Beans are an inexpensive and convenient staple food found in most pantries. They are often added to salads, soups, and casseroles. Beans can also be pureed and incorporated into baked goods, too. Black bean brownies, anyone?
Another popular dish is baked beans and wieners, also called pork and beans. In this popular dish, beans are coated in a tomato-based or sweet sauce containing molasses and cooked along with pork fat or franks.
While dried beans need cooking to make them tender enough to eat, canned and frozen beans are ready to eat after heating them up on the stove or in the microwave.
Beans are high in fiber, which can help lower blood glucose. They also provide protein, iron, and antioxidants.
Although beans are a nutritious food, you may be wondering where they fit in on a low carb diet. Keep reading to find out if you should skip the beans when trying to lose weight.
Are Beans Keto Friendly?
Most beans are too high in carbohydrates for a ketogenic diet. Although they are legumes that grow from the earth, beans are fairly high in carbs – so they are not a good option for Keto. If you are limiting carbs to the recommended 20 grams of carbs a day on keto, avoid eating beans.
How Many Carbs are in Beans?
A 100 gram serving of baked beans contains 22 grams of carbs. If you’re following a low carb diet, you should avoid baked beans as they could send you soaring over your daily carb limit. Instead, enjoy a serving of low carb green beans – although green beans are actually just legumes, not beans.
How Many Calories are in Beans?
A 100 gram serving (about a half-cup) of baked beans contains 155 calories. Baked beans containing molasses are higher in calories because of the sugary sauce. Tomato-based baked beans are a lower calorie option.
|Amount Per 100 grams of Baked Beans
|Total Fat 5 grams
|Saturated fat 1.9 grams
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.7 grams
|Monounsaturated fat 2.1 grams
|Cholesterol 5 milligrams
|Sodium 422 milligrams
|Potassium 358 milligrams
|Total Carbohydrate 22 grams
|Dietary fiber 6 grams
|Protein 6 grams
Rich in Nutrients
Beans contain protein, complex carbs and fiber. They’re also packed with nutrients like copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.
Antioxidant-rich foods, such as beans, can help protect the body from disease. Beans contain cancer-fighting plant chemicals called isoflavones and phytosterols. These antioxidants are associated with a lower risk of cancer as they fight the effects of free radicals that damage the body’s cells.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Beans are packed with soluble fibre, which plays a key role in controlling blood cholesterol levels. Several studies reported that consuming 10 grams of soluble fibre a day – the amount in a cup of beans – reduced LDL cholesterol by about 10%. Beans are also rich in saponins and phytosterols, two substances that also contribute to lower cholesterol.
Promotes Heart Health
People who consume beans regularly in place of meat are less likely to die of a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem. A high fiber diet including beans may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and heart disease.
Improves Gut Health
Studies show that a variety of beans, especially black beans, had the ability to improve gut health by strengthening the intestinal barrier. Beans could also help prevent gut-associated diseases as they increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
Beans are generally safe for most people in normal food amounts, however, they may cause excessive gas and flatulence. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may wish to avoid them for this reason.
Some beans and other legumes may trigger migraines or an allergic reaction in some people. If this happens, see your physician for an allergy screening.
Some beans, such as soybeans, contain substances that interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins, namely beta carotene, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
If you suffer from gout, beans may be the culprit. People with gout are often advised to avoid dried peas, beans, lentils, and other legumes because their high purine content is known to elevate uric acid in the body.
If you are prescribed a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor to treat depression, avoid fava beans because they can interact with these medications causing a rise in blood pressure.
Types of Beans
The most popular bean varieties on the market include the following:
- Lima beans
- Black beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Kidney beans
- Garbanzo beans
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Red beans
Are Beans Good for Weight Loss?
A serving of beans can help you feel full pretty quickly, as their high fiber content fills your stomach and causes a gradual rise in blood sugar. Fiber-rich foods like beans help stave off hunger longer and provide the body with a steady supply of energy.
Some beans and other legumes can be beneficial for weight loss, especially black beans and kidney beans. They’re both high in protein and have a lower calorie intake.
As a long-term dietary strategy, eating beans regularly could help prevent overeating and may lead to weight loss, according to a 2013 review.
Beans feed the beneficial bacteria colonies in your gut, which also helps promote weight loss.
How Do I Prevent Beans from Causing Gas?
Beans contain a certain type of natural sugar that humans can’t digest, therefore it is expelled in the form of gas leading to o an embarrassing flatulence problem. Soaking your beans well before cooking (overnight) removes most of the sugar.
Another method that reduces gas production is by changing the water several times during the soaking and cooking process. Always rinse canned beans like black beans and kidney beans, this not only removes the gas-causing sugar but also the sodium.
Another helpful way to de-gas your baked beans and prevent flatulence is to add a potato while cooking and a couple of pinches of baking soda.
Are Beans Safe for Diabetics?
Research indicates that beans may help stabilize blood glucose levels or even prevent diabetes. The complex carbohydrates and protein provide a gradual source of glucose instead of spikes in blood sugar that occur after eating simple carbohydrates. For this reason, beans are considered a diabetic superfood.
Are Beans Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?
Beans contain several vital nutrients, including folate and iron, which are especially beneficial for pregnant women. Not only is folate is essential for overall health, but this nutrient also helps prevent neural tube defects in a fetus during pregnancy.
Are Beans a Vegetable?
Like peas, beans are a part of the legume family. They’re seeds that are formed inside pods, which classifies them as a fruit. Fruits are structures that contain seeds. Even green beans are considered fruits, not vegetables, since they are in essence, a pod containing seeds.
Are Beans Alkaline or Acidic?
Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber and a great alternative to meat. If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, beans should be a staple in your diet. While they are slightly acidic, they’re a lot less acidic than meat. Beans have a low acid score of about 6 on the pH scale.
Green beans are more alkaline than other legumes and are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that also has a calming effect on the digestive system.