Eating beans can help you slim down, fight heart disease and high blood pressure, and live longer. Who Knew?
Fact No. 1: Eat Beans and Slim Down
At mealtime, fiber-rich beans can help curb your appetite by helping you feel fuller sooner so you’ll eat less. Beans can also replace higher calorie meats and cheeses in entrees. Trimming calories daily can help trim your waistline.
Fact No. 2: Eat Beans to Help Fight Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
A ½ cup of cooked beans provides 10% or more of the Daily Value for potassium and magnesium, nutrients that can help lower blood pressure. The soluble fiber in beans can help lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body. Both high blood pressure and blood cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease – the number one cause of death of Americans. It’s no wonder that the Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans enjoy 3 cups of legumes, such as beans, weekly.
Fact No. 3: Eat Beans as Part of a Healthy Diet to Live Healthier and Longer
Research suggests that folks that follow a Mediterranean-style diet, which is rich in plant foods including legumes (dried beans and peas) actually live longer. Another study of older adults showed that consuming approximately 1/8 cup of legumes daily was associated with about a 7 percent reduction in the risk of dying.
Add more beans to your diet by:
- Tossing beans with pasta and vegetables.
- Adding beans to tomato-based soups.
- Reducing the meat and cheeses in entrees and adding MORE beans for a hearty meal
- Adding beans and vegetables to comfort foods such as Mac & Cheese.
Enjoy! Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN