The canned bean conundrum

gpanda103 Posts: 185 Member
Wall of text inbound..

tldr; usda food database has canned chickpeas at 352 cal per 253 grams, my calculations says around 370.. given rounding it’s probably accurate to call it 350

Canned beans are confusing

Alright, so the USDA has canned chickpeas at 352 calories for a 253 gram serving (one can) of drained beans.

Pretty much every can of chickpeas is going to have a 120 calorie serving for ~3.5 servings per can. Do some math (net weight of can/serving weight), it’s usually 3.37-3.4 servings. Multiply those two, you get roughly 405 per can including liquid. I weighed out the aquafaba from my can (originally 439g, 258g drained) so that means we are are missing 181 grams of aquafaba. That liquid contains 18cal/100g based off what had tested. Now, that is 32.5 calories gone. 405-32= 373. Account for the fact that labels are rounding to the nearest whole number…. Does this math check out.. or am I missing something?


  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,395 Member
    Is there no calorie info in grams, and drained weight in grams on the tin? That would be the easiest.
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,877 Member
    I’m not sure I entirely understand what you’re getting at?

    I’ve never seen a can of chickpeas or other beans etc give a calorie count for an undrained weight. But it seems you’re trying to account for the minimal calories in the Aquafaba and subtracting that from the given calorie count?

    Just drain and weigh the chickpeas and use a per 100g database entry. There’s around 146 cals per 100g according to the varied brands of canned chickpeas I currently have in my kitchen.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,700 Member
    In 10 years of logging I've yet to have a can of beans that I don't drain come to the right amount of servings :lol:

    I just use the "***, drained solids" entry from the USDA and call it a day.

    You're already using the USDA database, so for others that might be reading, here's my canned answer about picking accurate entries:

    Unfortunately, the green check marks in the MFP database are used for both USER-created entries and ADMIN-created entries that MFP pulled from the USDA database. A green check mark for USER-created entries just means enough people have upvoted the entry - it is not necessarily correct.

    To find ADMIN entries for whole foods, I get the syntax from the USDA database and paste that into MFP. All ADMIN entries from the USDA will have weights as an option BUT there is a glitch whereby sometimes 1g is the option but the values are actually for 100g. This is pretty easy to spot though, as when added the calories are 100x more than is reasonable.

    Use the “SR Legacy” tab - that seems to be what MFP used to pull in entries.

    Note: any MFP entry that includes "USDA" was USER entered.

    For packaged foods, I verify the label against what I find in MFP. (Alas, you cannot just scan with your phone and assume what you get is correct.)
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,456 Member
    For canned beans that are meant to be drained (i.e., they're not in a flavored sauce that is meant to be eaten with the beans), I generally use USDA database derived entries in the form of "Beans, [type, e.g., pinto], mature seeds, cooked, boiled, with [or without] salt" -- that is a drained weight. A given brand of plain beans (where the ingredients are beans and water and salt, maybe a preservative) isn't going to vary in any meaningful way from another brand of the same kind of plain beans.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,395 Member
    Actually, I got a very odd tin of food yesterday: Tinned, cut tomatoes in own juice. 400gr. Drained weight: 260gr. Those tins are ALWAYS 400gr :D
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,389 Member
    ...and THIS is why I only use dried beans.

    Well, that and they 1. taste better 2. Have less salt when I prepare them and 3. Cost $1.50 for 13 servings dry, and $3.00 for 7 servings in a can.
  • disasterman
    disasterman Posts: 746 Member
    edited May 12
    My plan:

    1. Choose a method.
    2. Be consistent.
    3. Adjust daily calorie goal up/down based on observed results.
    4. Avoid thinking about math and bean juice.