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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 bloodcholesterol (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.

Nutrient Profile for Cooked Dry Beans
1 Cup
Cooked Beans
Baby Lima Black Blackeye Cranberry
Calories 230 228 200 240
Carbohydrates 42g 40g 36g 44g
Protein 14g 16g 14g 16g
Dietary Fiber 12g 8g 12g 10g
Folate 274mcg 256mcg 358mcg 366mcg
Calcium 52mg 48mg 42mg 90mg
Iron 4mg 4mg 4mg 4mg
Fat 1g 1g 1g 1g
% Calories From Fat 6% 8% 10% 6%
Sodium 6mg 1mg 6mg 1mg

1 Cup
Cooked Beans
Garbanzo Great Northern Large Lima Navy
Calories 270 210 218 260
Carbohydrates 46g 38g 40g 48g
Protein 14g 14g 14g 16g
Dietary Fiber 6g 10g 12g 10g
Folate 282mcg 182mcg 156mcg 256mcg
Calcium 80mg 122mg 32mg 128mg
Iron 4mg 4mg 4mg 4mg
Fat 4g 1g 1g 1g
% Calories From Fat 28% 6% 6% 8%
Sodium 10mg 4mg 4mg 2mg

1 Cup
Cooked Beans
Pink Pinto Red Kidney Small Red
Calories 252 236 218 226
Carbohydrates 48g 44g 38g 40g
Protein 16g 14g 16g 16g
Dietary Fiber 8g 12g 8g 8g
Folate 284mcg 294mcg 130mcg 230mcg
Calcium 88mg 82mg 78mg 50mg
Iron 4mg 4mg 4mg 6mg
Fat 1g 1g 1g 1g
% Calories From Fat 6% 6% 2% 6%
Sodium 4mg 4mg 8mg 4mg

Chart courtesy or American Dry Bean Board

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Updated 2005.

WebMD Public Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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