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Bulgur vs Pinto Beans: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between bulgur and pinto beans, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the bulgur vs pinto beans comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on February 26, 2023.

Although bulgur and pinto beans belong to different food groups, while bulgur belong is a grain, and pinto beans belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares bulgur and pinto beans, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how bulgur and pinto beans compare specifically.


Bulgur (Triticum aestivum) is a type of whole wheat that is made by steaming, drying, and then coarsely grinding wheat berries.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Bulgur is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, often used in dishes such as tabbouleh and kibbeh. It can also be used in soups, stews, and as a stuffing. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Bulgur is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Bulgur is an excellent source of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are a type of legume 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, as well as their rich, nutty flavor.

Pinto beans are also a good source of several important nutrients, including potassium, iron, and B vitamins.

They can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, such as pinto bean soup, chili, and salads.

In addition to being a nutritious food, pinto beans have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control, and may also help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Pinto Beans are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

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

Bulgur vs Pinto Beans Nutrition

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

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

BulgurPinto Beans
Energy342 kcal347 kcal
Carbs75.9 g62.6 g
Sugar0.41 g2.11 g
Fiber12.5 g15.5 g
Protein12.3 g21.4 g
Fat1.33 g1.23 g
Saturated Fat0.232 g0.235 g

Bulgur vs Pinto Beans Calories

Most calories in raw grains and 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 bulgur vs pinto beans for weight loss, bulgur is slightly lower in calories, with 342 calories per 100 grams, compared to 347 calories per 100 grams of pinto beans.

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

Bulgur vs Pinto Beans Protein

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

Pinto Beans offer around 43% more protein than bulgur.

Pinto Beans have 21.4 grams of protein per 100 grams, while bulgur has 12.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Bulgur vs Pinto Beans 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 bulgur and pinto beans.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 18% higher in bulgur than in pinto beans. It have 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 62.6 grams in pinto beans.

There’s less sugar in bulgur than in pinto beans, 83% precisely.

One handful of bulgur (28 grams) contains 0.1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pinto beans contains 0.6 grams.

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

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, pinto beans are a better source of fiber than bulgur which offer 3.5 grams per portion.

Bulgur vs Pinto Beans Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, bulgur and pinto beans are low in fat.

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

Total fat in bulgur and pinto beans:

  • Bulgur: 1.3 grams per 100 grams
  • Pinto Beans: 1.2 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, bulgur and pinto beans contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.2 grams per 100 grams.

Bulgur vs Pinto Beans Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of bulgur and pinto beans.

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

Bulgur has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, pinto beans have a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

Bulgur and pinto beans contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

BulgurPinto Beans
Vitamin A9 IU0
Vitamin C06.3 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.232 mg0.713 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.115 mg0.212 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)5.11 mg1.17 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.04 mg0.785 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.342 mg0.474 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)27 µg525 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.06 mg0.21 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg5.6 µg

Bulgur vs Pinto Beans 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 bulgur and pinto beans comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Bulgur is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than pinto beans.

On the other hand, pinto beans are a higher amount of manganese, and sodium.

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

BulgurPinto Beans
Calcium35 mg113 mg
Copper0.335 mg0.893 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron2.46 mg5.07 mg
Magnesium164 mg176 mg
Manganese3.05 mg1.15 mg
Phosphorus300 mg411 mg
Potassium410 mg1390 mg
Selenium2.3 µg27.9 µg
Sodium17 mg12 mg
Zinc1.93 mg2.28 mg

The Final Word

Bulgur and pinto beans are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

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

Antioxidants found in grains 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 and grains are a 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.


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