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Pinto Beans vs Tofu: Difference & Similarities

This article explains the key similarities and differences between pinto beans and tofu, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the pinto beans vs tofu comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 15, 2023.

Pinto Beans and tofu 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 pinto beans and tofu and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

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.


Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a popular plant-based alternative to dairy products that is made from soybeans.

Tofu is native to China and has been used as a dietary staple for thousands of years. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, and stir-fries.

One of the main health benefits of tofu is its high protein content. Tofu is made from soybeans, which are a good source of plant-based protein, making it a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Tofu is also low in calories and fat, making it a good choice for those looking to manage their weight.

It is also rich in nutrients important for vegans such as iron, calcium, and manganese, and it contains many plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

In terms of health benefits, tofu has been shown to have a number of positive effects on the body.

It is a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help balance the gut microbiome.

Tofu may also help to reduce the risk of certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, due to its high content of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Tofu is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it also contains Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) in a small amount.

Pinto Beans vs Tofu Nutrition

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

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

Pinto BeansTofu
Energy347 kcal76 kcal
Carbs62.6 g1.87 g
Sugar2.11 g0.62 g
Fiber15.5 g0.3 g
Protein21.4 g8.08 g
Fat1.23 g4.78 g
Saturated Fat0.235 g0.691 g

Pinto Beans vs Tofu 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 tofu vs pinto beans for weight loss, tofu is slightly lower in calories, with 76 calories per 100 grams, compared to 347 calories per 100 grams of pinto beans.

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

Pinto Beans vs Tofu Protein

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

Pinto Beans offer around 62% more protein than tofu.

Pinto Beans have 21.4 grams of protein per 100 grams, while tofu has 8.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Pinto Beans vs Tofu 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 pinto beans and tofu.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 97% higher in pinto beans than in tofu. They have 62.6 grams per 100 grams, compared to 1.9 grams in tofu.

There’s less sugar in tofu than in pinto beans, 67% precisely.

One handful of tofu (28 grams) contains 0.2 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 pinto beans and tofu.

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 tofu which pinto beans offer 0.1 grams per portion.

Pinto Beans vs Tofu Fats

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

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

Total fat in pinto beans and tofu:

  • Pinto Beans: 1.2 grams per 100 grams
  • Tofu: 4.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, pinto beans are 71% lower in saturated fats.

Pinto Beans and tofu contain 0.2 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Pinto Beans vs Tofu Vitamins Content

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

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

Pinto Beans have a higher amount of vitamin A.

However, tofu has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Pinto Beans and tofu contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

Pinto BeansTofu
Vitamin A085 IU
Vitamin C6.3 mg0.1 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.713 mg0.081 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.212 mg0.052 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.17 mg0.195 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.785 mg0.068 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.474 mg0.047 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)525 µg15 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.21 mg0.01 mg
Vitamin K5.6 µg2.4 µg

Pinto Beans vs Tofu 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 pinto beans and tofu comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Pinto Beans are a better source of calcium, and iron than tofu.

On the other hand, tofu is a higher amount of copper, fluoride, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc.

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

Pinto BeansTofu
Calcium113 mg350 mg
Copper0.893 mg0.193 mg
Fluoride2.2 µg0
Iron5.07 mg5.36 mg
Magnesium176 mg30 mg
Manganese1.15 mg0.605 mg
Phosphorus411 mg97 mg
Potassium1390 mg121 mg
Selenium27.9 µg8.9 µg
Sodium12 mg7 mg
Zinc2.28 mg0.8 mg

The Final Word

Pinto Beans and tofu are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both pinto beans and tofu 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.


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