Beans Lower Your Cholesterol
The effect of adding legumes (dried beans and peas) to the diet has been shown to lower cholesterol. It’s the soluble fiber among other nutrients that benefit heart health. Analysis of almost 35,000 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study shows that women who ate four or more servings of legumes a week was enough to decrease risk of heart disease 22 percent compared to those eating legumes less than once a week.
A single half-cup serving of cooked dry beans counts as one, one-ounce serving of lean meat in the USDA Food Pyramid Meat and Beans group, and as a full serving of vegetables in the Vegetables group.
A half-cup serving of cooked dry beans provides about 25-30% of the Daily Value of dietary fiber. About 75% of the fiber is insoluble which may reduce the risk of colon cancer. The remaining 25% of the fiber is soluble fiber which may reduce blood cholesterol. Studies have confirmed that beans are effective hypochoesterolemic agents when added to the diet.
Consumption of beans produces a moderate increase in blood glucose and insulin levels which may be helpful in the metabolic control of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association include beans in the exchange system.
The slower release of glucose and the increased satiety from beans may also to enhance the effectiveness of weight-reducing diets.