Black Beans vs Kidney Beans: Nutrition, Taste and Protein

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Black beans and kidney beans are two of the most popular and easiest types of beans.

If you’re curious which is healthier, or which has the better macro profile, you’ll find the answer here.

I’ve done a brief comparison of the 2 types of beans, divided into 3 sections.

Taste of Black Beans vs Kidney Beans

These 2 types of beans taste quite different:

  • Black beans – Fairly hard, with an earthy texture. They go well in South and Central American recipes.
  • Kidney beans – A bit softer than black beans, and not too strong of a flavor. I think I’d say they’re “hearty” beans, which is why they go so well in meals like chili.

If you’re eating them without much seasoning, kidney beans will likely seem a bit too plain, but they soak up flavors easily, which is why they’re so versatile.

One last difference to mention here is that black beans are smaller than kidney beans.

Nutritional Value of Black Beans vs Kidney Beans

Beans have a few vitamins, but are mostly known for the minerals that they contain.

Here’s a quick comparison table of the nutrients in both beans:

 Black Beans (%DV)Kidney Beans (%DV)
Serving size1 cup1 cup
Vitamin K0%19%
Thiamin28%19%
Vitamin B66%11%
Folate64%58%
Calcium5%6%
Iron20%22%
Magnesium30%19%
Phosphorus24%24%
Potassium17%20%
Zinc13%12%
Copper18%19%
Manganese38%38%

Almost all of them are exactly the same. The only significant difference is that kidney beans have way more vitamin K, but vitamin K is easy to find in other foods.

Note that either way, both deliver a ton of overall nutrition. You’ll find many beans on the list of top vegan sources of vitamins like folate.

Iron is one of the more important minerals that a lot of people are lacking, and kidney beans do have a bit more, but it’s not a big difference.

Protein and Macros of Black and Kidney Beans

Looking to build muscle?

Let’s take a look at the main macros for black and kidney beans.

 Black BeansKidney Beans
Serving size1 cup1 cup
Calories227225
Fat0.9 g0.9 g
Carbohydrates40.8 g40.4 g
Fiber15 g11.3 g
Protein15.2 g15.3 g

Unlike some beans like soybeans, when it comes to black beans and kidney beans, everything from calories to protein is virtually the same.

Black beans have more fiber if that’s important to you, but it’s probably not an issue if you’re eating beans in the first place.

What’s the Difference Between Black Beans and Kidney Beans

Nutritionally speaking, both black beans and kidney beans are virtually identical. They have almost the same calories, fiber, and vitamin content.

The only real difference is the taste.

The same thing goes for black beans vs pinto beans or kidney beans vs pinto beans.

Since there’s no “best” one, just eat the one you like the taste of the most.

Or better yet, eat both!

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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