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Eat Cheap While Boosting Fiber and Protein

Eat Cheap While Boosting Fiber and Protein

Whether you call it cheap, frugal, penny-pinching or prudent, we call saving money smart, especially when it involves eating one of the cheapest sources of protein, fiber and flavor available. Humble, tasty beans have an impressive portfolio of benefits. Here's what you'll cash in on when you eat them:

A healthier heart. Beans reduce your levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a likely indicator of heart disease risk. How? Probably due to their fiber. Black beans contain 7 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup serving, which gets you well on your way to the recommended 25 grams a day. 

Legumes may also reduce your lousy LDL cholesterol. In fact, LDL dropped when people ate 1/2 cup of cooked pinto beans every day for 12 weeks. (Any beans would probably do the trick). 

Lower blood pressure. Get your protein from plants and your blood pressure may be lower than if you got protein from animal sources. The plants' amino acids (building blocks of protein), magnesium, and other nutrients may help keep arteries relaxed. Some beans contain more protein per serving than lean meat. Example: Kidney beans have 16 grams of protein per cup; turkey holds 12 grams in 3 ounces.

A smaller waist. Bean eaters weigh as much as 6.6 pounds less than folks who don't eat beans. Makes sense when you consider beans are not only full of satisfying fiber and protein but also low in calorie-laden fat. 

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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