Are Red Beans Good For Weight Loss?

A balanced nutrition should include a wide variety of food sources like protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber and vitamins for optimum bodily function and to prevent nutritional deficiencies. One food which is gaining popularity is pulses also known as legume due to the fact that they are healthy, filling, delicious, versatile and nourishing but yet are relatively cheap especially when you buy them in their dry state. Dried pulses need soaking before cooking.

Examples of Pulses

Some examples of pulses include red lentils and the beans family like kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans and azuki beans. Kidney beans and azuki beans belong to the red bean family and are kidney-shaped with a reddish-brown color and a soft and creamy flesh. Azuki beans are popular in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine notably as red bean paste whereas kidney beans are one of the staple foods in North American cuisine particularly used in chili con carne or simply eaten with rice.

Red Beans Nutrients

Red beans are a rich source of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins and can be really suitable for vegetarians, diabetics as well as people following a muscle-building and weight loss program. They are nutrient-dense, cholesterol-free, low in fat and provide magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and other minerals which are essential for sustaining a good health. Here are a few reasons why red beans are good for weight loss:

Complex carbs - Complex carbs are the ideal type of carbs for losing weight as they are low Glycemic, meaning they are digested slowly and provide a sustained release of energy, thus they don't spike your blood sugar levels and help maintain a stable blood glucose. Insulin spikes are notorious as they make you more prone to fat storage.

Protein - Protein increases your metabolism and builds muscle which in turn helps you burn more fat. If you're exercising, you'll need even more protein than the sedentary individual. Furthermore, protein is filling, slow-digesting and can keep hunger pangs at bay for quite a long time.

Fiber - Dietary fiber is your best bet when it comes to losing weight. Foods with high fiber keep you satiated for longer as they curb hunger pangs, so there is no need to eat unhealthy calorie-laden snacks. Also fiber maintains a healthy colon by regulating effective bowel activity. Constipation is nefarious if you want to lose weight.

Low in fat - Red beans have got to be one of the foods lowest in fat. A ¼ cup of dry red beans have only 0.2 grams of fat which is a measly 1.8 calories. At 9 calories per gram, fat has more calories than protein and carbohydrates, hence low-fat foods like red beans naturally have less calories. To lose weight, you need foods which are low in calories but yet nutritious and satiating.

Antioxidants - Red beans are an excellent source of powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins which are flavonoid compounds beneficial for weight loss and general health. Antioxidants have been proven to aid your body burn more fat.

Red Beans Nutritional Facts

A cup serving size of organic dry red kidney beans can yield 224 calories with a total of 40 grams of complex carbs, 12 grams of protein, 12 grams of dietary fiber and only 0.8 grams of fat plus they don't have sodium, cholesterol and sugars. This can be easily divided into 2 meals at 112 calories each. The nutritional facts of red beans make it an ideal weight loss food.

Canned Red Beans

Using canned red beans is also an alternative but be sure to drain and rinse them as you'd want to get rid of the starchy liquid and excess sodium. Too much sodium is bad for weight loss as this can lead to water retention and can also trigger health issues like high blood pressure.

Red Beans Recipes

There are several ways you can prepare your red bean meals for example you can make red bean salsa or red bean salad with a drizzle of olive oil, red bean burgers, red bean cakes, red bean soup, chili con carne or simply eat your red beans with brown rice which is a great combo.

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