Carb Count in Beans

by Grace Covelli

Beans are a great source of complex carbohydrates.

beans image by enens from Fotolia.com

Carbohydrates give you energy and there are two types of carbohydrates, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. Carbohydrates that give you immediate energy are called simple carbohydrates and carbohydrates that give you energy that remains with you for a longer period of time are called complex carbohydrates. Beans are one of the foods that contain complex carbohydrates.

Adzuki Beans and Small Red Beans

One bean that contains a very high amount of carbs is the adzuki bean. One-half cup of cooked adzuki beans contains 62 g of carbs. Adzuki beans are not large beans. They are burgundy in color. Small red beans have fewer carbs than adzuki beans. These beans, which are the same color as adzuki beans, but larger, contain 55 g of carbs. Red beans and rice are often eaten by people who live in the Caribbean.

Pink Beans and Navy Beans

Pink beans and navy beans contain 24 g of carbs per 1/2 cup. Pink beans are medium-size and they are a pale shade of pink. People living in the Caribbean frequently eat pink beans. Navy beans are white beans. They are smaller than a medium-size bean. Boston baked beans are made using navy beans and so are English baked beans.

Garbanzo, Pinto and Cranberry Beans

Garbanzo, pinto and cranberry beans contain 22 g of carbs per 1/2 cup. Garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas. They are medium-size round beans that are a dull shade of yellow, but garbanzo beans from India can be red, black or brown. Pinto beans are medium in size and light pink in color, with dots and lines of brown. They are one of America’s favorite beans. Cranberry beans look something like pinto beans, only larger and the dots and lines in cranberry beans are red until they are cooked. Cranberry beans are diet staples in Spain and Italy.

Other Beans

Black beans contain 20 g of carbs per 1/2 cup. They are a medium-size bean loved by the people of Costa Rica and Cuba. Kidney beans contain 20 g of carbs as well per 1/2 cup. They are red, but can be dark or light. These beans are large. The lighter shade kidney bean is a favorite of people living in the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain. Great northern beans have 19 g of carbs and black-eyed beans have 18 g. Great northern beans are medium in size and white. The people of France like to include great northern beans in casseroles. Black-eyed beans are small yellowish beans with a black spot in their center.


A large variety of beans contain a substance called phytohaemagglutinin. Phytohaemagglutinin is toxic and kidney beans contain more phytohaematgglutinin than other beans. Cooking beans properly can eliminate the toxicity. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, the Public Health Laboratory Service states you should soak all raw beans in water for a minimum of five hours, drain the beans and then boil them in a pot of fresh water for a minimum of 10 minutes.

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About the Author

Based in New York, Grace Covelli has been writing since 1996. Her work has appeared on various websites, many of them health-related. Covelli completed a course in writing for children and teenagers and received a diploma for natural health consulting with highest honors. She also studied reflexology, Reiki and esthetics. One of her hobbies is sewing.