- Brian Bender, PhD
Potassium in Beans (24 Beans Ranked by Potassium Density)
Less than 2% of all U.S. adults are meeting the recommended guidelines for dietary potassium intake. So as all of us could stand to eat more potassium, beans are a great place to start!
Potassium plays an essential role in our body’s health and has been shown to improve health when you eat more of it. It’s a fantastic way to lower your cardiovascular disease risk.
And beans are a great source of potassium. Calorie-per-calorie, they’re one of the most potassium-rich foods you can eat!
Potassium in Beans, Ranked by Potassium Density
We looked at how packed each kind of bean was in potassium to calculate the potassium density. This means, the higher the number, the more potassium for every calorie of bean you eat.
If the interactive chart doesn’t work for you, feel free to use this link.
As you can see, the white bean potassium density is the highest out of all 24 bean varieties compared, while the potassium in chickpeas was the lowest. But don’t let that get you down if you love garbanzo beans. Even though they’re lowest on the ranking, garbanzo beans are still a great source of potassium!
In case the chart was giving you troubles, here’s the ranking:
White bean (5.39 mg/kcal)
Lima bean (5.10 mg/kcal)
California Red Kidney Bean (4.52 mg/kcal)
Black Turtle Bean (4.43 mg/kcal)
Black Bean (4.40 mg/kcal)
Pink Bean (4.27 mg/kcal)
Kidney Bean (4.22 mg/kcal)
Great Northern Bean (4.09 mg/kcal)
Royal Red Kidney Bean (4.09 mg/kcal)
Soybean (4.03 mg/kcal)
Pinto Bean (4.01 mg/kcal)
Cranberry (Roman) Bean (3.98 mg/kcal)
French Bean (3.84 mg/kcal)
Adzuki Bean (3.81 mg/kcal)
Mung Bean (3.59 mg/kcal)
Hyacinth Bean (3.59 mg/kcal)
Navy Bean (3.52 mg/kcal)
Moth Bean (3.47 mg/kcal)
Yardlong Bean (3.33 mg/kcal)
Fava Bean (3.11 mg/kcal)
Yellow Bean (3.02 mg/kcal)
Mungo Bean (2.88 mg/kcal)
Winged Bean (2.39 mg/kcal)
Garbanzo (Chickpea) Bean (1.90 mg/kcal)
The potassium in soybeans is also interesting to compare because although it’s potassium density (mg of potassium for every calorie) places it midway in the rankings, it’s potassium by weight (mg of potassium for every 100g of food) is the highest.
White beans are the most potassium dense bean!
What does that mean?
Say you went to the buffet line and scooped up the same weight of soybeans and lima beans (#2 on our list) and plopped them on your plate. Your bag of soybeans would actually have more potassium!
Ideally, your diet should not be overly calorie-dense (excessive calorie intake, day after day, leads to weight gain). Your dollop of soybeans will be much higher in calories. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but then the comparison is somewhat unfair. You are getting much more energy (calories) from the soybeans – they should have more potassium! It’s like the equivalent of two dollops of lima beans! (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea.)
So if your dollop of lima beans was slightly bigger than your dollop of soybeans, you’d then have two scoops of equal caloric intake. Only now, the scoop of lima beans will have more potassium.
Add Any Beans to you Diet for More Potassium
Ultimately, any of these beans are a great addition to your diet for more potassium. In fact, they’re a great addition to your diet for most nutrients. (Read more about the healthiness of beans!)
Adding beans to your diet is also a great way to lose weight, in part because of their nutrient profile. Some people who cut calories don’t get enough key nutrients for optimal health along the way.
But using our density-approach to compare the potassium in beans, you can see that nutrient-per-calorie comparisons can go a long way.
Enjoy the list, and let us know if you want us to compare other foods or nutrients!