The nutrition of ½ (one half) cup of traditional refried beans is approximated below but will vary wildly depending upon the ingredients in your recipe or the product you purchase.
Protein 4g – .8gm per pound of bodyweight.
Saturated Fat 0g – 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Total Fat 0.5g – 1%
Total Carbohydrate 13g – 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Dietary Fiber 6g – 22%
Sodium 440mg – 19%
Cholesterol 0mg – 0%
Iron 1.1mg – 6%
Potassium 750mg – 15%
* These are the Percentage of Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.
The Ingredients used in this traditional recipe to arrive at these figures were: cooked pinto beans, water. Then, less than 2% of the following: salt, tomato paste, lard, chili pepper, spice, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder.
As Referred To Above
The premade product you chose or the recipe you follow will dramatically alter the nutritional profile of your refried beans.
The above values are given as a reference guide only. There is no way we can speak to each recipe or brand.
What Are The Carbs In Refried Beans?
Below we will go into not just how many carbs are in refried beans, but how they help or hinder diabetes, what their glycemic index is and much more. But to start the conversation off, refried beans will typically have 36 grams of total carbohydrate per cup.
This however only tells part of the story. It’s not the total number of carbs that can have the greatest impact on your health, it’s the type of carbohydrate and how it stimulates insulin that is the information you really need to decide whether a product is worthy of being put into your diet or not.
As you may know, different types of carbohydrates elicit different responses. It just so happens that highly fibrous carbs like the ones found in beans have a very favorable reaction with insulin and tend to keep your blood sugar considerably more stable.
Below we will dive into how this works and what benefits this might hold for you.
Refried Beans Glycemic Index
The glycemic index for refried beans is really quite low at only 38 on a scale to 100.
Just to give you a few references a banana is 52 and white bread is 71 on the index.
To give you a reference of the same exact value an apple is also 38 on the glycemic index.
This could explain why Mel Gibson reportedly ate upwards of 20 apples per day while preparing for his role in the movie Brave Heart where he needed to appear in good shape.
It is well accepted in virtually all medical and nutritional circles that by keeping the majority of the foods you consume low on the glycemic index you’ll have a much easier time controlling both insulin and fat loss.
Foods that spike insulin wreak havoc on your energy, most if not all of us have felt that big drop in energy after eating a huge meal or one too high in sugars.
Your insulin went up in response to this meal and then crashed when all those simple carbs were finally removed from your bloodstream.
This suagr crash due to the lack of carbs in your bloodstream is what causes the low energy.
What About Refried Beans Fiber, Is It A Lot Or Just A Little?
On a ratio of fiber per calorie basis, pinto beans have a much higher than average fiber content. Pinto beans of course are generally the bean of choice for refried beans, although on occasion we have seen black beans be substituted for the pintos.
However, it’s not just the quantity of the fiber that counts, it’s also the type. Beans have a large percentage of their total fiber coming from insoluble fiber that works really well in helping to lower bad cholesterols from the blood thereby improving your good and bad cholesterol ratios.
We will cover beans and gas below but suffice in saying that it is predominantly this type of fiber that has given beans their, sorry to say, much deserved reputation.
Refried Beans And Diabetes
Refried beans have a twofold positive impact on diabetes.
Firstly, their carbohydrate is low enough in a small serving size that it doesn’t elevate the bodies insulin response in a significant manner.
Second, the fiber in the beans slows the absorption of the carbohydrates into the bloodstream in the first place, thereby slowing insulins response.
There is another positive but indirect impact to diabetes as well. The fibers in beans help to increase the transitory time of foods through the intestinal tract.
This means that; foods will spend less time in your digestive tract which gives them less time to have negative impacts.
This doesn’t just affect diabetes; this has profound effects on your health as a whole.
When foods transit to slowly through our digestive systems we can have symptoms like constipation, fatigue, bad breath, pain, bloating, acne and more.
It’s pretty obvious from that short list that the symptoms can show up anywhere in the body. It’s just not good to have your own waste sitting in your body for too long. It’s not meant to be that way and it causes problems when it does.
Low Carb Refried Beans
There is really no such thing in nature, however, we will tell you a couple of tricks that can dramatically reduce the carbohydrate count in your refried beans.
There is not yet a genetically modified bean that has some magically altered carb levels. And really, if there was one would you trust it enough to eat it?
How To Make Low Carb Refried Beans?
We will explain both tricks at once.
Make some cauliflower rice by boiling a head of cauliflower, draining out all the liquid and we really mean all the liquid and then just grate it through a grater like a cheese grater.
Mix the cauliflower rice into the refried beans up to the level where they still taste basically just like refried beans. You should be able to get them up to 25% to 30% cauliflower rice.
Bingo, you just reduced your carbs by 25% to 30% if you use the same serving size of the beans that you would have done normally.
Although we recommend the cauliflower. If you have an aversion to it, you can use zucchini in the same way. Boil or bake it and grate it into tiny pieces and mix it with your refried beans to taste.
Whatever amount of zucchini or cauliflower you add will basically lower your carb count by nearly that exact amount because zucchini and cauliflower have very, very few carbs per ounce.
Keto Refried Beans
The above methods are how you would also make keto refried beans as well.
But, because you’re going for a specific carb level, just add in either one or both cauliflower and or zucchini until you reach that magic number that allows you to get that win and keep yourself in ketosis.
If the beans are just a little too bland because you had to mix in so much of the other two ingredients, then just add in a little bit of butter to bring the flavor back up.
It’s really easy to do, but you might need to play around with the ingredient levels until you get it just right.
How Much Protein In Refried Beans?
It’s not just the amount of protein that you’ll find in refried beans, it also has to do with the quality of the protein.
Pinto beans by themselves do not contain a complete protein. This is to say that; the protein in them is lacking one or more of the essential amino acids that are required to form a complete protein.
This is well known and so is the remedy. All that’s needed is to consume your refried beans with rice (especially brown rice) and you’ll now be consuming all the amino acids together to form a complete protein because the rice contains the ones that the beans do not.
Now for how much protein is in your beans there are approximately 6.5 grams of protein per ½ cup of refried beans.
You might think ‘wait a minute’, pinto beans by themselves contain nearly 8 grams of protein per ½ cup, so where did the rest of it go?
Pinto beans are not the only ingredient in refried beans. The other ingredients take up some of that room and reduce the overall protein just a little bit.
How Much Fat in Refried Beans?
Virtually all of the fat in refried beans is added fat.
In a ½ cup of into beans by themselves there is so little fat that you can technically call it zero.
However, refried beans are generally made with lard (a type of fat) which is where their fat comes from.
So, there is really no way to tell you how much fat is in your refried beans you’ll just have to look at your recipe or the label of the product you purchased.
Each company and each recipe is going to be different.
Even most restaurants now have nutrition cards for their foods if you ask for them.
How Many Calories In Refried Beans?
This is going to be the same as the amount of fat in refried beans that we just spoke of above. Each recipe and each companies’ products will be different.
You’ll have to look at the recipe or the label to see what’s being stated.
Beyond that, there are to many products and recipes for us to list even a portion of them here.
Are Refried Beans From A Can Good?
If you’re buying product from the store, most of the time your refried beans will come in a can.
This will generally be about the best you can get unless you make them fresh at home from a recipe.
Hint: Even most restaurants get their refried beans from a can and do not make them fresh daily from scratch.
Refried Beans Gas, Is their Any Way Around It?
Yes, beans give most of us humans gas.
It’s that insoluble fiber that’s also so darn good for you that’s the culprit.
Your body can’t break it down, hence the name insoluble. It then ferments in your digestive tract causing the dreaded gas we all seek to avoid.
There is an enzyme that breaks down the insoluble fiber in beans and the best product that we are aware of that has it is called Beano.
You simply put 1-2 drops of it onto the first bite of your food and then eat as normal.
The enzyme in the product breaks down the insoluble fiber and it then doesn’t ferment in your guts.
You get to enjoy your beans, sans the fumes.
What Are Refried Beans Benefits?
There are many benefits that you could list from beans, so herein we will discuss the top benefits that make the greatest impact on your heath.
Beans have insoluble fiber. Yes, that’s the same fiber we just spoke of above that gives you all the gas. If you have not read that section, we also show you how to get rid of that gas.
The benefits of this fiber are A). It bulks up the intestines so that you can pass food through you are a more regular rate and don’t become constipated.
B). It’s thought to absorb some toxic waste that it also carries from the digestive tract and eliminates for you.
C). The fiber helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood stream thereby slowing the release of insulin and possibly having positive effects on diabetes.
D). It has shown to lower bad cholesterol in the bloodstream helping to keep your arteries flowing freely.
Beans also contain a very good source of vegetable protein. It’s incomplete, so it must be eaten with another complimentary source such as brown rice to make it complete.
Are Refried Beans Bad For You?
Well, yes and no. They do have some health benefits. However, if the recipe or product that your consuming is too high in lard, then we would have to say that the negatives outweigh the positives, and you should avoid that product or recipe.
Then you can move on to the next question and answer which is…
Are Refried Beans Good For You?
Yes, then can be. If the recipe or product you’re consuming doesn’t contain too much lard or other ingredients that can be rather shady in high amounts then yes, sure, you can consume your refried beans in moderation.
Even if they have modest amounts of lard or other questionable ingredients, if you consume huge portions then you’re still consuming to much of the ingredients in question. This would not be advised.
All in all beans are an amazing food that can be made into hundreds of not thousands of products, with refried beans just being one of them.