Are Beans a Protein or Carbohydrate?
Hello and welcome to the nutrition. Diva podcast. i'm your host monterey nagel and in this episode. i'm going to answer. The eternal question are being of protein or carbohydrate food. Vegetarians and vegans lean pretty hard on beans as a source of protein. And even those of us who sometimes eat meat but also enjoy plant based meals will often build our meat free meals around some sort of legume and that's because they contain more protein per serving than most other plant foods but the nutritional profile of legumes is very different from animal protein sources eggs meat fish and chicken get anywhere from fifty to ninety five percent of their calories from protein with the rest usually coming from fat leg. Hume's on the other hand only get about a quarter of their calories from protein and the rest is mostly carbohydrate. Soybeans are a bit of an exception being higher in both protein and fat and lowering carbohydrate than other legumes. Peanuts which are technically legumes are another exception. They're even higher in fat than soybeans and lower in protein than most beans. Perhaps because of this peanuts are generally categorized as nuts for the purposes of dietary guidelines despite their botanical classification. So can you get enough protein from beans well. Although we think of beans as being a protein food the truth is that they provide a lot less protein per serving and per calorie than animal proteins. A three ounce serving of cooked chicken breast for example provides about twenty six grams of protein and about one hundred and sixty calories. The standard serving size for beans is a half of cup of cooked beans and that provides just eight grams of protein for around one hundred twenty calories so we would need to eat a lot more beans to get the same amount of protein as we get from meet. It would take two cups of black beans. That's about four hundred and eighty calories to get the same amount of protein as you'd get from three quarters of a cup of chicken breast for example so for every gram of protein and beans. You're also taking in about three grams of carbohydrate and a lot more calories now although beans are relatively high in carbs these are some of the healthiest types of carbs. The carbohydrate portion of beans is a combination of fiber and starch but about half of the starch in beans is actually what we refer to as resistant starch that means it resists digestion and absorption in the small intestine and goes on to function much like fiber in the gut the fiber and the resistant starch in beans feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. They promote regularity they helped to modulate our blood sugar response to food. They also increase our satiafaction and society after meals helping us feel full with fewer calories. Perhaps that's why people who eat. More beans generally have healthier body weights and lower waist. Circumference beans also contain fido sterols. These are plant compounds that are shaped so similarly to cholesterol that they can occupy the cholesterol receptors in ourselves and regular being consumption is linked with better cholesterol profiles. So beans have a lot going for them. But let's talk about how they fit into your diet because when we build a meal around beans instead of meat which is a great idea. We may need to make some other adjustments to our plates because beans contain both protein and starch. It might make sense to reduce other sources of starch to compensate for that. So if you're having black-eyed peas instead of blackened catfish for dinner. Perhaps you skip the bread or the potatoes. Beans and rice of course are a classic combination in part because of the complementary amino acid profile. But you could have a smaller portion of rice with your beans instead of half a cup of beans and a cup of rice. For example you could switch the proportions on that double up on the beans ordered to bump up the protein and reduce the rice to half a cup and keep in. Mind that if you're trying to match the protein content that you'd get from meet. You may not have as many calories to spend on other foods due to the extra calories that are riding along with that plant to protein.