Refried beans are just beans that have been stewed mashed, pushed through a sieve, then baked or fried. Since beans are not Paleo, neither are refried beans. Yes, they’re a good source of protein, but not as good as meat, and they are very high in carbohydrates.
Beans also come loaded with lectins and phytic acid – antinutrients that increase gut permeability, letting toxins and undigested foods into the blood stream. This sets off an immune response that includes inflammation (something we generally try to keep low). Phytic acid is also known to interfere with mineral receptors in the body, causing nutrient deficiencies, so just because beans contain minerals, doesn’t mean we get the benefits of those nutrients.
The Great Paleo Debate
Mark Sisson gave his take on beans and legumes in this post.
Chris Kresser had an excellent explanation of why beans and legumes can be included as part of a healthy lifestyle, so long as we make sure to limit them.