Canned Beans or Cooked Beans?

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DESCRIPTION: Canned beans are convenient, but are they as nutritious as home cooked? And if we do used canned, should we drain them or not?

My family always just keeps an open can of beans in the fridge so we can spoon extra nutrition onto any meal. Why should we go out of our way to include beans in our daily diet? See the last two videos Increased Lifespan From Beans ( ) and BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy ( ), as well as videos like Beans and the Second Meal Effect ( ). Concerns about gas? See my blog Beans and Gas: Clearing the air ( ).

And beans are such a bargain! More tips in:

• Eating Healthy on a Budget ( )
• Eating Healthy on the Cheap ( )
• Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck ( )
• Superfood Bargains ( )

If the 96% statistic wasn't depressing enough, feel free to check out my video Nation's Diet in Crisis ( ).

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and he'll try to answer it!

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Dave McKinnon

  • ashenst8 says:

    Just made a pot of vegan chili using black beans…so yummy ! I usually use canned, myself, and drain them, but have been wanting to try home cooking them from scratch and possibly sprouting them first.

  • OldVegan says:

    That’s good news since I’m lazy and I use no-salt-added, organic canned beans. I was afraid you were going to shoot me down. Thank you for the information.

  • Lily_Rose says:

    Cooked dried beans taste better than those from cans. I can always tell if someone used canned in their recipe. Once you get used to cooking from scratch it’s not so hard. Most beans you soak over night, not so hard, you just think ahead. But a few, like all lentils, and pintos, require no soaking.

  • Zephyr López Cervilla says:

    Actually, in ASDA when I was in the UK they used to sell 1-pound cans of beans with tomato sauce for 12p (£0.12, less than 20 US cents). No added oil. The drawback was that they had added salt and sugar.

  • WellingtonBikeCam01 says:

    Pressure cookers ROCK!
    But sometimes I’m lazy and I cook with canned beans. When the dish is done and I “add salt to taste”, I just wind up adding a lot less salt.

  • Betsy Cosmos says:

    I had been raised with no beans whatsoever (except the occasional chili dog) and so when I “discovered” beans about 7 years ago, what I goldmine of nutrition and terrific recipes! We have beans now in our home at least 6 times per week and I wouldn’t want to do without them.

  • grandmajoyce2 says:

    After watching this, I’m going to go open a can of beans for dinner. I knew they were good, but this video definitely increased my appreciation of them. Thanks, Dr. Greger : )

    • noiznoiznoiznoiz says:

      Noooo they aren’t, beans and seeds in general aren’t optimal for humans because of the phytic acid which binds minerals to itself and bypasses it through you, so you don’t really benefit from the food. Canned beans aren’t even soaked as far as I’m concerned (soaking and sprouting reduce phytic acid content, but never completely). Plus BPA’s in the lining. Bad stuff. Dr. Greger isn’t very credible on everything. In fact it seems he overlooks a lot of stuff if you do further research. I still respect the man but I don’t take him from granted, he falls victim to a lot of naive beliefs and inaccurate/questionable/unrealistic studies.

  • I Invoke My First Amendment Rights says:

    Watched this as I was chowing down on a bean chimichanga. Been on a bit of a bean binge recently. I tend to give my body what it craves (within reason of course). Recently I have been craving beans. So, been eating beans. Mostly pintos. I especially love pintos cooked with a halved onion and some crushed garlic. Delicious.

  • sonia stewart says:

    A few years ago, I saw on EastEnders that they made lasagna with beans! I googled some recipes and it really makes a great alternative for ground meat!

  • Patricia Williamson says:

    I eat a lot of varieties of beans. The canned ones with lowsodium are my version of “fast food” when I do not feel like cooking. I have a pressure cooker which helps but sometimes you just want a bean burrito without the wait. I love both dried and canned. I didn’t know about draining the nutrients, I was rinsing my canned beans to get rid of any excess salt. I wont’ do that anymore.

  • Ale. Costa says:

    as a Brazilian I eat cooked beans almost every day, my advice is to use a pressure cooker and soak up for at least 12 hours! wash it before soaking and it will be cooked in ten minutes after the pressure has started!!
    enjoy 😍

  • aimson says:

    Good video. Personally, I drain my canned beans but I don’t rinse them. It would have been nice to see data showing difference in nutrients for the four categories (cooked, canned, canned drained, canned drained+rinsed). I suppose no salt added would be the best but I can’t remember actually seeing those at my grocery store.

  • smw2828 says:

    Soak overnight and rinse (bye bye lots of anti-nutrients), then a few minutes in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker). 10 min for black beans or 13 min for chickpeas, plus 15 mins of “resting” time while the cooker does a natural releases the pressure. Idiot proof, very energy efficient and perfectly consistent from batch to batch.

  • Jacob Baran says:

    I recommend fermented/ sprouted beans or even both! So easy to digest and very tasty. Same with grains.

  • Dianna M says:

    I make beans every week using the 3 quart Instant Pot – usually 15-25 minutes (unsoaked). So easy and cheap.

  • NMJ says:

    I appreciate you so much Dr. Gregor and your hard working research team!!! Thank you for all this wonderful information!

  • Swimbait1 says:

    I started cooking my own beans in an instapot and they taste so much better than canned beans. I can’t even eat canned beans anymore.

  • Neo-Anarchist——Ecocentric Radical says:

    Beans are a lifesaver for those who hate to cook.
    I’ll literally just eat out of the can whenever I want to snack.

  • Sunnygirl says:

    I have never seen unsalted canned beans (except for canned lentils) and they usually cost a lot more.. cooking them in a pot costs a lot of time and energy, so I always opt for a wide variety of canned ones and rinse and wash them well to get rid of most of the sodium… Better canned than non, so I‘m just going to continue🌱💪🏼

    • Sunnygirl says:

      Since I put lentils in my porridge in the morning I use canned ones too, since I can‘t be bothered to cook lentils from scratch in the morning🫣🥣

  • John Borges says:

    My family comes from poor southern farmers, and I recall growing up that my grandmother in particular served peas or beans and greens she had grown in her garden and at every meal. She lived to 107. My parents were also big believers and did nearly as well with servings beans and greens, but of course me and my siblings had gotten lured away from healthy eating by the more typical American diet after leaving home. My sister and I still love the tastes of our childhood, though, and are back to growing what we can and eating more like our grandparents. I think it’s important to remember that for most people in the US over a couple of hundred years, meat was a rare treat rather than a daily essential.

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