Bean me up, Scotty | Precision Nutrition

Bean me up, Scotty

By Ryan Andrews, M.S., RD

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What if we told you there was a dirt-cheap source of protein, fiber, and vitamins that was as close as your pantry? Dig out that forgotten can of chickpeas and make room for legumes!

There’s a good chance only 8% of you are doing this:

Eating beans and peas on a daily basis.

That’s a shame, because:

  • Beans and peas taste good, they’re inexpensive, they’re healthy, and they pose very little risk of causing food borne illness.
  • Consuming just a half cup of beans and peas each day can result in a higher intake of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium.
  • When we eat more legumes, saturated fat intake and blood cholesterol tends to go down.
  • Beans can help to protect us against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • We also have data that shows legumes predict overall survival among elderly peeps.

Sign me up.

But on average, North American adults consume about 0.1 to 0.3 servings of legumes each day. Folks, how about a little more legume love?

Cheap and tasty

Beans are beyond economical — I’m talking serious cash savings.

Check out these prices (average):

  • Bulk beans: 0.79 cents/lb (yields 4 cans worth)
  • Bulk organic beans: 1.59/lb (yields 4 cans worth)
  • Canned beans: 0.69 cents/can
  • Canned organic beans: 0.99 cents/can

For those who aren’t too good with monetary comparisons, here’s what I came up with for an average:

  • Canned beans: 69 – 99 cents for 1 1/2 cups
  • Dry beans: 20 – 40 cents for 1 1/2 cups

Remember, a pound of dry beans makes the equivalent of 4 cans of beans.

Home-cooked/sprouted organic beans cost nearly $1 less per pound than regular canned beans, and you control the amount of salt used. And how could we forget the energy savings from not making the cans and from not shipping the cans, labels, and water.

Okay, so beans can save us money. They taste good. They make us healthy. Why aren’t people eating them? What’s the limiting factor?

Here’s my guess: People don’t have ideas on how to incorporate beans when meal time rolls around.

Face it – do you see a lot of commercials, advertising, and cooking shows about using more navy beans? I don’t. People don’t know how to incorporate them in daily life.

Room for legumes (in the kitchen)

Now that we’ve isolated the problem, let’s talk bean ideas.

More ideas

VegWeb.com

Savvy Vegetarian

Gourmet Nutrition

Precision Nutrition

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References

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