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Is Rice And Beans Diet Good For Weight Loss? From Dietitian

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: October 23, 2022

As a personal trainer, I often get involved with my clients' conversations they have with a dietitian. At a recent meeting, one of my clients was determined to put a heavy focus on eating rice and beans on a daily basis as a means to lose weight.

It was an interesting idea, but the dietitian involved raised a few concerns and also highlighted that it wasn’t as simple as eating rice and beans.

So, I got him to help me out with some background research into a rice and beans diet to see what kind of advice we should be giving to our clients and readers.

Quick Summary

  • Rice and beans are a great source of carbs and protein, and they also help to make people feel full for longer.
  • Switching to rice and beans from highly processed sources of carbs like cereals and pasta can have a good impact on body weight.
  • There are certain types of rice and beans that you would want to avoid, as they contain simple carbs that won’t help with weight loss.

Are Beans And Rice Good For Weight Loss?

A collection of beans and rice in a bowl

Yes, beans and rice are good for weight loss if taken in moderation, as they are packed full of the right macro and micronutrients.

You should keep in mind that rice and beans are still carbs, and you should combine them with sufficient exercise and not go overboard with the total daily amount.

That being said, they do contain a lot of complex carbs if you choose the right ones.  More on that shortly.

What that means is that the energy contained in them is classed as having a low glycemic index (GI) [1]. As a result, it takes the body more time to process the carbs and turn them into glucose.

And that will ensure that you don’t end up with blood sugar spikes that would otherwise contribute to weight gain rather than loss [2].

But rice and beans also contain a good amount of plant protein. And the best thing about combining the two into your daily meal plans is that this will give you a complete amino acid profile [3].

“One serving of beans and rice provides 19.9 g, or 40 percent DV, of high-quality, low-fat protein. An excellent source of dietary fiber, beans provide 13.1 g (52 percent DV), but rice also contributes a small amount (1.4 g or 6 percent DV).”

- Sandi Busch, Writer at

What Does This Diet Involve?

A rice and bean diet for weight loss involves adding these two ingredients to as many of your daily meals as possible.

It doesn’t mean that you should only eat beans and rice, as that would mean you don’t take in enough other nutrients.

So, you need to find clever ways to add them to your meals [4].

For example, you could add a cup of cooked beans to a salad at lunchtime. And then cook some wild rice for your evening dinner.

And maybe some beans can go into your morning green smoothie as well. Just be adventurous, and you’ll find your favorite options.

Related Articles:

Best Types Of Rice For Weight Loss

Top view of brown rice

I mentioned above that rice has a low GI value. But you have to be careful with the type of rice.

A typical highly processed white rice that you’ll pick up in a supermarket will have quite a high GI of about 69 [5].

That’s not far off sugar, by the way.

But if you pick brown or wild rice, then the GI value will be below 50.

And that means the carbs take longer to convert into glucose, and you don’t end up spiking your blood sugar.

Remember, that’s one of the key reasons people don’t lose weight fast.

Best Types Of Beans For Weight Loss

You have to take a similar approach to beans. Some have a higher GI value, and knowing which ones to choose is key to achieving your weight loss goals.

What I would suggest you start with is kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, and pinto beans. They are low GI and easy to introduce into your meal plans [6].

I tend to have all four of them in my pantry, along with things like chickpeas. And that helps me change things around on a daily basis and not get bored with them.

They are great for adding to salads, stir-fries, and just as a side instead of pasta.


Can You Survive on Just Rice and Beans?

No, you can’t survive on just rice and beans. While they contain plenty of carbs and protein, as well as micronutrients, you’ll be missing essential fat and many types of minerals and vitamins.

Is It Healthy to Eat Beans and Rice Every Day?

Yes, it is healthy to eat beans and rice every day. You can easily add them to every main meal of the day, and they provide a great filler to make you feel full for longer.

Have You Added More Rice And Beans To Your Meal Plans?

It’s important to have the right diet and exercise combination, especially to achieve weight loss goals.

And while rice and beans are a good option as part of a balanced diet, you should also consider taking advantage of some supplements.

One way to speed up your weight loss is by using these supplements:

These use minerals, amino acids, and herbs to trigger a completely natural metabolic response in the body.

It’s not magic, and it won’t make you slim in a week. But it will speed things up enough to notice the difference in a few weeks.


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