How many calories are there in black beans? It’s not a particularly complicated question, but I should mention some details about it that could potentially cause us to give some very different answers.
Firstly, are you looking for info on the calories in, say, 100g dry black beans? In that case, I’ll just tell you. 350. That might seem quite a lot, but bear in mind that cooked black beans have expanded a lot with the water they’ve absorbed. That reduces the calorie content, as measured per 100g, rather a lot.
So 100g of cooked black beans contains 132 calories.
But wait! What does that mean to us? Who eats just 100g of black beans, anyway? It’s way more likely to be consuming at least 200g as a serving.
So, a 200g serving of cooked black beans contains 264 calories.
Fibre Calories Don’t Count!
This is the important part.
Fibre is counted as “carbohydrate” on nutrition labels. Carbohydrate is part of what is used to calculate calories. The trouble is, the body doesn’t absorb fibre. Fibre is incredibly healthy, yes; you need it for healthy digestion and having a healthy gut. It prevents lots of diseases. But! It doesn’t get absorbed itself. It’s like a facilitator; not truly a nutrient in its own right.
To measure calories, they use a pretty crude method. They dry a food, burn it down to ashes, and measure the temperature raise caused by the burning of the food.
So this does tell us something about how much energy a food will give us. The amount something burns will give us an idea of the amount something will “burn” inside our own body. But fibre – fibre burns but doesn’t “burn” inside our body. It just passes right through.
Black beans have loads of fibre. Beans in general have loads of fibre, and black beans have lots even for a bean. You get a whopping 9g of fibre per 100g of beans. (See also: Black Beans Nutrition)
Think of that! One tenth of what you’re eating is actually indigestible.
Calculating The “Real Calories” In Black Beans
Black beans have 24g of carbs per 100g. To get the amount of calories which the beans really provide us, we will have to subtract the fibre from the rest of the carbs.
This gives us 15g of “real” carbs in our black beans. Times this by four (there are four calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate) and we get 60 total calories from carbohydrate.
To calculate the total number of “real” calories in black beans, I times’d 9g of fibre by 4 and subtracted that from 132.
So the total number of “real” calories in 100g of cooked black beans is 96.
For a 200g serving of cooked black beans, there are 192 “real” calories.
And if you’re interested in the number of “real” calories in 100g of dry black beans, the figure would be 250.
Black Beans Protein/Carbohydrate/Fat Breakdown
All well and good. But one more thing. What about the “breakdown” of calories in black beans? How many protein calories are there in black beans? How many carbohydrate calories are there in black beans? How many fat calories in black beans?
Self.com gives us this figure:
74% of calories from carbohydrate; 3% of calories from fat; and 23% of calories from protein.
That’s a lot of protein! And remember, not all calories are created equal. Many people who are attempting to lose weight find that fat calories tend to “stick”, while carb calories are easier to burn off and not keep on as fat. So black beans are a very good food for weight loss and weight maintainance. Not to mention, all that fibre slows down the digestion, stopping you from being hungry for longer.
A recommended food.