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BTD Forums  /  The GenoType Diet  /  Help! Butter Beans vs. Lima Beans
Posted by: Shelly, Saturday, August 15, 2009, 5:04am
I have been so confused by the difference between butter beans and lima beans.

According to my SWAMI, butter beans are a diamond and lima beans are an avoid.  But I don't know which is which because depending on where you live in the US butter beans may be called lima beans.  

If I buy a can of butter beans, how do I know 100% it is butter beans? Maybe that company packaged what to them is butter beans, but it is really "lima beans?" A lot of people even think they are interchangeable and the same thing (shrug)(shrug)(shrug)

Any help here? (think)
Posted by: Suzanne, Saturday, August 15, 2009, 5:48am; Reply: 1
TypeBase often has descriptions and pictures of foods the way Dr. D classified them.  It helped distinguish betweeen cantaloupes and musk melons.  However it was no help for your question.  TypeBase says Lima beans and butter beans are the same.  Perhaps this should be reported as a SWAMI error.  

http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?229
Posted by: Lola, Saturday, August 15, 2009, 5:49am; Reply: 2
Quoted Text
Butter beans are the beans out of what we call "wax beans" (in the pod). Wax beans look like string beans, but are fatter and yellow.

http://www.dadamo.com/forum/archivec/config.pl?read=109431
Posted by: Brighid45, Saturday, August 15, 2009, 1:47pm; Reply: 3
Both lima and butter beans are in the same classification: Phaseolus lunatus. Butter beans seem to be a variety of lima bean. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"The term butter bean is widely used for a large, flat and white variety of lima bean (P. lunatus var. macrocarpus, or P. limensis). However, oftentimes "butter bean" only refers to a fresh or mealy textured bean.

". . . In culinary use, lima beans and butter beans are distinctly different, the former being small and green, the latter large and yellow. In areas where both are considered to be lima beans, the green variety may be labeled as "baby" limas."

In our area canned or dried butter beans are the large yellow beans and they are labeled prominently as butter beans. Hope this helps clear up your confusion. :)
Posted by: 815 (Guest), Saturday, August 15, 2009, 3:27pm; Reply: 4
I had the same trouble. I was buying frozen "butter beans" and I believe they were just using small lima beans and calling them butter beans. I got sick from them. Not all the time but I think they were mixing in lima beans.   Many canned butter beans actually say Lima Beans in the ingredients.   I just ended up not eating "butter beans" anymore. I'm sick of these companies substituting lima beans and thinking we won't know the difference.
Posted by: Mrs T O+, Saturday, August 15, 2009, 11:05pm; Reply: 5
Butter beans are big & light colored. Limas are smaller & green.
They may be in the same family, but seem different to me. Lettuces come in many forms & I'm sure some are neutral & some other classes. Maybe it is the same for limas.
Posted by: 815 (Guest), Saturday, August 15, 2009, 11:08pm; Reply: 6
Quoted from Mrs T O+
Butter beans are big & light colored. Limas are smaller & green.
They may be in the same family, but seem different to me. Lettuces come in many forms & I'm sure some are neutral & some other classes. Maybe it is the same for limas.


Mrs. T, the butter beans I bought frozen were small and green. The lima beans are bigger and lighter colored.  Just the opposite of what you're saying.. ;D
Posted by: Brighid45, Saturday, August 15, 2009, 11:12pm; Reply: 7
Okay--well, in the face of this confusion I'd say just cross them off your list and wait to see if Dr. D can clear up things up eventually.
Posted by: Spring, Sunday, January 8, 2012, 1:03am; Reply: 8
Quoted from Lola


So the same conversation continues in exactly the same vein with nary a skipped beat!
Posted by: deblynn3, Sunday, January 8, 2012, 2:38am; Reply: 9
Had a thread on this. What my family in Nashville, Tenn. called butter beans where shaped like limas but where about 3/4 of an inch in dia.  They where less opaque, and had a greener taste than limas no mater what size of lima you compare it with. They were meatier too.

For now I've taken them all of my list.
Posted by: KimonoKat, Sunday, January 8, 2012, 3:58am; Reply: 10
We've purchased a brand of liman beans called "Fordhook" lima beans.  They are large.  They are light green and sometimes a yellow color.  Maybe they are using butter beans and calling them limas?
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