Pinto beans are a low-cost, high-nutrition legume that can be used in soups, stews, and rice dishes. They’re a prominent ingredient in Mexican cooking. Pinto beans are an easy and wise addition to your diet because they are high in plant protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
Nutritional Values of Pinto Beans
The USDA provides the following nutritional information for one cup (172g) of cooked pinto beans with no added salt or fat.
- 245 calories
- 1 gram of fat
- 2 milligrams sodium
- 45g carbohydrate
- 15 g of fiber
- 0 g of sugar
- 15 g protein
Pinto beans are high in complex carbs, which are good for you. A single dish of pinto beans has roughly 30 grams of starch. Carbohydrates in the form of starch provide fast energy to the body.
Pinto beans are also a high-fiber food (15 grams per cup). Fiber aids in blood sugar stabilization, satiety, and digestive health. Pinto beans have a natural sugar content of less than 1 gram.
Pinto beans have a GI of around 39; meals with a GI of 55 or below are considered low glycemic. 150 grams (3/4 cup) of pinto beans have a glycemic load of only 10. When calculating a food’s influence on blood sugar, the glycemic load factor in the serving size of the food. Blood glucose response is assumed to be unaffected by a glycemic load of less than 10.
Pinto beans have only 1 gram of fat, making them a naturally low-fat food. While some nutritionists advise against eating processed, low-fat foods to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, foods like pinto beans, which naturally contain good nutrients and little to no fat, are a wise addition to any diet. 3
However, several processed pinto bean varieties may include additional fat. If you buy canned refried beans, for example, the beans were most certainly cooked with fat—often lard.
Pinto beans have a high protein content, with 15 grams per serving. As a result, many vegans and vegetarians supplement their protein intake with pinto beans or other legumes.
Pinto beans, on the other hand, aren’t regarded as a complete protein. Complete proteins offer all of the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce and must therefore be obtained from food. On a plant-based diet, you’ll also need to consume whole grains, nuts, or seeds to acquire all of the required amino acids throughout the day.
Minerals and vitamins
Pinto beans are a nutrient-dense food. If you eat one cup of pinto beans every day and stick to a 2,000-calorie diet, you’ll get 74% of your daily required folate (294mcg). Folate, a B vitamin, aids in the synthesis of red blood cells and has other health advantages.
You’ll also receive 36% (251mg) of your RDI of phosphorus and 33% (0.8mg) of your RDI of manganese, a vitamin that supports the nervous system and brain health.
Pinto beans are also high in a number of other micronutrients. Serving size: 1 cup
- RDI for iron is 20%.
- RDI for magnesium is 20%.
- RDI for vitamin B6 is around 20%.
- RDI for thiamin is 28 percent.
- RDI for potassium is 20%.
- RDI for copper is 40%.
Because legumes, such as pinto beans, are widely consumed around the world, nutritionists have researched them for years. According to research, boosting your bean intake has certain health benefits.
Aids in the Prevention of Obesity
“Replacing energy-dense foods with legumes has been demonstrated to have beneficial benefits on the prevention and management of obesity and related illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome,” according to a study published in Obesity Reviews.
Reduces the chance of dying from cardiovascular disease
In one study focused on cardiovascular disease, persons who ingested more flavonoids (an antioxidant found in pinto beans and other beans, fruits, and vegetables) had a lower risk of dying from the disease. This was true even in persons who ate a small number of flavonoids.
Cholesterol Levels are Reduced
Beans in your diet can help lower LDL cholesterol, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (also called “bad” cholesterol).
Glycemic control is aided by this supplement.
Increased intake of beans, peas, and lentils can assist people with and without diabetes improve long-term glycemic control in their diets, according to different review research.
Related: Flavonol, one of the antioxidants present in beans, was found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in a 2013 study. Beans’ fiber content also helps maintain appropriate blood sugar levels, according to research published in 2014.
Fiber Helps You Live Longer
High dietary fiber consumption is linked to lower mortality rates, notably mortality owing to heart disease, cancer, digestive disease, infectious diseases, and other inflammatory disorders, according to a comprehensive review study (including 1.75 million people).
Pinto beans, like peanuts and soybeans, are legumes, which are two of the top eight allergic foods. If you’re allergic to peanuts or soy, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll be allergic to other legumes, but you should be cautious. If you think you have an allergy to pinto beans or any other legume, talk to your doctor to receive a complete diagnosis.
Antinutrients are chemical compounds that prevent nutrients from being absorbed. These chemicals are found in all plants, but they only have an effect when taken in extremely large amounts. At the quantities you’re likely to consume in pinto beans, the consequences are negligible.
Furthermore, while some consumers are concerned about antinutrients in grains and legumes, these chemicals are considerably decreased when the beans are properly soaked and cooked. So, unless you have a condition that these substances may affect (such as iron deficiency anemia), you shouldn’t be too concerned about them. Furthermore, boiling beans boosts antioxidant activity and focus.
You may need to avoid pinto beans and other legumes if you have Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and adopt a low-FODMAP diet to control your symptoms.
Even if they don’t have IBS, some people may have indigestion or gas after eating beans. Pinto beans should be used carefully if you are allergic to them. Alternatively, try cooking them with a little kelp; some people have discovered that seaweed can help minimize the gas that beans generate.
Pinto beans are a type of legume that is a variant of the common bean. They are available in a variety of varieties, but they are most commonly offered as pinto beans. In the produce section, you might be able to find them fresh. Before cooking, fresh pinto beans must be shelled. However, you’ll usually find them dry or canned.
Pinto beans in a can are either whole or refried. Refried beans are made in a variety of ways by many well-known Mexican culinary producers. Check the nutrition facts label before you buy if you want to cut down on your fat or sodium intake. Refried beans are often made with salt and butter.
When They’re at Their Finest
Pinto beans are available all year in both dried and canned (prepared) form.
Food Storage and Safety
Look for uncracked beans that haven’t been exposed to dust or dampness when purchasing legumes. You can buy dry beans in pre-packaged containers, but many supermarkets now sell pinto beans in bulk, allowing you to buy only what you need and frequently at a reduced price.
Dry beans should be kept in an airtight container in the pantry or another cool, dark location. Legumes can be preserved for up to a year if properly stored. When cooked pinto beans are refrigerated in an airtight container, they will last about three days.
How to Get Ready
Rinse pinto beans to remove any dirt or dust before cooking. Remove any beans that are cracked or broken. Add one cup of beans to three cups of water that has been brought to a boil. Simmer for around 20 minutes, though the amount of time depends on your taste preferences.
If you like refried or fully cooked pinto beans, try preparing them yourself to cut down on salt and fat. To make refried beans, drain the pinto beans and place them in a frying pan. Fry for five to seven minutes in canola oil over medium heat, then mash with a potato masher. To taste, season with chili powder or cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss a handful of cooked beans into your favorite soup, stew, or salad recipe to add flavor and nutrients. If you have a pinto bean recipe but don’t have any, use red beans or kidney beans instead.