Baked beans are a tasty food to eat at a picnic, but are they healthy? Discover the health benefits of baked beans – and if they’re really good for you.
The British eat them for breakfast, but most Americans enjoy their baked beans later on in the day. What could be simpler than opening up a can of baked bones to serve with a sandwich for lunch – and who doesn’t enjoy baked beans and potato salad at a picnic? What about the health benefits of baked beans? Are baked beans healthy?
Are Baked Beans Healthy?: What’s Good About Them
Most baked beans are made using navy beans. Regardless of what type of bean is used, beans have an impressive roster of health benefits. For one, they’re a good source of heart-healthy fiber, which not only lowers cholesterol levels, but helps to fill you up – without adding too many calories. In fact, a cup of navy beans has 258 calories and about sixteen grams of fiber.
The fiber that’s so abundant in beans has other benefits too. Higher fiber foods have a lower glycemic index, which means they’re gentler on blood sugar and insulin levels. This makes them an ideal food for diabetics. Plus, they’re a good source of lean protein, since they’re almost fat free.
The Health Benefits of Baked Beans: Other Perks of Eating Beans
Navy beans are a good source of folate and thiamin, two vitamins that are important for many chemical reactions in the body – including energy metabolism, healthy nerves, and red blood cell production. They’re also a good source of magnesium and calcium, which help to regulate blood pressure and heart rhythm. To top it off, they’re a good source of iron, which is particularly important for pre-menopausal women.
Are Baked Beans Healthy?: What’s Bad About Them
Beans sound like the ideal food, but when you throw too much sugar into them, you take away some of their health appeal. If you buy baked beans from a can at your local grocery store, you could end up getting as much sugar as you would eating a candy bar. All of that sugar negates the positive effect beans have on blood sugar and insulin levels – not to mention it adds extra calories.
The Bottom Line
Beans are inherently healthy, but if you buy canned baked beans from the grocery store, you’ll end up getting more sugar and calories than you need. Try making your own baked beans, so you can control the sugar – or eat regular beans instead.
World’s Healthiest Foods website.