Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about black beans, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Black beans, also known as black turtle beans, are a popular variety of bean. You can eat this legume in a wide variety of ways. Black beans are normally gluten-free but it’s always smart to check the packaging to make sure they didn’t come into contact with foods containing gluten.
Like many legumes, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more black beans. Find out just how good black beans are and how they compare to other beans for weight loss.
Micronutrients in black beans
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in black beans.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of boiled black beans provides you with approximately (1):
- 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
- Zinc: 7% of the DV
And a few others in smaller amounts. These are great amounts of vitamins and minerals per 100 grams compared to many other whole foods.
If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals black beans can be a good food to add to your diet for certain micronutrients.
Black beans also contain anti-oxidants. These are substances that help your body deal with oxidative stress, damage that occurs from day to day. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in black beans for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Black beans contain around 8.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
This is a very big amount compared to many other foods. For most people more fiber is a good thing for weight loss.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in black beans you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a very big amount.
Protein in black beans for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Black beans contain about 8.9 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, there are about 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2). Black beans are a decent source of plant-based protein but also a decent source of protein in general.
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day which is very good for weight loss. Protein calories also take your body more calories to process than calories from carbs and fats.
The amount of protein in black beans is decent for a plant-based source of protein. You will most likely also need protein from other foods but some black beans can get you started towards your daily goals.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Are black beans good for losing weight?
To know whether or not you can eat black beans while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in black beans.
Black beans contain around 132 calories per 100 grams. 96.8 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (23.7 g per 100 grams of which 8.7 g fiber). 1 cup of boiled black beans (172 g) contains about 227 calories.
You might be able to fit in some black beans but they are generally not suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in black beans is higher than most vegetables and fruits but even with that in mind this number is low compared to many other foods. Compared to other beans, black beans are about average in calories.
Together with the big amount of fiber and a nice amount of protein this means that black beans can help you feel fuller without adding that many calories to your diet.
This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. And for most people that, and thus adding black beans to their daily diet, is enough to help them lose weight.
In theory, you can overdo it with black beans in terms of calories, in that case they could be fattening. In reality, you will likely feel too full before you reach that point with black beans.
Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to black beans. These inviduals should avoid this food anyway.
Do black beans help you burn belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To burn belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since black beans can help you lose weight in general this food can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
How to eat black beans for weight loss
You can implement black beans in different ways into your diet. Some are better than others for weight loss. You definitely need to cook black beans before eating them. After that you can eat them on their own or as an ingredient in other healthy dishes.
Here are some examples of weight loss friendly recipes you can add black beans to:
How good a recipe with black beans is for weight loss depends mostly on the other ingredients. Another example of a decent dish for weight loss is hummus made with black beans instead of chickpeas.
Black beans vs other beans for weight loss
You now know how good black beans are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other beans? Find out how good black beans are for weight loss vs pinto beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas.
Black beans vs pinto beans
The first comparison is between black beans and pinto beans. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that pinto beans contain slightly more. Black beans contain around 132 calories per 100 grams vs the 143 calories per 100 grams in pinto beans (3).
Pinto beans contain around 9 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A negligible amount higher than the 8.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams in black beans. Pinto beans contain about 9 grams of protein per 100 grams. These two foods have similar amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Black beans will have a very similar effect on weight loss as pinto beans.
Black beans vs kidney beans
There is however a difference in the amount of fiber in these beans. Black beans have about 8.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs kidney beans with 6.4 grams. Kidney beans are also slightly lower in protein, 8.7 grams per 100 grams. The amount of vitamins and minerals in these two legumes is similar.
The difference will not be very big but due to the importance of fiber black beans will likely be better for weight loss than kidney beans.
Black beans vs chickpeas
Black beans have about 8.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs chickpeas with 7.6 grams. Chickpeas have the same amount of protein, 8.9 grams per 100 grams. The amount of vitamins and minerals in these two legumes is in favor of chickpeas.
The difference will not be that big but black beans are likely better for weight loss than chickpeas.
Chart of black beans vs other popular beans
All in all, the differences between these beans won’t make that much of a difference when it comes to losing weight. If you like all these beans equally you might as well choose the alternatives that are slightly better for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for black beans (1), pinto beans (3), kidney beans (4), and chickpeas (5) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Black Beans||Pinto Beans||Kidney Beans||Chickpeas|
|Calories||132 calories||143 calories||127 calories||164 calories|
|Fiber||8.7 g||9 g||6.4 g||7.6 g|
|Protein||8.9 g||9 g||8.7 g||8.9 g|