Black Beans vs Kidney Beans: Nutrition, Taste and Protein Comparison


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.

Comparing the Taste of Black and 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 size 1 cup 1 cup
Vitamin K 0% 19%
Thiamin 28% 19%
Vitamin B6 6% 11%
Folate 64% 58%
Calcium 5% 6%
Iron 20% 22%
Magnesium 30% 19%
Phosphorus 24% 24%
Potassium 17% 20%
Zinc 13% 12%
Copper 18% 19%
Manganese 38% 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.

How to Get Enough Iron as a Vegan to Avoid a Deficiency

Macro Comparison: Which Bean is Best for Bodybuilding?

Looking to build muscle?

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

  Black Beans Kidney Beans
Serving size 1 cup 1 cup
Calories 227 225
Fat 0.9 g 0.9 g
Carbohydrates 40.8 g 40.4 g
Fiber 15 g 11.3 g
Protein 15.2 g 15.3 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.

Which is Better? Black Beans or Kidney Beans?

Nutritionally speaking, these are 2 of the most similar types of beans there are. There’s no clear winner.

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 C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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