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What's The Oxalate Level in Pinto and Other Beans?


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Pinto beans are a popular staple in many kitchens. They are nutritious, delicious, and versatile, making them a favourite for many. But what are their oxalate levels?


What is Oxalate?


Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance found in many plants, including pinto beans. It is an organic compound that binds with minerals to form crystals. In the human body, oxalate is either consumed through food or produced as a waste product by the liver.


Why is Oxalate Important?


Oxalate itself is not harmful. However, it can cause problems when it binds with calcium to form calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can cause health issues such as kidney stones, which are hard deposits that form in the kidneys and are very painful to pass.


For individuals with chronic kidney disease or other conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, managing oxalate intake is particularly crucial. This is why it's important to be aware of the oxalate content in your diet. A low oxalate diet may even be necessary.


Oxalate in Pinto Beans


Pinto beans contain 27 mg of oxalates per 100 grams. This is moderate but low compared to other high-oxalate foods, making them a viable option for those managing their oxalate intake.


Although they are not the highest source of oxalate, it's still worth considering, especially if you are prone to kidney stones. A typical serving of pinto beans has 10 to 15 milligrams of oxalate. This amount is low compared to high-oxalate foods like spinach, which can contain over 700 milligrams per serving.


Cooking and Preparing Pinto Beans


Cooking pinto beans properly can help manage their oxalate content and enhance their nutritional value. Soaking and boiling the beans can reduce the levels of anti-nutrients, making them easier to digest and more beneficial for health.



Including pinto beans in your diet, whether in soups, stews, or salads, can provide a tasty and nutritious addition to your meals. It's also beneficial to pair pinto beans with other low-oxalate foods to maintain a balanced diet.



Oxalate Content in Beans


Here is a table of the oxalate content in various beans provided by The Kidney Dietitian, UCI Kidney Stone Center and Clinical Research Nutrition, find the information in the Resouce Library. As always please do your research and speak to a health care professional before making dietary changes. This table is only a compilation of resources I have found. I am not a medical practitioner, just someone trying to raise awareness.

Bean Type

Oxalate Content (mg per serving)

Serving Size

Source

Anasazi beans, boiled

6.3

100 grams

CNR

Azuki beans, boiled

7.5

100 grams

CNR

Black beans, boiled

15.0 (CNR), 62 (TKD)

100 grams, 1/2 cup

CNR, TKD

Cowpeas (blackeye peas), boiled

5.1

100 grams

CNR

Gabanzo beans (Chickpeas), boiled

9.0

1/2 cup

TKD

Great northern beans, boiled

66.0

1/2 cup

TKD

Kidney beans, red, cooked

15.0

1/2 cup

UCI, TKD

Lentils, boiled

8.5 & 8

100 grams

CNR & OHF

Lima beans, large, boiled

9.3

100 grams

CNR

Navy beans, boiled

76.0

1/2 cup

UCI, TKD

Peas, green, split, boiled

5.7

100 grams

CNR

Peas, raw

4.2

100 grams

CNR

Peas, yellow, split, boiled

5.8

100 grams

CNR

Pink beans, boiled

7.2

100 grams

CNR

Pinto beans, boiled

10.2

100 grams

CNR

Red beans, boiled

8.0

100 grams

CNR

Soybeans, boiled

48.0

1/2 cup

UCI, TKD

White beans, small, boiled

66.0

1/2 cup

TKD

Fava beans, boiled

20.0

1/2 cup

TKD

Refried beans, boiled

16.0

1/2 cup

TKD

Mung beans, boiled

8.0

1/2 cup

TKD

Managing Oxalate Intake


For those worried about oxalate and kidney stones, balancing your diet is essential. Pinto beans contain moderate oxalate, but they can still be part of a healthy diet if eaten in moderation. Eating pinto beans with calcium-rich foods can help reduce the risk of forming kidney stones made of calcium oxalate. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help reduce the risk of crystal formation in the kidneys.


The Nutritional Value of Pinto Beans


Pinto beans are a great source of plant-based protein and dietary fibre. A single serving provides several grams of protein and fibre, contributing to a healthy diet. These beans are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium, which support overall health. Eating pinto beans can help keep your heart healthy and manage blood pressure. They are also low in fat and contain no cholesterol, which is beneficial for heart health.


Benefits of Including Pinto Beans in Your Diet


Despite their oxalate content, pinto beans offer many health benefits. They are high in fiber, which aids in digestion and can help lower cholesterol levels. Pinto beans provide a lot of protein, making them a great choice for vegetarians, vegans and those seeking plant-based foods. Eating pinto beans often can help keep your body healthy and lower the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.


Health Benefits of Pinto Beans


Pinto beans have oxalates, but they also have many health benefits, making them a valuable addition to your diet.


  • Rich in Protein: Pinto beans are a great source of plant protein, making them ideal for vegetarians and vegans.

  • High in Fibre: Dietary fibre helps with healthy digestion and can lower cholesterol.

  • Nutrient-Dense: Pinto beans provide essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

  • Low in Fat: They are low in fat and contain no cholesterol, which supports heart health.

  • Supports Blood Sugar Regulation: The fibre in pinto beans helps regulate blood sugar levels, making them a good choice for those with diabetes.


Managing Oxalate Intake


You may need to manage your oxalate intake due to kidney stones or other health concerns. There are ways to enjoy pinto beans while reducing your risk:


  • Drink Plenty of Water: Staying well-hydrated helps dilute the oxalate in your urine, lowering the risk of crystal formation.

  • Pair with Calcium-Rich Foods: Eating foods rich in calcium with high-oxalate foods can stop oxalate absorption.

  • Moderate Your Portions: Enjoy pinto beans in moderation as part of a balanced diet. This can help keep your oxalate intake within a safe range.

  • Incorporate Low-Oxalate Foods: Combine pinto beans with low-oxalate foods like sweet potatoes and green beans to maintain a balanced oxalate intake.


Conclusion


Pinto beans are a nutritious and versatile food that can be part of a healthy diet. They do contain oxalate, but the levels are moderate. For most people, they do not pose a big risk. By understanding oxalate and managing your intake, you can enjoy pinto beans without worrying about kidney stones. Remember, if you have health problems or a history of kidney stones, it's best to talk to a healthcare professional for personalized advice.


So go ahead, add those delicious pinto beans to your next meal, and enjoy all the goodness they have to offer.




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