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Navy beans vs. White beans — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Sveta Badalyan by Sveta Badalyan | Last updated on June 07, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Navy beans
vs
White beans

Summary

Navy beans are higher in selenium, choline, and vitamin B9. They are also higher in dietary fiber, while white beans are higher in net carbsvitamin E, and iron

White beans contain over six times more vitamin K, while navy beans contain two times more vitamin B1.

Introduction

Navy beans and white beans belong to the family Phaseolus. Navy beans are one of the most popular types of small white beans. Navy beans are oval-shaped, small, and have a smooth surface.  They're about the size of a pea. 

The color of white beans is white, while navy beans are closer to ivory than white.

Taste

White beans have a mellow, somewhat nutty flavor, whereas navy beans have a mild taste and a soft texture. It is most common to use navy beans in American cuisine. They go well with soups and stews, while white beans are the best choices for salads.

Nutrition

We will compare the nutritional information of navy beans and white beans in this part of the article.

Macronutrients and Calories

Navy beans contain slightly more carbs and fats, while white beans contain more protein. 

Navy beans are over 1.5 times richer in dietary fiber, while white beans are higher in net carbs.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +77.1%
Contains more Protein +18.2%
Contains more Other +35.7%
Equal in Carbs - 25.09
Equal in Water - 63.08
8% 26% 64%
Protein: 8.23 g
Fats: 0.62 g
Carbs: 26.05 g
Water: 63.81 g
Other: 1.29 g
10% 25% 63% 2%
Protein: 9.73 g
Fats: 0.35 g
Carbs: 25.09 g
Water: 63.08 g
Other: 1.75 g
Contains more Fats +77.1%
Contains more Protein +18.2%
Contains more Other +35.7%
Equal in Carbs - 25.09
Equal in Water - 63.08

Calories

Navy beans and white beans are both providing a similar amount of calories. A hundred grams of navy beans contain 140 calories, while the same amount of white beans has 139 calories.

Protein

A hundred grams of navy beans contain 8.23g of protein, while same-size white beans have 9.73 g.

Although navy beans and white beans contain all essential amino acids, white beans are richer in all essential amino acids.

  Fats

White beans and navy beans have very little fat content. Navy beans contain slightly more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, while white beans contain less saturated fats. Navy beans and white beans do not contain trans fats.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +358.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +222.4%
Equal in Saturated Fat - 0.091
13% 19% 67%
Saturated Fat: 0.098 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.142 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.49 g
33% 11% 55%
Saturated Fat: 0.091 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.031 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.152 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +358.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +222.4%
Equal in Saturated Fat - 0.091

Carbohydrates

Navy beans and white beans have about the same amount of carbohydrates.

100g of navy beans contain  26g of carbohydrates, of which 10.5g are dietary fiber and 15.5g are net carbs.

100g of white beans contain 25g of carbohydrates, of which 6g are dietary fiber and 19g are net carbs.

The main carbohydrate found in navy beans is starch. It contains 15.4 g of starch. 

However, navy beans are richer in dietary fiber, while white beans are higher in net carbs. 

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
98% 2%
Starch: 15.4 g
Sucrose: 0.37 g
Glucose: 0 g
Fructose: 0 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g

Vitamins

Navy beans are richer in vitamin B1 and folate (vitamin B9). Navy beans have 140 µg of folate, whereas white beans only have 81µg. White beans, on the other hand, contain higher levels of vitamin E and vitamin K

Navy beans and white beans are absent in vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +100.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +43.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +363.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +16.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +48.4%
Contains more Folate +72.8%
Contains more Choline +27.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +9300%
Contains more Vitamin K +483.3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 1% 0% 3% 60% 16% 13% 16% 32% 105% 0% 25% 2%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 19% 0% 0% 30% 11% 3% 14% 22% 61% 0% 20% 9%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +100.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +43.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +363.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +16.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +48.4%
Contains more Folate +72.8%
Contains more Choline +27.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +9300%
Contains more Vitamin K +483.3%

Minerals

White beans are higher in potassium. Navy beans contain 389 mg of potassium, whereas white beans contain 561mg

White beans are also higher in iron and copper. At the same time, navy beans contain more phosphorus, choline, and selenium. Compared to white beans, which have 1.3µg of selenium, navy beans have 2.9µg. Navy beans and white beans are also low in sodium

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Phosphorus +27.4%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Selenium +123.1%
Contains more Calcium +30.4%
Contains more Iron +56.8%
Contains more Magnesium +18.9%
Contains more Potassium +44.2%
Contains more Zinc +34%
Contains more Copper +36.7%
Contains more Manganese +20.7%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 21% 89% 38% 62% 35% 0% 29% 70% 69% 16%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 27% 139% 45% 49% 50% 1% 38% 96% 83% 8%
Contains more Phosphorus +27.4%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Selenium +123.1%
Contains more Calcium +30.4%
Contains more Iron +56.8%
Contains more Magnesium +18.9%
Contains more Potassium +44.2%
Contains more Zinc +34%
Contains more Copper +36.7%
Contains more Manganese +20.7%

Acidity

Calculating the potential renal acid load, or PRAL, reveals how much acid or base the given food produces inside the body and is an alternate approach to evaluating acidity. The PRAL value of navy beans is -1.1 (alkaline), and the PRAL value of white beans is -5.6(alkaline).

Weight Loss & Diets

Due to lower fat levels, less sodium, and high protein content, navy beans and white beans are excellent DASH diet choices.

  Both are suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets.

  Moreover, navy beans and white beans are plant-based foods, and you can use them in your Mediterranean diet.

  According to the Paleo guidelines, people on the Paleo diet should avoid navy beans and white beans.

  Because navy beans and white beans include a high amount of carbohydrates, they are not keto-friendly.

Health Benefits

As mentioned above, navy beans are rich in dietary fiber, which has several positive health effects. High consumption of dietary fiber is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity(1). 

Consuming navy beans, among other Phaseolus vulgaris bean varieties, may help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore,  P. vulgaris species are also known to decrease LDL cholesterol, which is one of the risk factors for CVD(2).

Navy beans are high in resistant starch. Resistant starch(RS) is a beneficial dietary ingredient with health benefits. A new study reveals that RS may help manage chronic renal disease and diabetes(3). 

Similarities

Digestive Health

A plant-based diet that includes navy beans and white beans has protective effects on metabolism, body weight, gut microbiome environment, and low-grade inflammation(4). 

Moreover, fiber consumption aids gastrointestinal problems, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids(1).

Cancer

Randomized controlled research discovered that a high-legume diet altered biomarkers for cancer risk(2).

Furthermore, research suggests that eating more legumes, such as navy beans, may lower the risk of colorectal cancer(5). 

Article author photo Sveta Badalyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: June 07, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Navy beans vs White beans infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Navy beans White beans
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Rich in vitamins ok

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Navy beans White beans Opinion
Net carbs 15.55g 18.79g White beans
Protein 8.23g 9.73g White beans
Fats 0.62g 0.35g Navy beans
Carbs 26.05g 25.09g Navy beans
Calories 140kcal 139kcal Navy beans
Starch 15.4g Navy beans
Sugar 0.37g 0.34g White beans
Fiber 10.5g 6.3g Navy beans
Calcium 69mg 90mg White beans
Iron 2.36mg 3.7mg White beans
Magnesium 53mg 63mg White beans
Phosphorus 144mg 113mg Navy beans
Potassium 389mg 561mg White beans
Sodium 0mg 6mg Navy beans
Zinc 1.03mg 1.38mg White beans
Copper 0.21mg 0.287mg White beans
Manganese 0.527mg 0.636mg White beans
Selenium 2.9µg 1.3µg Navy beans
Vitamin E 0.01mg 0.94mg White beans
Vitamin C 0.9mg 0mg Navy beans
Vitamin B1 0.237mg 0.118mg Navy beans
Vitamin B2 0.066mg 0.046mg Navy beans
Vitamin B3 0.649mg 0.14mg Navy beans
Vitamin B5 0.266mg 0.229mg Navy beans
Vitamin B6 0.138mg 0.093mg Navy beans
Folate 140µg 81µg Navy beans
Choline 44.7mg 35.1mg Navy beans
Vitamin K 0.6µg 3.5µg White beans
Tryptophan 0.1mg 0.115mg White beans
Threonine 0.289mg 0.409mg White beans
Isoleucine 0.387mg 0.429mg White beans
Leucine 0.7mg 0.776mg White beans
Lysine 0.52mg 0.668mg White beans
Methionine 0.111mg 0.146mg White beans
Phenylalanine 0.471mg 0.526mg White beans
Valine 0.504mg 0.509mg White beans
Histidine 0.206mg 0.271mg White beans
Saturated Fat 0.098g 0.091g White beans
Monounsaturated Fat 0.142g 0.031g Navy beans
Polyunsaturated fat 0.49g 0.152g Navy beans
Omega-3 - ALA 0.177g Navy beans

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Navy beans White beans
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
21%
Navy beans
14%
White beans
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
43%
Navy beans
53%
White beans

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
White beans
White beans is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.03g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
White beans
White beans is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.007g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
White beans
White beans is lower in glycemic index (difference - 39)
Which food is cheaper?
White beans
White beans is cheaper (difference - $1.3)
Which food is richer in minerals?
White beans
White beans is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Navy beans
Navy beans contains less Sodium (difference - 6mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Navy beans
Navy beans is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 0mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Navy beans
Navy beans is relatively richer in vitamins

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Navy beans - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173746/nutrients
  2. White beans - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175203/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.