Do beans make you fat or are good for weight loss?

Beans are good for weight loss, as they are supper filling foods, due to their high fiber and protein content. However, certain bean recipes be fattening.

Beans are good for weight loss, as they have a few calories

Above all, beans support weight loss, due to their low calorie content. A typical serving contains no more than 200 calories!

All beans are low in calories. However, lentils and fava beans have the lowest calorie content. They have less than 120 calories per 100g! Also, most common bean varieties contain no more than 150 calories per 100g.

Furthermore, beans are nutrient-dense foods. They’re particularly rich in quality carbs, protein and dietary fiber!

(per 100g, cooked)
carbs (g)protein (g)fiber (g)
soy beans17210109.2
fava beans10919.57.55.4
black beans13223.78.98.7
white beans138259.76.3
pinto beans14326.299
Calorie content of common beans.

Can carbs of beans make you fat?

Beans are good sources of quality carbs. A serving provides between 40 and 50 grams of carbs. Most carbs are starch and fiber. Most noteworthy, most beans are low in sugars.

Carbs of beans won’t make you fat. We need carbs to function properly. Carbs are the main source of energy for the human body. However, beans aren’t suitable for low-carb diets, like keto. People on keto should consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day.[1]

Protein in beans is good for weight loss

Furthermore, beans are pretty high in protein. Actually, beans are among the best plant-based sources of protein. They contain more than 10 grams of protein per serving.

How much protein in beans?

The richest beans in protein are soybeans, though. They contain 10 grams of protein per 100g. Also, white beans, pinto beans, lentils, black beans, chickpeas, and fava beans are great sources of plant-based protein.

Bean consumption is beneficial for a leaner body. Protein maintains muscle mass during a hypocaloric diet. Increased muscle mass is key for a better metabolism, which burns more calories!

On the contrary, most beans are low in fats. Consuming less fat could help you lose weight. 1 gram of fat has 9 calories, while 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate has only 4 calories!

We need some fat to function properly and to lose weight, though. Fat is important for energy metabolism. The best dietary sources of fat are seeds and nuts. Soybeans are good sources of fat as well. Actually, they’re the only beans high in fat.

Consume animal-derived foods, like cow’s milk, dairy, and meat in moderation. They’re high in saturated fat, which is dangerous for the heart.

Why is protein in beans good for weight loss?

Beans support weight loss because protein in beans:

  • keeps us full for a long time.
  • has the highest thermic effect. About 30% of protein is burned during digestion!
  • preserves the muscle mass while dieting.

Especially, soy beans are good for weight loss and maintaining a lean body. Soybeans are the only beans with a complete protein. Soybean protein contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Actually, only a few plant-based foods are complete protein. Besides soybeans, only chia seedshemp seedspumpkin seedsquinoa, buckwheat, spirulina, and amaranth are the plant-based foods with a complete protein.

People who follow a plant-based diet should combine a wide variety of foods in order to get all essential amino acids. Moreover, you could boost your daily protein intake by consuming a scoop of a high-quality plant-based protein powder.

On the other hand, all animal-derived foods are complete protein.

Fiber in beans is key for weight loss

Above all, beans support weight loss, due to their high fiber content. In fact, foods high in protein and fiber promote satiety. Beans are super filling, as they’re both high in protein and fiber.[2]

Soybeans are the richest beans in fiber. Pinto beans, black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and white beans are pretty high in fiber as well.

Fiber keeps us full for a long time. It takes a lot of time to digest. Also, fiber expands in the stomach, sending satiety signals to the brain. Fiber regulates hunger!

Also, adequate intakes of dietary fiber have been linked to many health benefits, such as reduced cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, fiber may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and overall mortality!

The American Heart Association recommends consuming at least 28 grams of fiber per day on a 2,000 calorie diet. Beans consumption boosts the daily fiber intake.[3]

Can beans make you fat?

Beans, per se, won’t make you fat. However, eating high amounts of bread, or other simple carbs with beans, may make you gain weight! Consume up to two slices of bread a day if you’re on a diet.

Also, adding high amounts of vegetable oils in bean recipes can make you fat. Vegetable oils are calorie-dense foods. Just a tbsp of any vegetable oil has 125 calories!

Do beans spike blood sugar levels?

As a rule of thumb, we should avoid consuming foods high in carbs and sugars. They tend to spike blood sugar levels. These foods make us gain weight.

However, as beans are high in protein and dietary fiber, they have a low to medium Glycemic Load. This means that moderate amounts of beans won’t make us fat, as they don’t spike blood sugar levels.

For instance, chickpeas have a Glycemic Load of 11, while lentils have a Glycemic Load of 5. Lentils, in particular, are great for weight loss.[4]

Furthermore, following a diet containing a wide variety of foods with a low Glycemic Load has been linked to a decreased risk of obesity!

How to stop bloating after eating beans?

Soak and rinse beans a couple of times to prevent bloating. Rinsing reduces the concentration of the compounds that make you feel bloated. Also, soaking makes beans more bioavailable. We absorb more calcium and iron from soaked beans.

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