• Home
  • Guides
  • Black Beans vs Tempeh: Which Is Healthier?

Black Beans vs Tempeh: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between black beans and tempeh, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the black beans vs tempeh comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 10, 2023.

Black Beans and tempeh belong to the legumes and legume products food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Legumes and most legume products are an affordable source of plant protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

This article will thoroughly compare black beans and tempeh and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Black Beans

Black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are a type of legume that are native to Central and South America.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content and rich, nutty flavor.

Black beans are also a good source of antioxidants. They have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and helping to lower cholesterol levels.

They are easy to incorporate into a wide range of recipes and can be enjoyed in dishes such as black bean soup, burritos, and salads.

Black Beans are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin K.


Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.

It is a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to its high protein and fiber content, as well as its distinctive, nutty flavor.

Tempeh is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a starter culture, which gives it a firm, cake-like texture, and a unique flavor.

It can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including tempeh stir-fries, tempeh sandwiches, and tempeh bacon.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, tempeh has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

It is a good source of antioxidants and has been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved blood sugar control.

Tempeh is also a good source of several important minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Tempeh is an excellent source of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin K.

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.

Black Beans vs Tempeh Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing black beans vs tempeh.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of black beans and tempeh and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Black BeansTempeh
Energy341 kcal192 kcal
Carbs62.4 g7.64 g
Sugar2.12 g7.33 g
Fiber15.5 g9.3 g
Protein21.6 g20.3 g
Fat1.42 g10.8 g
Saturated Fat0.366 g2.54 g

Black Beans vs Tempeh Calories

Most calories in raw legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing tempeh vs black beans for weight loss, tempeh is slightly lower in calories, with 192 calories per 100 grams, compared to 341 calories per 100 grams of black beans.

However, both black beans and tempeh can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Black Beans vs Tempeh Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including black beans and tempeh, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Black Beans offer around 6% more protein than tempeh.

Black Beans have 21.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while tempeh has 20.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Black Beans vs Tempeh Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in black beans and tempeh.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 88% higher in black beans than in tempeh. They have 62.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 7.6 grams in tempeh.

There’s less sugar in black beans than in tempeh, 71% precisely.

One handful of black beans (28 grams) contains 0.6 grams of sugar, while the same amount of tempeh contains 2.1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in black beans and tempeh.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 4.3 grams of fiber per portion, black beans are a better source of fiber than tempeh which black beans offer 2.6 grams per portion.

Black Beans vs Tempeh Fats

Like most other legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, black beans and tempeh are low in fat.

Fats in black beans and tempeh are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in black beans and tempeh:

  • Black Beans: 1.4 grams per 100 grams
  • Tempeh: 10.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, black beans are 84% lower in saturated fats.

Black Beans and tempeh contain 0.4 grams and 2.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Black Beans vs Tempeh Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of black beans and tempeh.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Black Beans have a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, tempeh has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Black Beans and tempeh contain the same amount of vitamin C, and vitamin D.

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins black beans and tempeh contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Black BeansTempeh
Vitamin A17 IU0
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.9 mg0.078 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.193 mg0.358 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.96 mg2.64 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.899 mg0.278 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.286 mg0.215 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)444 µg24 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00.08 µg
Vitamin E0.21 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K5.6 µg47 µg

Black Beans vs Tempeh Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the black beans and tempeh comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Black Beans are a better source of fluoride, manganese, and sodium than tempeh.

On the other hand, tempeh is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Check out the table below to learn how black beans and tempeh compare when it comes to mineral content.

Black BeansTempeh
Calcium123 mg111 mg
Copper0.841 mg0.56 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron5.02 mg2.7 mg
Magnesium171 mg81 mg
Manganese1.06 mg1.3 mg
Phosphorus352 mg266 mg
Potassium1480 mg412 mg
Selenium3.2 µg0
Sodium5 mg9 mg
Zinc3.65 mg1.14 mg

The Final Word

Black Beans and tempeh are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both black beans and tempeh are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in beans and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes are versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.