Beans Are a Carb NOT a Protein

Though we’re taught to place beans in the ‘high-protein’ column, they’re clearly a high-carb food. With the first number in the chart below showing the glycemic load (blood sugar response per serving), and the second number showing the total carbohydrates…in just 1 cup:


Sure, it’s not quite the glycemic load in a bran muffin (149) or bagel (346), but that carbohydrate content per serving will quickly put you over the ‘excess carb’ line…

…and that’s before considering the remainder of your diet!

Add them to a meal with rice or grains (as many non-meat eaters do) and you’re quickly over 300g of carbohydrates.  Which sounds more like an appropriate WEEKLY intake, when we’re talking about our obese, sedentary insulin resistant population.


“But what about the protein?”

The point is not: Beans don’t have protein. The point is: Stop calling beans a protein when they’re clearly a carbohydrate.  As, other than soy, which should be avoided regardless, the carb-to-protein ratio in beans is between 2 and 3-to-1; compared to 25 and 35-to-ZERO with meat and fish.


“But doesn’t the fiber help?”

Yes, the fiber in beans will help control the glycemic response (blood sugar and insulin), but the impact is minimal and doesn’t address the total carbohydrate load.  For instance, you can subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of carbohydrates to calculate the net carbs, but you’re still left with 41g of carbs!

1 cup Baked Beans = 55g of Carbs – 14g of Fiber = 41g of Net Carbs

Which is WAY too much to give up for 14g of protein – when 0g of carbs with 25-35g of protein is an option.  And that’s without considering the anti-nutrients (phytates, lectins) found in legumes and super-nutrients (B12, iron, DHA) found in animal protein. Or the fact that ‘high fiber’ isn’t necessarily a benefit, and may actually be damaging in the long-term when it comes from an indigestible highly insoluble source (like beans).

When beans are your sole protein source, you’re left nutrient deficient and insulin resistant.

Basically, anyone that’s looking to lose fat and improve their health and longevity should focus on getting their protein from animal sources. Not only because meat, fish, and eggs are packed with essential nutrients that are unobtainable from plant-based sources, but because they don’t bring the excessive carbohydrate-load.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


More Beans = Less Nutrients

High Fiber? More Like Undercover Sugar!

Soy is a Condiment in Japan NOT a Meat Replacements