For years, Randall Beans has been dedicated to letting everyone know about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, powered by beans. In addition to getting regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle is rooted in healthful eating habits, which beans can and should definitely be a part of. Most of you probably grew up knowing the classic food pyramid, or its newly revamped version, but both tended to inspire a similar question: where are beans on the food pyramid? Because of their somewhat unique combination of nutritious benefits, beans have a somewhat hybrid spot on the food pyramid. Let’s take a look at the mighty bean’s spot in our healthy diet.
Beans in the protein food group
More often than not, beans and lentils are grouped in with fish, poultry, meat and eggs as part of the protein-based food group, and for good reason. The majority of beans, including white beans, navy beans, kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans are chock full of protein, with white beans coming out on top of those with a whopping 17.4 grams of protein per cup! Because of their protein and amino acid content, beans are usually a great substitute for meat in a vegetarian diet, with the added benefit of a fraction of the fat content, with most varieties having less than half a gram of fat per cup.
Beans in the vegetable food group
Though they make sense being grouped with meat products and protein-laden foods, beans also have a case for being in the fruits and vegetable section of the food pyramid. The first reason is the scientific fact that beans are technically a type of fruit – specifically in the legume category of fruits. Another reason to group beans with fruits and vegetables is the vitamins and minerals that beans share with other members of that food group. Beans are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, and most varieties are also power-packed with vitamin B1 & B6, iron and magnesium.
What’s the verdict?
The answer to the question of where beans belong on the food pyramid isn’t quite black and white. Their food group ultimately boils down (no pun intended) to your overall diet. If you’re a regular carnivore and get most of your protein from meat products, it’s best to view beans as a vegetable. If you’re keen on keeping a meatless vegetarian or vegan diet, beans may be better viewed as part of the protein food group. Their versatility in a healthy diet is just one of the reasons we love being Powered by Beans!
Looking for new ways of adding beans to your diet? Check out the Randall Beans Recipe blog, updated with new recipes 3 times a week!
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