Bowl of lentils to eat for weight loss

5. Lima beans

Lima beans are another great type of legume when trying to lose weight. Its combination of a low-calorie count, great fiber content, and nice amount of protein makes it a source of important nutrients that keeps your daily calorie count low.

100 grams of cooked lima beans contains (5):

  • Calories: 115
  • Protein: 7.8 grams
  • Carbs: 20.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 21% of the DV
  • Potassium: 15% of the DV
  • Iron: 13% of the DV
  • Copper: 12% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 11% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 11% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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6. Great northern beans

Many people think they are the same but great northern beans are not the same as navy beans. Both make a great food option when trying to lose weight but great northern beans may be just that tiny amount better for weight loss.

100 grams of cooked great northern beans contains (6):

  • Calories: 118
  • Protein: 8.3 grams
  • Carbs: 21.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 25% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Copper: 12% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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7. Black-eyed peas

Black-eyed peas are a type of cowpea with an easy to distinguish look because of the colored spot, often black, in the middle of a white bean. This type of legume is an especially great source of folate.

100 grams of cooked black-eye peas contains (7):

  • Calories: 116
  • Protein: 7.7 grams
  • Carbs: 20.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 52% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 16% of the DV
  • Iron: 14% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 13% of the DV
  • Copper: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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Bowl of black eyed peas

8. Fava beans (broad beans)

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a type of legume mostly eaten when it’s still young. They play a part in recipes all around the world.

100 grams of cooked flava beans contains (8):

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 7.6 grams
  • Carbs: 19.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Folate: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 21% of the DV
  • Copper: 13% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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9. Lupins

Even though lupins are sometimes called lupini beans, they are not part of the beans category in terms of botanical guidelines. In any case these legumes can be helpful for weight loss.

One thing that really stands out in lupins is their high protein content, third highest per 100 grams in this list of legumes.

100 grams of cooked lupins contains (9):

  • Calories: 119
  • Protein: 15.6 grams
  • Carbs: 9.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 2.9 grams
  • Manganese: 34% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 15% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 14% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 13% of the DV
  • Copper: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

10. Cranberry beans (roman)

Cranberry beans, also often called Roman beans, stand out with its impressive nutrient profile. With the fiber in this legume you can definitely reduce hunger and cravings a lot.

100 grams of cooked cranberry beans contains (10):

  • Calories: 136
  • Protein: 9.3 grams
  • Carbs: 24.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.0 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 52% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 18% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 14% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Copper: 12% of the DV
  • Potassium: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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11. Navy beans

Navy beans are the highest fiber option on this list of legumes which is very helpful for feeling fuller and having fewer cravings. Both very important benefits when you’re trying to lose weight.

The name of this legume comes from its past popularity in the US navy.

100 grams of cooked navy beans contains (11):

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 8.2 grams
  • Carbs: 26.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.6 grams
  • Folate: 35% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 16% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 13% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 13% of the DV
  • Potassium: 11% of the DV
  • Copper: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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12. Black beans

Black beans are mostly popular in South and Central America but even if they are less popular where you live they might deserve a spot in your weight loss diet.

100 grams of cooked black beans contains (12):

  • Calories: 132
  • Protein: 8.9 grams
  • Carbs: 23.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 37% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 22% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 17% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 16% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Copper: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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Black beans as legume for weight loss

13. Adzuki beans

Adzuki beans are a type of legume that is mainly popular in the east but a great weight loss food option no matter where you live.

100 grams of cooked adzuki beans contains (13):

  • Calories: 128
  • Protein: 7.5 grams
  • Carbs: 24.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Folate: 30% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 29% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Potassium: 15% of the DV
  • Copper: 15% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 13% of the DV
  • Zinc: 12% of the DV
  • Iron: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Adzuki beans regularly play a role in dessert recipes with a lot of sugar. When trying to lose weight you generally want to avoid these.

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14. Kidney beans

Kidney beans are one of the most commonly consumed types of legumes. They have a distinct dark red color. Chili is a popular dish that often uses kidney beans.

100 grams of cooked kidney beans contains (14):

  • Calories: 127
  • Protein: 8.7 grams
  • Carbs: 22.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 33% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 22% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Potassium: 12% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 11% of the DV
  • Copper: 11% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 10% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Another popular food combination is kidney beans with rice. There are better foods than rice if you’re trying to lose weight. If you want to give this combination a shot anyway make sure you use brown rice which has more fiber.

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15. Pinto beans

Pinto beans are a popular type of legume in Mexico. This legume is another option with an impressive amount of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

100 grams of cooked pinto beans contains (15):

  • Calories: 143
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 26.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 9 grams
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Folate: 43% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 23% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 15% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Potassium: 12% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
  • Copper: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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16. Pink beans

This next option, pink beans, are another great source of folate and manganese. If you struggle a lot with hunger there may be better legume for you than pink beans but they are still weight loss friendly.

100 grams of cooked pink beans contains (16):

  • Calories: 149
  • Protein: 9.1 grams
  • Carbs: 27.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 42% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 27% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 17% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 16% of the DV
  • Potassium: 16% of the DV
  • Copper: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. Anchovy is definitely one of the more nutrient-dense fish on this list.

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17. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the next type of legume on this list. Even the options that are slightly lower in this list are rather good for weight loss.

100 grams of cooked chickpeas contains (17):

  • Calories: 164
  • Protein: 8.9 grams
  • Carbs: 27.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.6 grams
  • Fat: 2.6 grams
  • Manganese: 52% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 43% of the DV
  • Copper: 18% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Iron: 16% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Zinc: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

There is a wide variety of popular ways that are used to implement more chickpeas into the daily diet. Some examples include hummus, salads, and chickpea soup. You can also ground down this legume into chickpea flour but this way of eating chickpeas is not as weight loss friendly.

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Chickpeas on table

18. Soybeans

Soybeans, also called edamame when the soybean is still young, are a type of legume that stands out because of its higher fat content compared to the other options on this list.

This is not necessarily something bad for weight loss but it does add to the calorie count of this legume. On the upside, the amount of net carbs makes soybeans the best option for low carb diets on this list.

And if you’re not entirely convinced on soybeans yet, they are also the legume second highest in protein per 100 grams on this list.

100 grams of cooked soybeans contains (18):

  • Calories: 173
  • Protein: 16.6 grams
  • Carbs: 9.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.0 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Manganese: 41% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 29% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 21% of the DV
  • Copper: 20% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 17% of the DV
  • Potassium: 15% of the DV
  • Folate: 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 12% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 10% of the DV
  • Calcium: 10% of the DV
  • Selenium: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Soybeans are also the main ingredient of the popular meat replacement tofu. Tofu is mostly popular in the Eastern kitchen but available all around the world.

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19. Peanuts

Peanuts being an option on a list of legumes is often a surprise to people since peanuts are often considered to be nuts. The nutritional values in peanuts do look like most nuts. That means a lot of protein, the legume highest in protein per 100 grams and a lot of fiber but also a lot of calories.

Interestingly enough, a relatively high amount of the fat from nuts, this includes peanuts, doesn’t actually get absorbed into your body. That part goes through your gut undigested.

The exact amount varies but some studies find that 5%-20% of the fat from nuts may go through indigested (19, 20, 21, 22, 23). Chances are this varies from individual to individual and situation to situation.

100 grams of raw peanuts contains (24):

  • Calories: 567
  • Protein: 25.8 grams
  • Carbs: 16.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.5 grams
  • Fat: 49.2 grams
  • Manganese: 97% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 60% of the DV
  • Folate: 60% of the DV
  • Copper: 57% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 43% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 42% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 42% of the DV

And many more vitamins and minerals in relatively high amounts.

An extremely popular way to implement more peanuts into a diet is as peanut butter. In theory peanut butter is just crushed peanuts with perhaps some salt but many brands add sugar and other sweeteners.

When trying to lose weight regular peanut butter can be helpful but you generally want to avoid the ones with sugar and other sweeteners.

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