Canned black beans are a convenient source of plant-based protein. Due to high sodium content, you may want to rinse them before adding them to a dish.

Canned black beans are precooked black beans that come in a convenient can.

Black beans are a staple in Latin American cuisine and popular among vegetarians for their plant-based protein content.

Canned versions are a go-to option for those who don’t have the time to cook dried black beans from scratch.

However, you may wonder whether consuming canned black beans is healthy.

This article reviews canned black beans, including their many health benefits, potential downsides, and ways you can add them to your diet.

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Black beans are a type of pulse. As such, they hold a rich array of nutrients, including when they’re canned (1).

A 1-cup (180-gram) serving of canned black beans provides (2):

  • Calories: 241
  • Carbs: 44 grams
  • Fiber: 18.2 grams
  • Protein: 16 grams
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Folate: 38% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Iron: 29% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 22% of the DV
  • Potassium: 17% of the DV

Canned black beans have an exceptional fiber and protein content. They are also very low in fat (1).

Furthermore, canned black beans are a great source of folate, or vitamin B9, which helps prevent birth abnormalities, such as spina bifida and heart defects (3, 4).

They also provide significant amounts of magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium, which may aid nerve function, blood pressure, immunity, and bone health, respectively (5, 6, 7, 8).

Even though black beans have a high iron content, the iron is bound to phytate, an antinutrient that lowers the amount of iron your body absorbs (1).

Canned black beans are a low cost food with a high nutrient density (9).


Canned black beans are rich in nutrients and low in cost. They’re a convenient way to add more protein and fiber to your diet while keeping it low fat.

Canned black beans’ nutritional profile allows them to confer numerous health benefits. The nutrients in them may help you manage your weight and blood sugar levels, as well as lower your risk of heart disease (10).

Rich in plant-based protein

Black beans play an important role in vegetarian diets due to their high content of plant-based protein (11).

In fact, they’re one of the few plant-based food sources of the essential amino acid lysine, which is more common in animal-based foods (11).

Additionally, black beans serve as one of the primary protein sources in developing countries. In many diets, they help compensate for the lack of protein from cereals, roots, and tubers (12).

They also have a meaty texture, which allows you to substitute them for meat in multiple dishes.

May help you lose weight

The high amounts of fiber and protein in canned black beans may aid weight loss by reducing appetite (13).

Black beans are a rich source of soluble fiber — the kind that swells into a gel-like substance when it comes into contact with water in your digestive system.

Soluble fiber slows the rate at which your stomach empties its contents into the intestines. This keeps food in your stomach for longer, and it’s one reason why eating high fiber foods enhances your feelings of fullness (1, 14).

Studies show that protein is the most filling macronutrient. It’s also the one that burns the most calories as you digest it (1, 15, 16).

Additionally, fiber and protein stimulate the release of fullness-related hormones, further increasing your perception of fullness and potentially reducing your calorie intake (1, 16, 17).

May help manage blood sugar levels

Due to their low glycemic index (GI) and high fiber content, black beans are great for people with diabetes or those who are watching their blood sugar levels (1).

The GI of a food tells you how fast it raises your blood sugar levels after you consume it. Carb-containing foods each have a GI value, and experts classify foods by their GI value into low, medium, or high GI categories (18).

Black beans have a GI of 30, which is considered low. This means that they won’t spike your blood sugar levels and cause an aggressive insulin response, which can be harmful to people with diabetes (1, 19).

Furthermore, they may reduce blood sugar rises when you consume them with high GI foods (20).

For instance, studies show that consuming beans with rice instead of rice alone helps manage blood sugar levels after a meal in adults with and without diabetes (20, 21).

Additionally, the gel-like substance formed by the soluble fiber in black beans traps carbs during digestion. This slows their absorption rate, preventing your blood sugar levels from spiking after the meal (22).

May lower risk factors for heart disease

Numerous studies suggest that pulses like black beans may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, high levels of which are risk factors for heart disease (1, 11, 14, 23).

Research attributes the effect to their soluble fiber content. Studies have suggested that soluble fiber reduces total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (11, 14, 22).

Additionally, the fermentation of soluble fiber in the colon produces short-chain fatty acids, which lower cholesterol production in the liver. This further reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (11, 24, 25).


Canned black beans are a great plant-based protein source that may help you manage your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

Canned black beans are a nutrient-dense food with multiple health benefits. However, canned foods do come with some downsides.

First, they tend to be high in salt, as manufacturers add it during the canning process. For example, 1 cup (180 grams) of canned black beans provides 27% of the DV for sodium (salt) (2).

While your body needs salt for numerous functions, consuming too much of it may increase blood pressure among people with salt sensitivity (26).

Nevertheless, research shows that draining and rinsing canned beans significantly reduces their salt content. Otherwise, try to opt for low salt alternatives (27).

Second, canned foods may become exposed to bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that manufacturers use as a protective lining inside metal-based food and beverage cans (28).

Health risks have been associated with increased exposure to BPA (29).


Canned black beans tend to be high in salt, but draining and rinsing them may reduce it. Some metal cans may also contain BPA. High exposure to this chemical has been associated with negative health effects.

Canned black beans are a convenient way to add more nutrients to your diet.

Being a ready-to-use ingredient, they take less time to prepare than their dry version, which you typically need to soak overnight.

Here are a few ideas for how to add them to your daily meals:

  • Sprinkle black beans on your favorite salad or bowl.
  • Simmer them with vegetables and broth and blend them into a soup.
  • Sauté them with oil, garlic, and onions and add them to a food processor to make a black bean spread or dip.
  • Add them as a filling to homemade tacos, burritos, or quesadillas.
  • Mash them and mix them with an egg, spices, and chopped onions to make a black bean burger.

Aside from being very easy to cook with, canned black beans are available year-round.

You might enjoy this sweet potato and black bean casserole recipe during colder months, or this fresh mango and black bean salad recipe in the summer.


Canned black beans are a versatile and ready-to-use ingredient that you can enjoy year-round in numerous dishes as part of a healthy diet.

Canned black beans are a versatile, ready-to-use ingredient that you can use to boost the nutrient content of many dishes.

They’re a rich source of plant-based protein and fiber. This makes them a weight-loss-friendly food that may also help you manage blood sugar levels and lower your risk of heart disease.

Still, like most canned foods, they tend to be high in salt and may become exposed to BPA from the can’s inner lining.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to rinse them before consuming them.