Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about mung beans, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Mung beans, also known as moong, are a type of bean mostly popular in the Eastern kitchen but available in most places around the world. This bean has a distinct more round shape and often a green color.
You can use mung beans in a wide variety of recipes, both sweet and savory.
Like many legumes, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more mung beans. Find out just how good mung beans are, ways to eat them, and how they compare to other legumes for weight loss.
Micronutrients in mung beans
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in mung 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 mung beans provides you with approximately (1):
- 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
- Iron: 8% of the DV
- Copper: 8% of the DV
- Potassium: 8% of the DV
- Zinc: 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 mung beans can be a good food to add to your diet for certain micronutrients.
Mung 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 mung beans for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Mung 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 mung beans you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a very big amount.
Protein in mung beans for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Mung beans contain about 7 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, there are about 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2). Mung 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 mung beans is decent for a plant-based source of protein. You will most likely also need protein from other foods but some mung beans can get you started towards your daily goals.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Are mung beans good for losing weight?
To know whether or not you can eat mung beans while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in mung beans.
Mung beans contain around 105 calories per 100 grams. 77.5 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (19.2 g per 100 grams of which 7.6 g fiber). 1 cup of boiled mung beans (202 g) contains about 212 calories.
You might be able to fit in some mung beans but they are generally not suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in mung beans is higher than most vegetables and fruits but even with that in mind this number is low compared to many other foods. Mung beans are even one of the lowest-calorie beans.
Together with the big amount of fiber and a nice amount of protein this means that mung 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 mung beans to their daily diet, is enough to help them lose weight.
In theory, you can overdo it with mung 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 mung beans.
Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to mung beans. These inviduals should avoid this food anyway.
How to eat mung beans for weight loss
You can implement mung beans in different ways into your diet. Some are better than others for weight loss. You definitely need to cook mung 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 mung beans to:
Mung beans are also sometimes used to make flour. This way of processing mung beans removes some weight loss friendly nutrients. So even if dessert recipes like pancakes and cake use mung beans flour you want to avoid them when you’re trying to lose weight.
Mung beans vs other legumes for weight loss
You now know how good mung beans are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other legumes? Find out how good mung beans are for weight loss vs lentils, soybeans, split peas, and black beans.
Mung beans vs lentils
The first comparison is between mung beans and lentils. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that lentils contain slightly more. Mung beans contain around 105 calories per 100 grams vs the 116 calories per 100 grams in lentils (3).
Lentils contain around 7.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A negligible amount higher than the 7.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams in mung beans. Lentils contain about 9 grams of protein per 100 grams. Lentils have similar higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Lentils will have a very similar effect on weight loss as mung beans.
Mung beans vs soybeans
There is also a difference in the amount of fiber in these beans. Mung beans have about 7.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs soybeans with 6 grams. Soybeans are however a lot higher in protein, 16.6 grams per 100 grams. Soybeans also have higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The higher amount of protein is great but likely not enough. This makes mung beans likely better for weight loss than soybeans.
Mung beans vs split peas
On the other hand, split peas are also higher in fiber, 8.3 grams per 100 grams. Also in protein content split peas take the lead with 8.3 grams per 100 grams vs the 7 grams of mung beans. Mung beans have slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than split peas.
Mung beans and split peas will have a very similar impact on weight loss.
Mung beans vs black beans
Mung beans have about 7.6 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 legumes is slightly in favor of black beans.
The difference will not be that big but mung beans are likely better for weight loss than black beans.
Chart of mung beans vs other popular legumes
All in all, the differences between these legumes won’t 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.
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 mung beans (1), lentils (3), soybeans (4), split peas (5), and black beans (6) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Mung Beans||Lentils||Soybeans||Split Peas||Black Beans|
|Calories||105 calories||116 calories||173 calories||118 calories||132 calories|
|Fiber||7.6 g||7.9 g||6 g||8.3 g||8.7 g|
|Protein||7 g||9 g||16.6 g||8.3 g||8.9 g|