Beans May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSA) - If you're looking for a high-protein, high-fiber, low-fat food to include in your next meal, you may want to add beans. An even better reason to consider beans is a new U.S. dietary guidance message that says "diets including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers."
This new dietary guidance message comes on the heels of the 2005 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommends Americans eat three times more beans than they currently consume.
"In many parts of the world beans are an important dietary staple but Americans are not eating enough," said Stacey Zawel, executive director, Beans for Health Alliance. "Ideally, adults should be eating three cups of beans per week. This dietary guidance message will illustrate to Americans the importance of including beans in their diet."
Beans such as Kidney, Pinto, Navy and Black are naturally low in total fat, contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, and provide important nutrients such as fiber, protein, calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium. Their health benefits are consistent with many existing FDA-approved health claims, specifically those related to heart disease and cancer. Many national and international expert bodies have also reviewed scientific evidence about beans and concluded that eating beans as part of a healthy diet can help maintain health and reduce risk of disease.
Dietary guidance messages are part of an effort by the FDA's Consumer Health Information for Better Nutrition Initiative (CHIBNI) to encourage good nutrition among consumers by reminding them about important health and nutrition information.
If you're looking to add beans to your diet, there are easy ways to include them in your next meal:
- Spreads - For an alternative to traditional hummus, mash any variety of drained, cooked beans with herbs and spices for a healthy sandwich spread or vegetable dipper.
- Grilling - Add pureed or mashed beans to homemade hamburger patties for flavor and a nutritional boost.
- Soups - Mix mashed beans into soups as a creamy thickener or make any canned soup healthier and heartier by adding one can or 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans.
- Salads - Sprinkle any side or main dish salad with beans.