Pinto Beans: Nutrition, Benefits, And Risks

Reduce the risk of cancer and coronary heart issues with these nutritious beans.

Medically reviewed by Dr Archana BatraDr Archana Batra, CDE
By Aparna MallampalliAparna Mallampalli, BEd (Biological Sciences), MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition  • 

Beans are an indispensable part of the diet in many countries. One of the most popular beans is the pinto bean, which offers a variety of health benefits. The nutritional benefits of pinto beans are due to their high levels of proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicalsi  XBioactive nutrients found naturally in plants that may provide desirable health benefits and reduce the risk of major chronic diseases , and other micronutrients. Pinto beans also have a low-fat content.

This article discusses the nutritional profile of pinto beans and their potential side effects. Take a look.

What Are Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans are among the most consumed bean varieties. They are native to Mexico and are scientifically called Phaseolus vulgaris. They are reddish or beige and have a unique earthy smell with a nutty flavor. They are used whole or mashed and are popular in Mexican cuisine. They take about 90to 150 days to completely turn dry. They can also be consumed as green snap beans.

Pinto beans go by many names, like frijoles pintos, poroto frutilla, feijão carioca, and feijão catarino.

Let us look at the nutrition facts of pinto beans in the next section.

Pinto Beans Nutrition Facts

100 grams of raw pinto beans contain the following nutrients:

Energy 143 kcal
Protein 9.01g
Carbohydrates 26.2g
Starch 15.2g
Water 63g
Ash 1.17g
Potassium 436mg
Fiber 9g
Phosphorus 147 mg
Magnesium 50 mg

Note: Values are sourced from USDA

Pinto beans are pivotal in Brazilian cuisine. They have been cultivated in the country since 3000 BCE, along with rice, potato, and polenta.

Health Benefits Of Pinto Beans

1. May Reduce The Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease

Pinto beans benefit woman with heart problems

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A sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet are among the major factors associated with coronary heart disease risk. Studies suggest that consuming pinto beans regularly may reduce the risk. These beans reduce the levels of serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (1). Beans may also improve lipid profiles associated with cardiovascular disease (2).

2. May Promote Satiety

Pinto beans benefit woman experiencing excessive hunger

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Pinto beans are low in fat and are usually preferred for weight loss. Studies show that their high fiber content may promote satiety and help reduce obesity (3). However, these were only short-term results. Detailed studies are warranted to further understand this benefit of pinto beans in the long run.

3. May Help In Glycemic Control

Pinto beans help woman control her blood sugar

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Beans are high in fiber and have slowly digestible carbohydrates. They may help promote long-term glycemic control. They may also lower fasting blood glucose levels (4). Additionally, the intake of fiber is directly related to a reduced risk of diabetes (5). Consult your doctor if you have diabetes and want to include pinto beans in your diet.

4. May Lower The Risk Of Mortality

Dietary fiber is associated with many health benefits (6). Studies show that dietary fiber may significantly reduce mortality associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, digestive disease, and infectious and inflammatory diseases. A direct impact of dietary fiber on CVD is also observed (7).

5. May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

Studies suggest that pinto beans may reduce colorectal cancer risk. The large number of bioactive compounds in dry beans could prevent cancer. Their bioactive constituents may delay or prevent tumor formation. Dry beans could also reduce advanced colorectal adenomasi  XA harmless tumor of the colon and rectum and is a precursor lesion of the colorectal adenocarcinoma (colon cancer). (8). However, more studies are warranted in this regard.

Despite an array of health benefits, consuming pinto beans in excess may also cause adverse effects. Keep reading.

Adverse Effects

1. May Increase Flatulence

Woman experiencing flatulence as a side effect of pinto beans

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Bean consumption may increase flatulence, bloating, and stool changes in some. However, there is a variation in this response. Increased flatulence and intestinal gas were observed in some people when dietary fiber intake was high. Oligosaccharides — water-soluble carbohydrates — are difficult to digest. They get converted into carbon dioxide, sulfur, and hydrogen and move out in the form of flatus (9).

2. May Affect Bone

Studies show that excess intake of high phytate foods may affect bone health. Pinto beans contain phytates that can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Excess phytates in food can also lead to iron and zinc deficiencies (10). However, you can reduce the phytate concentration in pinto beans by soaking them in water before cooking or eating.

3. May Cause Abdominal Pain

Anecdotal evidence suggests that pinto beans may induce abdominal pain or aggravate existing pain. It is also associated with cramps and nausea. These effects may be caused due to the high protein content of the beans. However, more research is needed in this regard.


Woman experiencing allergies as a side effect of pinto beans

Image: Shutterstock

Studies suggest that patients allergic to beans show reactions like asthma, dyspneai  XA medical term that refers to shortness of breath is often described as an intense tightening in the chest and difficulty breathing. , chest tightness, and tachycardiai  XA medical term that refers to rapid heartbeats. In this condition, the heart beats more than 100 times per minute. . The reaction occurs majorly after ingestion. The chances of allergy while handling (cleaning or cooking) these beans are fewer (11). Consult your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms.

Pinto beans are the most consumed bean variety with an impressive nutritional breakdown. They have a nutty flavor and contain phytochemicals, dietary fiber, proteins, and micronutrients. These nutrients are responsible for many benefits of pinto beans. The intake of pinto beans may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, promote satiety, help in glycemic control, lower mortality, and reduce cancer risk. However, their excess consumption may lead to several side effects. They may increase flatulence, affect bones, cause abdominal pain, and allergies. Hence, consume them in moderation to enjoy their benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pinto healthier than black beans?

From the nutritional standpoint, based on the macronutrienti  XEssential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that the body needs to generate energy and maintain bodily functions. (carbs, fat, and protein) content, black beans are healthier than pinto beans (12), (13).

Are canned pinto beans good for you?

Canned pinto beans are generally considered safe to consume. They are nutritious and are the best alternative to dried beans.

Key Takeaways

  • Pinto beans are the most consumed bean variety with exceptional nutritional benefits.
  • They may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, lower blood glucose levels, and help prevent tumor formation.
  • However, excessive consumption may lead to flatulence, abdominal pain, and allergies.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Pinto bean consumption reduces biomarkers for heart disease risk
  2. Pinto bean consumption changes SCFA profiles in fecal fermentations bacterial populations of the lower bowel and lipid profiles in the blood of humans
  3. Pulse Consumption, Satiety, and Weight Management
  4. Effect of non-oil-seed pulses on glycaemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled experimental trials in people with and without diabetes
  5. Dietary Fiber Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses
  6. The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre
  7. Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Infectious Diseases and Others: A Meta-Analysis of 42 Prospective Cohort Studies with 1,752,848 Participants
  8. High Dry Bean Intake and Reduced Risk of Advanced Colorectal Adenoma Recurrence among Participants in the Polyp Prevention Trial
  9. Perceptions of flatulence from bean consumption among adults in 3 feeding studies
  10. Excess dietary protein can adversely affect bone
  11. Viciafaba Hypersensitivity and ASA Intolerance in a Farmer: A Case Report
  12. Beans, Dry, Pinto (0% moisture)
  13. Beans, Dry, Black (0% moisture)
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