The beans on your plate might not seem like much, but they are actually a powerhouse.
Even so, are beans good to lose weight? You will be happy to know that yes, they are!
In this blog post, you will learn why you should eat beans to shed the extra pounds you are carrying around, and also how you can incorporate beans more easily into your diet.
Are Beans Good To Lose Weight?
Although beans are higher in calories than other vegetables, their high fiber and protein content make up for it.
A study done in 2020 on about 250 woman who consumed beans for a year showed the following results:
In the present study, as bean intake increased and as adherence to a bean-based dietary pattern increased, body fat levels tended to decrease. Those with high intakes also had less abdominal obesity than their counterparts. It appears that beans and other legumes have dietary qualities that may be beneficial for weight management.US National Library of Medicine
Here is why beans can help you lose weight:
1. Beans are high in fiber
Beans are a great source of fiber. That means that they will keep you full for a longer period of time.
Fiber helps keep blood sugar levels steady, so you don’t get that afternoon crash or cravings between meals, therefore avoiding overeating.
2. Beans are high in protein
Beans are a great source of protein. And not only does protein also help in keeping you feeling full longer, but protein can also boost your metabolism.
If you are wanting to built muscle, the protein in beans will help you with that goal. And keep in mind that the more muscle you have, the easier it is for your body to burn calories.
Which Beans Are Good For Weight Loss?
All beans have about the same amount of calories, fiber, and protein, as you can see below. So just pick your favorite type of bean and stick with that.
Pinto beans are the most common in the US. I grew up eating red and black beans, and in my opinion, these are the most flavorful. So, give them a try if you haven’t yet.
Here is the list of all the types of beans and their nutritional values:
Lima beans: 1 cup, 216 calories, 13.2g of fiber, 14.7 protein
- Mung beans: 1 cup, 212 calories, 15.4g of fiber, 14.2 protein
- Lima beans: 1 cup, 216 calories, 13.2g of fiber, 14.7 protein
- Kidney beans: 1 cup, 225 calories, 11.3g of fiber, 15.3 protein
- Black beans: 1 cup, 227 calories, 15g of fiber, 15.2 protein
- Lentils: 1 cup, 229 calories, 15.6g of fiber, 17.9 protein
- Red beans: 1 cup, 240 calories, 12g of fiber, 12 protein
- Pinto beans: 1 cup, 244 calories, 15.4g of fiber, 15.4 protein
- White beans: 1 cup, 249 calories, 11.3g of fiber, 17.4 protein
- Yellow beans: 1 cup, 255 calories, 18.4g of fiber, 16.2 protein
- Edamame: 1 cup, 254 calories, 7.6g of fiber, 22.2 protein
- Navy beans: 1 cup, 255 calories, 19.1g of fiber, 15 protein
- Garbanzo/Chickpeas: 1 cup, 269 calories, 12.5g of fiber, 14.5 protein
- Soybeans: 1 cup, 297 calories, 10.3g of fiber, 28.6 protein
Best Ways To Incorporate More Beans In Your Diet
Keep in mind that you will need to soak the beans in water for at least 4 hours before you get cooking, preferably overnight. Then you need to drain the water and rinse the beans. On a pot, bring fresh water to a boil (3:1 ratio). Finally, add the beans, reduce the heat to a simmer, and stir occasionally. It may take several hours until the beans are soft enough to eat.
Below is a list of some of my favorite ways to eat beans that have helped me on my weight loss journey.
- Cook a red bean or lentil soup.
- Add kidney beans or chickpeas to your salads.
- Make black bean burgers or meatballs.
- Puree black beans to make hummus, dips, or spreads.
- Cook a chili bean dish.
- Cook baked or refried beans and serve as a side dish (Use vegetable broth and your favorite spices to flavor the beans. Never use oil, so you don’t pack on a ton of calories!).
- Eat edamame beans as a snack, add a little salt and garlic for flavor.
There are tons of recipes online. Find your favorite ones and bookmark them so that you can easily find them.
Just remember to skip the oils and all other calorie-dense ingredients those recipes will call for. This is crucial if you are trying to lose weight.
Are You Too Busy To Cook Beans?
Unfortunately, cooking beans can be time-consuming. So if you are not up for it, here are two ways you can get around that:
- Buy canned cooked beans. If you do decide to go this route, just keep in mind the following:
- Only buy BPA-free cans. Toxic chemicals such as BPA are often used in the lining of cans. These chemicals can leech out into your food.
- Only buy canned beans without any added ingredients. Canned beans often have high amounts of salt and highly processed oils such as vegetable or canola oil.
- Use your Instant Pot. No soaking is required. Just rinse the beans, and add the beans to the Instant Pot along with the water, spices, and salt. The beans will be done in under an hour!
How To Get Over The Gas And Bloating Beans Can Cause
Eating beans is not a subject many of us like to talk about because of the side effects, if you know what I mean.
Whenever I tell my coworkers or friends that they should be eating more beans, I always get the same response “they give me gas” or “they make me bloated.”
I cannot argue against that.
However, if you apply the following tips, you might be able to alleviate those side effects or even get rid of them once and for all!
- Start out slowly: don’t try and eat a 2–3 cup of beans all at one time. Start out with 1/4 of beans or less, and each week gradually increase the amount you are eating. It is not that your body doesn’t like beans and never will; it is just not used to them. Give it time.
- Chew more: by breaking down the beans in your mouth better, you are helping your body not have to work as hard to break down the beans further once they are inside your body. This, along with some enzymes we have in our saliva, will help reduce the gas and bloating.
- Prepare your beans well: if you buy canned beans, you need to rinse them before consuming them. And if you decide to make beans from scratch (the healthier option), then you need to make sure you soak the beans in hot water for several hours before you cook them.
- Lentils might do it: the gas we experience after eating legumes is a by-product of the bacterial fermentation of certain large sugar molecules found in beans. But some types of legumes are higher in these sugars than others, and lentils are among the lowest.
- If all else fails: there are products out in the market that you can buy containing a natural food enzyme that helps prevent gas before it starts. It works with your body’s digestion to break down the complex carbohydrates in gassy foods. However, if you decide to go this route, I would advise you to do ample research on the product.
- Embrace it: you might lose a few friends (JK), but as I said, it will eventually pass.
If I’m being honest with you, I’ve never had gas or bloating issues because of eating beans. I’m Hispanic. So beans have been part of my daily diet ever since I can remember.
However, I do know that it is a struggle for so many people, especially those of us who eat a plant-based diet, as we are always looking for foods that can help us get our daily protein needs.
I hope that the benefits and tips on eating beans that I shared with you will renew your love for them!
Beans are a great way to lose weight. They have fiber and protein, so they fill you up without adding too many calories to your day.
You could make black bean burgers or add them to salads for an easy lunchtime meal that will help keep your weight in check.
Add more of these nutritious “magical” beans into your diet today to start seeing the pounds melt away.
How do you like to eat your beans? Do you have a favorite bean recipe you love to share?