Pasta vs Pinto Beans: How To Choose?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between pasta and pinto beans, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the pasta vs pinto beans comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on February 11, 2023.

Although pasta and pinto beans belong to different food groups, while pasta 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 pasta 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 pasta and pinto beans compare specifically.


Pasta is a traditional Italian food made from wheat flour and water. The most common types of pasta include spaghetti, macaroni, linguine, and fettuccine. Still, there are many other varieties available.

Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body. It also contains small amounts of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like iron and B vitamins, depending on the type of pasta and the flour used.

It is also low in fat and calories, making it a great option for weight management and a balanced diet. It can be enjoyed as a part of a healthy diet when paired with vegetables and lean protein sources such as legumes and in moderate portions.

Pasta can be enjoyed in a variety of ways; it can be cooked in different sauces, with herbs and spices, and can also be used in salads and soups. There are also different types of pasta available for those who are gluten intolerant or prefer a lower-carb option, such as rice pasta, quinoa pasta, and lentil pasta.

Pasta is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), 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.

Pasta 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 pasta vs pinto beans.

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

PastaPinto Beans
Energy371 kcal347 kcal
Carbs74.7 g62.6 g
Sugar2.67 g2.11 g
Fiber3.2 g15.5 g
Protein13 g21.4 g
Fat1.51 g1.23 g
Saturated Fat0.277 g0.235 g

Pasta 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 pinto beans vs pasta for weight loss, pinto beans are slightly lower in calories, with 347 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of pasta.

However, both pasta 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.

Pasta vs Pinto Beans Protein

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

Pinto Beans offer around 39% more protein than pasta.

Pinto Beans have 21.4 grams of protein per 100 grams, while pasta has 13 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Pasta 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 pasta and pinto beans.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 16% higher in pasta than in pinto beans. It have 74.7 grams per 100 grams, compared to 62.6 grams in pinto beans.

There’s less sugar in pinto beans than in pasta, 14% precisely.

One handful of pinto beans (28 grams) contains 0.6 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pasta contains 0.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in pasta 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 pasta which offer 0.9 grams per portion.

Pasta vs Pinto Beans Fats

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

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

Total fat in pasta and pinto beans:

  • Pasta: 1.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Pinto Beans: 1.2 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, pinto beans are 33% lower in saturated fats.

Pinto Beans and pasta contain 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Pasta vs Pinto Beans Vitamins Content

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

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

Pasta has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, pinto beans have a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin).

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

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

PastaPinto Beans
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C06.3 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.09 mg0.713 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.06 mg0.212 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.7 mg1.17 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.431 mg0.785 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.142 mg0.474 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)18 µg525 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.11 mg0.21 mg
Vitamin K0.1 µg5.6 µg

Pasta 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 pasta and pinto beans comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Pasta is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than pinto beans.

On the other hand, pinto beans are a higher amount of selenium.

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

PastaPinto Beans
Calcium21 mg113 mg
Copper0.289 mg0.893 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron1.3 mg5.07 mg
Magnesium53 mg176 mg
Manganese0.917 mg1.15 mg
Phosphorus189 mg411 mg
Potassium223 mg1390 mg
Selenium63.2 µg27.9 µg
Sodium6 mg12 mg
Zinc1.41 mg2.28 mg

The Final Word

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

Both pasta 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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