Dried beans or legumes are an inexpensive and healthy way to include into your 5 A Day diet. A serving (1/3 cup of cooked beans) contains around 80 calories, no cholesterol, lots of complex carbohydrates, and little fat. In addition, beans are a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and fiber, which promotes digestive health and relieves constipation. Eating beans may help prevent colon cancer, and reduce blood cholesterol (a leading cause of heart disease).
How do beans fit into your 5 A Day? Beans are often thought of as a side dish; however, they make excellent meat free entrees. You don't have to be vegetarian to reap the benefits of legumes -- start slowly, eating beans instead of meat twice a week.
|% Calories From Fat||6%||8%||10%||6%|
|Garbanzo||Great Northern||Large Lima||Navy|
|% Calories From Fat||28%||6%||6%||8%|
|Pink||Pinto||Red Kidney||Small Red|
|% Calories From Fat||6%||6%||2%||6%|
Chart courtesy or American Dry Bean Board
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Updated 2005.