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The Heart-y Bean

Sharon Palmer

Did you know that a single half-cup serving of beans impacts six key heart disease and stroke risk factors, including exercise, body weight, diet and blood cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes? That’s right! Beans:

  • Provide 18-23 g of carbohydrates to fuel heart-healthy exercise
  • Contain zero cholesterol and are rich in soluble fiber, which helps control “bad” LDL cholesterol levels
  • Come in low-sodium varieties to provide all the health benefits of beans with less sodium and help fight high blood pressure

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide, and claims more than 370,000 Americans each year. Thankfully, the small but mighty bean can combat six key heart disease and stroke risk factors.

Health Benefits of Beans

Exercise. One half-cup serving beans contains 18-23 g of carbohydrates, which help provide energy for the 150 minutes of weekly aerobic exercise adults need to reduce their risk for heart disease. Additionally, the 6-7 g of protein helps your body recover from exercise.

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Body Weight & Diet. One half-cup serving of beans contains only 100-130 calories and 24-32% daily value (DV) for fiber. Fiber supports digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight, and ultimately reduce your risk for heart disease.

Blood Cholesterol. Beans are cholesterol-free and rich in soluble (digestible) fiber, which helps control LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

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Blood Pressure. To enjoy all the health benefits of beans but with less sodium, drain and rinse beans to remove 40% of the sodium or try lower sodium beans. Consuming less sodium helps you avoid high blood pressure that can contribute to heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

Blood Sugar/Diabetes. Beans provide a healthy dose of insoluble fiber, which can help lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for heart disease. For people with diabetes, the soluble fiber in beans slows the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, which helps control blood sugar levels and lower heart disease risk.


Source: The Heart-y Bean, S&W Beans.

Note: Though I am a bean fanatic, I am not a spokesperson for this company, nor am I profiting in anyway from this post.

Image: BEST Vegetarian Baked Beans, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

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