Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit
OK, OK, so bean's are not a fruit; it's technically a seed...but boy, oh boy, are they magical! Seriously! I'm not kidding! Here let me prove it to you. Today we will be focusing on beans, and particularly how they stack up against beef. Take notes, so the next time you are asked, "but how do you get your protein," you will have a whole arsenal in your back pocket.
Let's start with all the amazing things beans in general have, and can do. Beans are complex carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, which means they will make you feel full for longer - a bonus if you are trying to lose weight. This is credited to them being high in fiber, which will not only prevent constipation, but reduce your risk of colon cancer and digestive health disorders. Many American's do not get enough fiber, yet 1 cup of beans gives you half of your daily recommended dose; which is 21 - 25 grams in case you were wondering. Because it is a complex carbohydrate with high protein, it has a low glycemic index, perfect for anyone with an insulin sensitivity. It also helps regulate your blood pressure, and lower cholesterol! Bonus is that they have zero fat and zero cholesterol! We're not done yet! Beans are extremely high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals. Free radicals are linked to cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's; so eating beans can help reduce your risk for these as well! Not to mention that they are high in iron, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, B6, and riboflavin. Oh, and did I mention that they have 21 grams of protein per 100 grams of beans? No? Well they do. The USDA My Plate has even named them an appropriate meat substitute!
What about beef you ask? Well....it has 26 grams of protein per 100 grams of meat. Now you're wondering whats the catch, huh? Try the 18 grams of fat, the 80 mg of cholesterol, and zero fiber! Not to mention it has been linked to heart disease, cancer (especially colon, prostate and pancreatic), erectile dysfunction and a shorter life span. If you don't believe me, ask the National Health Institute, World Health Organization, Harvard Medical and so on! This actually is linked to all red meat, not just beef. Red meat is literally in the same category as cigarettes - gross!
So there is the impact on your health, but what about the impact on your wallet? Beans win there too, coming in at $1.07 a pound; compared to beef, which is $5.28 per pound. Still not convinced? What about the environment? So per gram of protein, beans use 5 gallons of water, but beef uses 29.6 gallons. Insane, huh? Beans also only produce .56 kilograms of Co2 per gram of protein, compared to beef which produces 15 kilograms per gram of protein!
Beans have totally demolished beef in this competition. They are way better for your health, for your wallet and for our planet! Not to mention they taste pretty great too. Try utilizing them in soups, chilis, tacos and even burgers! There is an endless amount of things you can make with them, give them a try tonight!