Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about kidney beans, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Kidney beans, also known as rajma, are a very popular type of bean. You can boil kidney beans and then eat them on their own but they also make a great addition to a variety of recipes like for example chili.
Kidney 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 kidney beans. Find out just how good kidney beans are, ways to eat them, and how they compare to other beans for weight loss.
Micronutrients in kidney beans
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in kidney 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 kidney beans provides you with approximately (1):
- 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
- Zinc: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 6% 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 kidney beans can be a good food to add to your diet for certain micronutrients.
Kidney 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 kidney beans for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Kidney beans contain around 6.4 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 kidney beans you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a very big amount.
Protein in kidney beans for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Kidney beans contain about 8.7 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, there are about 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2). Kidney 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.
There are beans higher in protein but the amount of protein in kidney beans is decent for a plant-based source of protein. You will most likely also need protein from other foods but some kidney beans can get you started towards your daily goals.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Are kidney beans good for losing weight?
To know whether or not you can eat kidney beans while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in kidney beans.
Kidney beans contain around 127 calories per 100 grams. 92.7 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (22.8 g per 100 grams of which 6.4 g fiber). 1 cup of boiled kidney beans (177 g) contains about 225 calories.
You might be able to fit in some kidney beans but they are generally not suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in kidney 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, kidney beans are about average in calories.
Together with the big amount of fiber and a nice amount of protein this means that kidney 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 kidney beans to their daily diet, is enough to help them lose weight.
In theory, you can overdo it with kidney 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 kidney beans.
Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to kidney beans. These inviduals should avoid this food anyway.
How to eat kidney beans for weight loss
You can implement kidney beans in different ways into your diet. Some are better than others for weight loss. You definitely need to cook kidney beans before eating them. Boiling is the preferred cooking method if you’re trying to lose weight.
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 kidney beans to:
How good a recipe with kidney beans is for weight loss depends mostly on the other ingredients. Another example of a decent dish for weight loss is hummus made with kidney beans instead of chickpeas.
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.
Kidney beans vs other beans for weight loss
You now know how good kidney beans are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other beans? Find out how good kidney beans are for weight loss vs pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, and butter beans.
Kidney beans vs pinto beans
The first comparison is between kidney beans and pinto beans. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that pinto beans contain more. Kidney beans contain around 127 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 good amount higher than the 6.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams in kidney beans. Pinto beans contain about 9 grams of protein per 100 grams. These two beans are similar when it comes to vitamins and minerals.
The extra amount of fiber in pinto beans is definitely great but the difference in calories is still relevant. The difference won’t be very big but kidney beans are likely slightly better for weight loss than pinto beans.
Kidney beans vs black beans
Kidney beans have about 6.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs black beans with 8.7 grams. Black beans have a bigger amount of protein, 8.9 grams per 100 grams. The amount of vitamins and minerals in these two beans is similar.
Everything considered black beans are likely better for weight loss than kidney beans.
Kidney beans vs chickpeas
Kidney beans have about 6.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs chickpeas with 7.6 grams. Chickpeas have about the same amount of protein, 8.9 grams per 100 grams. Chickpeas have slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The higher amounts of fiber and protein are great but likely not enough to compensate for the calorie difference. This makes kidney beans likely slightly better for weight loss than chickpeas.
Kidney beans vs butter beans
At the same time, butter beans are higher in fiber, 7 grams per 100 grams. Kidney beans do take the lead when it comes to protein with 8.7 grams per 100 grams vs the 7.8 grams of butter beans. These two foods are very similar in terms of vitamins and minerals amounts.
All in all butter beans are likely better for weight loss than kidney beans.
Chart of kidney 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 kidney beans (1), pinto beans (3), black beans (4), chickpeas (5), and butter beans (6) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Kidney Beans||Pinto Beans||Black Beans||Chickpeas||Butter Beans|
|Calories||127 calories||143 calories||132 calories||164 calories||115 calories|
|Fiber||6.4 g||9 g||8.7 g||7.6 g||7 g|
|Protein||8.7 g||9 g||8.9 g||8.9 g||7.8 g|