Are Beans Good For Weight Loss & What Types? 2024

Kirsty Yull, BSc
Jocelyn Chen, BME
Discover the facts: Are beans good for weight loss? Explore how eating beans supports weight loss in this 2024 informative article.
are beans good for weight loss
Beans: a weight-loss ally. Photo: Nhung Nguyen

When it comes to starting a weight loss journey, it’s important to recognize that it’s not just solely about portion control and exercising. The food choices you make can have a substantial impact on your progress and overall success.

Protein is essential for the process of losing weight by promoting fullness and preserving lean mass. The recommended protein intake for weight loss varies depending on factors like activity levels and goals. 

In an era dominated by countless fad diets and trendy fat loss solutions, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options. However, amidst all this, one staple often overlooked is beans. Beyond being an affordable and accessible source of nutrition, beans boast an array of attributes that make them a compelling choice for those seeking a sustainable and effective way to achieve a healthy weight. 

But, are beans good for weight loss? Let’s discuss. More beans. 

Are Beans Good For Losing Weight?

Yes, beans are a fantastic choice for supporting weight loss. They’re rich in fiber and protein, which promote feelings of fullness, reduce overeating, and preserve lean muscle mass. 

With canned beans readily accessible, it’s even more convenient to add them to your diet. Whether in salads, soups, or as the main protein source in main dishes, beans provide essential nutrients and contribute to a well-rounded, effective weight loss strategy.

Are Beans Good For Weight Loss?

Are beans good for a diet? Yes, eating beans is definitely a good choice for those looking to slim down. 

Beans are packed with plant-based proteins, making them a perfect option for vegetarians and vegans seeking to meet their protein needs.  

When you eat beans, the high fiber content creates a feeling of fullness[1] that lingers, reducing the temptation to overeat or snack excessively between meals. This, in turn, supports portion control and helps maintain a calorie deficit, which is essential to promote weight loss. 

While maintaining a calorie deficit, you must ensure you are not losing valuable lean muscle mass. Beans, being a rich source of plant-based protein, help preserve muscle while the body sheds fat quickly

The low-fat profile of beans means they are a good choice for losing weight. Unlike fatty foods that can be high in excessive calories, beans offer a healthy energy source that has fewer calories. This allows you to enjoy satisfying meals while maintaining a calorie deficit. 

While focusing on nutritious foods like beans is essential for weight loss efforts, some individuals may find weight loss supplements beneficial when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise. These supplements can provide extra support by boosting your metabolism, reducing appetite, and/or enhancing fat burning. 

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The Nutritional Value Of Beans

Beans are nutritional powerhouses that offer a wealth of health benefits and are also good for a diet. On average, a single cup of beans[2] contains around: 

  • 218 calories.
  • 14 g fiber.
  • 15 g protein.
  • 0.8 g total fat.
  • 0.2 g saturated fat.
  • 40 g carbohydrates.

Beyond their support for losing weight, they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate, all of which support overall health. The antioxidant content in beans further bolsters their nutritional value, protecting against harmful free radicals. 

What Beans Are Good For Weight Loss?

There are several types of beans available, such as black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, lima beans, and pinto beans, to name a few. 

If you don’t eat beans regularly but wonder how to include them in your diet, there’s no need to worry. Since you can buy canned beans, they offer convenience and can be seamlessly integrated into your everyday eating habits.

They are versatile and can be added straight into breakfast wraps, salads, soups, stews, and chili. Beans can also be mashed and formed as patties to be used instead of meat-based burgers. However, not all beans are equal when it comes to weight loss. While all beans offer remarkable benefits, some varieties are particularly beneficial for losing weight while maintaining a healthy diet. 

Let’s explore what beans are best for weight loss. 

Black Beans

are beans good for weight loss
Black beans are versatile and nutritious. Photo: M.M.PHOTO/Shutterstock

Black beans are an extremely popular type of bean, and for good reason. These beans are rich in fiber and protein, which can help you feel fuller for longer. 

Additionally, black beans contain a resistant type of fiber that isn’t broken down as it moves through your digestive system. This induces a fermentation process that supports upgraded gut health[3] as there is an improved balance of healthy bacteria. 

Black beans also have a low glycemic index, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels,[4] reducing cravings for unhealthy snacks. Some easy ways to incorporate black beans into your meals include mashing them into burgers, wrapping them in tortillas, and frying them with rice. 

Kidney Beans 

Kidney beans, named for their resemblance to a human kidney in color and shape, are a familiar and popular variety, often paired with rice. These beans are abundant in dietary fiber, protein, and essential minerals, including iron, folate, manganese, and copper. 

Incorporating kidney beans into your daily diet can bring many health benefits. These include reducing the risk of anemia, supporting weight loss, stabilizing blood sugar, and supporting heart health.[5] 

Consider preparing a hearty and wholesome chili, where kidneys play a starring role. Some other meal ideas include using them in bean burritos, soups, and roasted with vegetables as a side dish. 


are beans good for weight loss
Chickpeas are a weight-loss superfood. Photo: LumenSt/Shutterstock

Chickpeas, also referred to as garbanzo beans, are a valuable source of both protein and fiber. Additionally, they are rich in essential nutrients, such as folate and manganese. 

Regularly including chickpeas in your diet has been linked to increased insulin sensitivity and regulated blood glucose levels. In turn, this can support weight loss by reducing spikes in insulin, which can help prevent excessive fat storage[6] and promote the body’s ability to burn stored fat for energy. Beyond these benefits, chickpeas also promote a sense of early satiety and facilitate healthy digestion, both of which can also support weight loss. Chickpeas can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes, including in salads, roasted with spices, in hummus, and in soups and stews. 

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Navy Beans 

Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are particularly rich in soluble fiber. This type of fiber binds with water to form a gel-like substance that helps slow digestion and make you feel fuller for longer. 

Navy beans are also an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, and iron, making them a fantastic protein choice for vegetarians and vegans. These versatile beans can be mashed to create a creamy base for dips and spreads, or used in casseroles and chili for added depth and nutrition. 


If you’re contemplating beans for weight loss, you’ll make a wise and evidence-based decision. They are packed with nutrients, rich in protein and fiber, low in calories, and incredibly versatile. Plus, with readily available canned beans, it’s easy to incorporate them into your diet. If you eat beans on a regular basis, this can help you promote satiety, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce your chances of overeating. So, next time you plan your meals, consider adding some beans to promote a healthier lifestyle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do beans help you lose belly fat?

Yes, because beans are rich in fiber and protein and support overall weight loss. While they may aid in reducing belly fat indirectly, spot reduction isn’t guaranteed. A balanced diet based on healthy foods and exercise is key.

Which beans are best for weight loss?

Certain beans, such as black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and navy beans, are excellent for weight loss due to their higher fiber and protein content. However, portion control and a balanced diet are key to success.

Are beans or chicken better for weight loss?

Yes, eating beans offers advantages for weight loss due to their fiber and protein content, promoting satiety. Chicken can be part of a healthy diet but lacks the same fiber.


  1. Mette Lund Kristensen, Bendsen, N.T., Christensen, S., Astrup, A. and Raben, A. (2016). Meals based on vegetable protein sources (beans and peas) are more satiating than meals based on animal protein sources (veal and pork) – a randomized cross-over meal test study. Food & Nutrition Research, [online] 60(1), pp.32634–32634. doi:
  2. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at:
  3. Monk, J.M., Lepp, D., Wu, W., K. Peter Pauls, Robinson, L.E. and Power, K.A. (2017). Navy and black bean supplementation primes the colonic mucosal microenvironment to improve gut health. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, [online] 49, pp.89–100. doi:
  4. Escobedo, A., Esquivel-Hurtado, M., Morales-Hernández, N., Sarai Citlalic Rodríguez-Reyes, Edgar Alfonso Rivera-León and Mojica, L. (2023). Low glycemic index common bean snack increased satiety without modifying energy intake in adults with normal weight: randomized crossover trials. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, [online] 74(2), pp.247–256. doi:
  5. Clark, J.L., Taylor, C.G. and Zahradka, P. (2021). Black beans and red kidney beans induce positive postprandial vascular responses in healthy adults: A pilot randomized cross-over study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, [online] 31(1), pp.216–226. doi:
  6. Tucker, L.A. (2020). Bean Consumption Accounts for Differences in Body Fat and Waist Circumference: A Cross-Sectional Study of 246 Women. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, [online] 2020, pp.1–9. doi:

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