The Experiment - Beans!

8:44 AM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

Yesterday was the first day of my seven day diet. I am sure it was just a fluke but I lost a half a pound since starting it. I do not have such high hopes as to think I will see the same results tomorrow when I step on the scale but I am still very encouraged and happy.

The first day went well but I was very full, stuffed even, the whole day through. I guess this is a good thing but it is a strange feeling to be so full yet lose weight. Whatever, it is working so I should shut my mouth. I briefly went over how I came about designing this particular diet plan. I wanted to go into a bit more detail about a particular ingredient here. Beans. I love beans. They are filling and yummy. They can be mushy and buttery at times. They are very good for you. There are a bazillion kinds of beans out there. Which ones are the best for you? Why did I choose Pinto Beans? I will tell you....

A bean is a little nugget of nutrition. They are high in soluble and insoluble fiber, antioxidants and a multitude of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, folate and alpha-linolenic acid. They are a good source of complete proteins which is rare to find in plants. They are known to lower cholesterol, fight heart disease and diabetes and can possibly help prevent some cancers. Can't beat that, can you?? So why isn't everybody eating their recommended three cups a week of beans? Beans have a taboo about them. You have the high carbs and the gas it can produce. When you weigh that against all the benefits you get out of eating beans I think it is a no brainer. Plus, I LOVE BEANS! There, I said it.

I made a list of some of the nutrients found in beans and some of their health benefits below:

Folate (aka Folic Acid):
Folate plays a role in reducing blood homosysteine levels, the formation of red blood cells, metabolizes protein, aids in the growth and division of cells and helps prevent many birth defects.

This mineral helps detoxify sulfides (a common preservative and allergen) from the body. It is required to make several enzymes in the body and helps process Iron. Molybdenum also promotes carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

Builds bones, releases energy from muscles, builds muscle tone, releases toxins and manufactures proteins.

Manganese is involved with bone formation, thyroid function, calcium absorption, immune function and in fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

Helps build strong bones and teeth, involved in the release of energy from fat, protein and carbohydrates during metabolism, helps in the formation of cell membranes, and genetic materials.

Copper is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin, increases bone density, and promotes tissue health.

Regulates acid-base levels and blood pressure, is important is the transmission of nerve impulses, builds muscle tissue and metabolizes carbohydrates and proteins.

Which beans are the healthiest? There are many types of beans out there but the top rankers are black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans and lima beans. I broke them down below for you to make your own decision. The nutrition info is for 6 oz of canned beans.
Black Beans: Calories: 144, Fat:1g, Sodium: 589mg, Carbs: 30, Fiber: 9g, Protein: 11g
Source of antioxidants. High protein.
Kidney Beans: Calories: 139, Fat:1g, Sodium: 503mg, Carbs: 25, Fiber: 7g, Protein: 9g
Source of Molybdenum.
Navy Beans: Calories: 192, Fat:1g, Sodium: 762mg, Carbs: 35, Fiber: 9g, Protein: 13g
Source of Folate, Manganese, B1, Phosphorous, Copper, Magnesium and Iron. High Protein.
Pinto Beans: Calories: 146, Fat:1g, Sodium: 500mg, Carbs: 26, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 8g
Source of antioxidants, Molybdenum, Folate, Manganese, B1, Phosphorous, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Copper.
Lima Beans: Calories: 134, Fat:0g, Sodium: 572mg, Carbs: 25, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 8g
Source of Manganese, Potassium, Folate, Iron and Copper.

I compiled this information from several websites including webMD and The Mayo Clinic. The calories et al, I got from

It was a personal preference to choose the Pinto Beans. I found it has more trace minerals with less carbs, sodium and calories. I was willing to give up a little fiber and protein because the rest of my diet had plenty of each of those already.

So here I am half way through my second day. I will report back tomorrow if there is a change. Wish me luck!

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