Are black or pinto beans healthier?

Beans have always been a staple in my household and I have fond memories of fresh bean and cheese burritos as a snack after school. Beans are pretty legit to keep in your pantry (dried or canned) because not only are they super affordable they are nutrient-dense.

But have you ever wondered about the differences between black beans vs pinto beans?

Since I was a kid, I’ve always chosen black beans, and here is why…

  1. Because we never ate black beans at home.
  2. I’d feel like the ultimate healthy kid because I thought black beans had more fiber.

All I knew was that black beans had more didn’t seem as soft as pinto which means they must have more fiber than pinto beans? And more fiber means healthier, right?

As I got older, I never really questioned that belief.

And to be completely honest with you.

I still believed right up until I researched this blog post.

Nutrient breakdown in black and pinto beans.

Let’s dive into the nutrient breakdown in black and pinto beans. 

Nutrients in black beans

  • 0.5 cup
  • 114 calories
  • 8 grams protein
  • 20 grams of carbohydrate
  • 7 grams of fiber
  • 0.5 grams of fat
  • 128 micrograms of folate
  • 1.8 grams of iron
  • 60 milligrams of magnesium
  • 305 milligrams of potassium

Nutrients in pinto beans

  • 0.5 cup
  • 122 calories
  • 7 grams protein
  • 22 grams of carbohydrate
  • 8 grams of fiber
  • 0.5 grams of fat
  • 147 micrograms of folate
  • 1.8 grams of iron
  • 43 milligrams of magnesium
  • 373 milligrams of potassium

First thing first. 

Do black beans have more fiber than pinto beans? 

Negative. In fact, pinto beans have 1 more gram of fiber.

Pinto beans beat out black beans with fiber but which bean has more nutrients? 

Well, they both stack up pretty evenly. Pinto beans might have a few more calories than black but nothing significant.

But what about beans and your gut health?

Both beans have a significant amount of carbs but a good portion of those carbohydrates are fiber which makes beans a high fiber food and a naturally high fiber food.


The fiber in beans does serve as a prebiotic (1). Prebiotics are foods (fibers) that feed your gut bacteria and you want to get a variety of different prebiotic foods; this helps you create a healthy gut microbiome. 

But what if beans make you gassy 

Beans are a notorious food that can make you feel gassy. The gas isn’t necessarily a bad thing but definitely not a fun thing to have especially if you’re in a room full of people. 

If you want to help reduce the gas coming from beans here are my top tips.

  1. Eat a little less beans per serving to learn your tolerance. Super simple, but also pretty effective. A big bean burrito is amazing but also could be bean overload. Experiment with different serving sizes to see your personal tolerance. 
  1. Make your own beans from scratch to improve digestibility.
    1. Soak the beans and make sure to toss that soaking water before you cook.
    2. Add epazote, cumin, kombu, or a bay leaf to the cooking water, here is a step-by-step guide. 

Pick whichever bean makes you happy. 

While my childhood belief that black beans are better for you is crushed it’s all good still because no matter which bean you chose, they all got your back. 

Beans are a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Plus, beans are affordable, easy to store, and super versatile in the kitchen. 

If you want an easy way to use black or pinto beans check out my mini thyme and black bean frittatas. This is also a great recipe to use up any leftover veggies you got in your fridge.

Mini Thyme and Black Bean Frittatas

Mini Thyme and Black Bean Frittatas

This recipe will only take you 15 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook!