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

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Article author photo Sveta Badalyan by Sveta Badalyan | Last updated on July 31, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Pinto beans
vs
White beans

Summary

In summary, pinto beans and white beans are good sources of carbs and protein. Pinto beans are high in phosphorus, selenium, folate, and vitamin C. White beans, on the other hand, provide more potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Moreover, white beans are slightly high in protein content. They also contain more net carbs and less saturated fats, whereas pinto beans are high in fiber, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Pinto beans provide more calories and lower sodium content.

Introduction

Pinto beans and white beans are legumes. Both are part of the Phaseolus vulgaris species and belong to the family Fabaceae.

The inside of white beans is often ivory or pale yellow, while the outside skin is off-white. Pinto beans have reddish-brown backgrounds with dark-brown flecks.

Appearance

Pinto beans are medium-sized, whereas white beans can range in size from small to large.

Pinto beans are native to Mexico. Depending on the type and the area, white beans might have different origins and methods of growing.

Taste and Use

White beans have a milder flavor and a creamy, buttery texture, whereas pinto beans have a slightly earthy and nutty flavor. You can use white beans in salads, soups, stews, and side dishes. Pinto beans, on the other hand, may use for burritos.

Varieties

Navy beans, Great Northern beans, Cannellini beans, and Lima beans are common varieties of white beans. They are different in size, shape, and taste. 

The most common varieties of pinto beans are Álava, Burke, Grand Mesa, Kodiak, and Othello.

Nutrition

In this part of the article, we will compare the nutritional values of pinto beans and white beans.

Macronutrients and Calories

Pinto beans are high in calories, fats, and fiber. White beans, on the other hand, are slightly high in net carbs and protein content.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +85.7%
Contains more Other +49.6%
Equal in Protein - 9.73
Equal in Carbs - 25.09
Equal in Water - 63.08
9% 26% 63%
Protein: 9.01 g
Fats: 0.65 g
Carbs: 26.22 g
Water: 62.95 g
Other: 1.17 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 +85.7%
Contains more Other +49.6%
Equal in Protein - 9.73
Equal in Carbs - 25.09
Equal in Water - 63.08

Calories

Pinto beans provide more calories per 100 g compared to white beans. Pinto beans provide 143 calories, whereas white beans contain 139 calories. 

Protein

Pinto beans contain 9.01g of protein per hundred grams, whereas the same amount of white beans provides 9.73g. Both contain all essential amino acids in small amounts.

Fats

Pinto beans and white beans contain less than 1g of fat. A hundred grams of pinto beans contain 0.65g of fat, whereas white beans provide only 0.35g. Pinto beans contain more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, whereas white beans provide less saturated fats.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +329%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +54.6%
Contains less Saturated Fat -33.1%
27% 26% 47%
Saturated Fat: 0.136 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.133 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.235 g
33% 11% 55%
Saturated Fat: 0.091 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.031 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.152 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +329%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +54.6%
Contains less Saturated Fat -33.1%

Carbohydrates

A hundred grams of pinto beans contain 26.22g of carbs, of which 9g are dietary fiber and 17.22g are net carbs. 

A hundred grams of white beans contain 25.09g of carbohydrates, of which 6.3g are dietary fiber and 18.79g are net carbs.

Pinto beans are high in fiber content, whereas white beans are high in net carbs.

Pinto beans and white beans are cholesterol-free

Vitamins

Pinto and white beans are not good sources of vitamins. Pinto beans provide more vitamins C, B2, B3, B6, and folate. Both have equal amounts of vitamins E, and K. Pinto beans and white beans do not contain vitamins A, D, and B12.

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 +63.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +34.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +127.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +146.2%
Contains more Folate +112.3%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.94
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.229
Equal in Choline - 35.1
Equal in Vitamin K - 3.5
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% 3% 49% 15% 6% 13% 53% 129% 0% 20% 9%
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 +63.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +34.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +127.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +146.2%
Contains more Folate +112.3%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.94
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.229
Equal in Choline - 35.1
Equal in Vitamin K - 3.5

Minerals 

Pinto beans are high in phosphorus and selenium. White beans, on the other hand, contain more potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Moreover, compared to white beans, pinto beans contain six times less 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 +30.1%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Selenium +376.9%
Contains more Calcium +95.7%
Contains more Iron +77%
Contains more Magnesium +26%
Contains more Potassium +28.7%
Contains more Zinc +40.8%
Contains more Copper +31.1%
Contains more Manganese +40.4%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 14% 79% 36% 63% 39% 1% 27% 73% 60% 34%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 27% 139% 45% 49% 50% 1% 38% 96% 83% 8%
Contains more Phosphorus +30.1%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Selenium +376.9%
Contains more Calcium +95.7%
Contains more Iron +77%
Contains more Magnesium +26%
Contains more Potassium +28.7%
Contains more Zinc +40.8%
Contains more Copper +31.1%
Contains more Manganese +40.4%

Acidity

The potential renal acid load, or PRAL, determines how much acid or base a food produces inside the body. 

Pinto beans have a PRAL rating of -1.2, whereas white beans have a PRAL value of -5.6. Pinto beans and white beans are alkaline.

Weight Loss & Diets

Pinto beans and white beans are good choices for DASH diets due to their low fat and high protein content.

Pinto beans and white beans are not good options for paleo and keto diets because of their high carb content. 

Moreover, pinto beans and white beans are excellent choices for the Mediterranean diet.

Health Benefits

Obesity

White kidney bean extract may inhibit the enzyme α-amylase, limiting carbohydrate absorption and digestion(1). So it has metabolic effects. Regular intake of white beans may induce weight loss(2). The high dietary fiber content in pinto beans may lower the risk of obesity(3).

Diabetes

White kidney bean extract may also decrease complications of diabetes(4). According to the research, pinto beans and rice consumption reduces the glycemic response(5). 

Cardiovascular Health

Pinto beans are a good source of dietary fiber, which has some advantageous health impacts. A high dietary fiber intake decreases the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, and stroke(3).

Furthermore, white and pinto beans are also known to decrease LDL cholesterol(6)(7).

Digestive Health

Pinto beans and white beans have a protective impact on gut microbiota and gut inflammatory indicators(7)(8). Pinto beans also have prebiotic effects(7).

Cancer

People who use a lot of beans have a lower risk of cancer and chronic degenerative disorders. Bean intake is related to a lower risk of cancer in human populations. In animal models, bean consumption reduces carcinogenesis and induces apoptosis(9).

Article author photo Sveta Badalyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: July 31, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Pinto 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.
Pinto beans White beans
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Pinto beans White beans Opinion
Net carbs 17.22g 18.79g White beans
Protein 9.01g 9.73g White beans
Fats 0.65g 0.35g Pinto beans
Carbs 26.22g 25.09g Pinto beans
Calories 143kcal 139kcal Pinto beans
Starch 15.15g Pinto beans
Sugar 0.34g 0.34g
Fiber 9g 6.3g Pinto beans
Calcium 46mg 90mg White beans
Iron 2.09mg 3.7mg White beans
Magnesium 50mg 63mg White beans
Phosphorus 147mg 113mg Pinto beans
Potassium 436mg 561mg White beans
Sodium 1mg 6mg Pinto beans
Zinc 0.98mg 1.38mg White beans
Copper 0.219mg 0.287mg White beans
Manganese 0.453mg 0.636mg White beans
Selenium 6.2µg 1.3µg Pinto beans
Vitamin E 0.94mg 0.94mg
Vitamin C 0.8mg 0mg Pinto beans
Vitamin B1 0.193mg 0.118mg Pinto beans
Vitamin B2 0.062mg 0.046mg Pinto beans
Vitamin B3 0.318mg 0.14mg Pinto beans
Vitamin B5 0.21mg 0.229mg White beans
Vitamin B6 0.229mg 0.093mg Pinto beans
Folate 172µg 81µg Pinto beans
Choline 35.3mg 35.1mg Pinto beans
Vitamin K 3.5µg 3.5µg
Tryptophan 0.108mg 0.115mg White beans
Threonine 0.331mg 0.409mg White beans
Isoleucine 0.426mg 0.429mg White beans
Leucine 0.765mg 0.776mg White beans
Lysine 0.63mg 0.668mg White beans
Methionine 0.117mg 0.146mg White beans
Phenylalanine 0.531mg 0.526mg Pinto beans
Valine 0.519mg 0.509mg Pinto beans
Histidine 0.247mg 0.271mg White beans
Saturated Fat 0.136g 0.091g White beans
Monounsaturated Fat 0.133g 0.031g Pinto beans
Polyunsaturated fat 0.235g 0.152g Pinto beans

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pinto 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
24%
Pinto beans
14%
White beans
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
42%
Pinto beans
53%
White beans

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
White beans
White beans is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.045g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
White beans
White beans is lower in glycemic index (difference - 39)
Which food is richer in minerals?
White beans
White beans is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Pinto beans
Pinto beans contains less Sodium (difference - 5mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Pinto beans
Pinto beans is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0.34 g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)

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. Pinto beans - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175200/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.