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Save Money and Eat Healthy with Dried Beans

Updated on March 12, 2011

Are you looking for a way to cut grocery costs while continuing to prepare healthful, nutritious meals for your family?

Healthy Eating on a Budget

While many of the least expensive foods are the ones that can send your weight, cholesterol,and blood pressure soaring, saving money at the supermarket does not necessarily mean that you have to settle for foods that aren't good for you.

Dried beans are one of the best choices you can make when shopping for ingredients that will allow you to prepare healthy, great tasting meals for your family without breaking the bank. While prices may vary from one store to then next and based on whether you buy in bulk or purchase small packages, there's not a less expensive commercially available source of protein.

There is room for dried bean meals in everyone's diet. Dried beans are widely available, providing an affordable source of protein that can play a role in just about any eating plans – including diets followed by those who eat meat as well as vegetarians and vegans.

Nutritional Facts about Dried Beans

Beans are a low glycemic, low fat source of protein and calcium that provides many nutritional benefits. Examples of the nutritional profiles of a five of the most popular types of dried beans are detailed below. Each profile has been determined based on the nutritional values of one cup of dried beans that have been cooked. When preparing dried beans at home, you will need to factor in the nutritional details of the ingredients that you add during the cooking process.

  • Black Beans: 228 calories, 16 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of dietary fiber, and 48 milligrams of calcium
  • Garbanzo Beans (also known as chickpeas): 270 calories, 14 grams of protein, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and 80 milligrams of calcium
  • Navy Beans: 260 calories, 16 grams of protein, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of dietary fiber, and 128 milligrams of calcium
  • Pinto Beans: 236 calories, 14 grams of protein, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of dietary fiber, and 82 milligrams of calcium
  • Red Kidney Beans: 218 calories, 16 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of dietary fiber, and 78 milligrams of calcium

For additional details about these types of beans as well as nutritional information about other varieties of dried beans, see the nutrient profile page on the website.

Health Promotion Benefits of Beans

According to the United States Dry Bean Council (USDBC), credible research indicates eating meals prepared with dried beans on a regular basis can provide a number of significant health benefits, including playing a role in reducing the risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, and certain other types of cancer.


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