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Pinto Beans Nutrition

By Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.

Legumes, including pinto beans, are packed with essential nutrients. In fact, eating legumes regularly can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your chronic-disease risks. Since pinto beans are versatile, many ways exist to include them your diet to help meet your daily nutritional needs.

Fiber in Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are loaded with dietary fiber, including soluble fiber, which helps reduce low-density lipoprotein, or your “bad,” cholesterol levels, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database reports that one-half cup of cooked pinto beans provides you with 7.7 grams of dietary fiber. Authors of a review published in 2009 in “Nutrition Reviews” suggest that adults eat 14 grams of fiber for each 1,000 calories they consume.

Protein in Pinto Beans

Eating legumes is an excellent way to help meet your daily protein requirements. One-half cup of pinto beans contains about 7.7 grams of dietary protein, according to the USDA. Although the protein in pinto beans doesn’t contain all essential amino acids your body requires on a daily basis, eating a variety of proteins throughout the day will help ensure you meet your essential amino-acid needs. The Institute of Medicine reports that the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for protein is 46 grams for women, 56 grams for men and 71 grams of protein daily during pregnancy and lactation.

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Carbohydrates in Pinto Beans

Legumes – including pinto beans -- are high-carb foods, which means that they help boost your energy. The Institute of Medicine suggests that adults eat at least 130 grams of carbs per day, but obtain no more than 65 percent of their daily calorie intake from carbs – which is 325 grams per day when eating 2,000 calories a day. A one-half cup portion of pinto beans contains about 22 grams of carbohydrates, according to the USDA.

Micronutrients in Pinto Beans

Not only are pinto beans rich in protein, fiber and total carbohydrates, but consuming legumes regularly is an excellent way to meet your daily vitamin and mineral needs. Pinto beans are packed with iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, thiamin and folate. Try adding pinto beans – or other legumes -- to brown rice, salads, soups, chili, casseroles or fajitas to boost the nutritional value of your meals.

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