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Posts Tagged ‘Protein’

 

Do you recall this childhood playground song?  In celebration of National Bean Day, take a minute to learn why you should be eating bebean-1684304_1280ans.

Although beans are not a fruit, they may be magical because they fit under not one, but two food groups. Within USDA’s MyPlate they are found under the vegetable and protein groups because they are so packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.

Beans are a mature form of legumes. They include kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). All are available in dry, canned, and frozen forms. These foods provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc and are excellent sources of plant protein. They are similar to meats, poultry, and fish in their contribution of these nutrients.  Thus, they are considered part of the protein group. Many consider beans a vegetarian alternative for meat. However, they are also considered part of the vegetable group because they are excellent sources of dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium.

The high nutrient content makes consuming beans recommended for everyone, including people who also eat meat, poultry, and fish regularly. The USDA classifies beans as a subgroup of the vegetable group. The USDA also indicates that beans may be counted as part of the protein group. This allows individuals to count beans as either a vegetable or a protein food.

Beans are convenient and cost effective. They are available in the dry form in sealed bags and precooked in cans. A can of cooked dry beans can easily be used in dips, main dishes, soups, or salads.

How do canned beans compare to dry-packaged beans?

Canned beans are convenient since they don’t have to be presoaked and cooked. They can be eaten straight from the can or heated in recipes. According to the American Dry Bean Council, one 15-ounce can of beans equals one and one-half cups of cooked dry beans, drained. For most recipes, one form of beans can be substituted for the other.

Unless canned without salt, precooked canned beans generally are higher in sodium than dry-packaged beans. Always thoroughly drain and rinse canned beans in a colander or strainer under cold running water before using them in a recipe. This may help lower the amount of sodium by 41% and may help remove some of their potential gas-producing properties.

Bean Benefits

  • Beans are low in fat and calories and high in dietary fiber and protein. The fiber in beans provides a sense of fullness that helps keep food cravings down. Depending on the variety, a half cup of cooked dry beans is only about 120 calories.
  • Because of their high fiber, low glycemic index, and high nutrient content, eating beans may help reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

Recipes and Uses

Navy beans are great for soups, stews, or baked beans. Kidney beans are used in chili and three-bean salads. Pinto beans are used refried in stews and dips.  Black beans are used in casserolechili-bean-dip-bean-blogs, soups or baked bean

dishes.  Great northern beans and lentils are used in soups and stews. Garbonzo beans are used in salads and hummus.  Check out these “no recipe required” bean meals and snacks.

 

Writer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Sources

The Bean Institute, http://beaninstitute.com/no-recipe-required-pdf/

The Bean Institute, http://beaninstitute.com/volume-6-number-2-2015-dietary-guidelines/

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/eat_more_dry_beans_enjoying_their_health_benefits

United States Department of Agriculture, https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_BEANS_BLACK_110020.pdf

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, http://food.unl.edu/chili-bean-dip

US Dry Bean Council, http://www.usdrybeans.com/

 

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So what’s the secret potion behind these magical beans? Protein of course! Protein is a hot topic in today’s society and you see promotions of different protein powders and nutrition bars everywhere. Personally, I know of many people who have fallen into this trap of trying different protein powders to add to their “protein shake” in the morning to get that quick fix of protein. However, they are spending so much money on these quick-fix protein sources and need to find another way to incorporate protein into their diet. Beyond these protein powders and bars, most people go for the typical meat, fish and poultry when it comes to a reliable protein source, but don’t forget to give plant-based protein credit!

DWDHeartyBeanSoup (1)

Beans are packed with a bunch of different nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Beyond protein they are a great source of fiber, folate, magnesium and potassium. In regards to fiber, beans are packed with soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water and slows down digestion and emptying of your stomach. This delay in emptying of your stomach makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time, which could be a great tactic for controlling your weight. About 5-10 grams of soluble fiber can decrease your LDL cholesterol by 5%, with beans containing about 0.6 to 2.4 grams of soluble fiber per half a cup.   This makes eating beans a great way to help with decreasing cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

Now let’s talk about beans and its protein content. One serving of beans is ½ cup of cooked beans, which provides roughly 7-8 grams of protein! Protein causes satiety, or fullness, so with the combination of soluble fiber and protein beans can be a great way to keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Like stated before, this can help keep your diet and weight on track.

Most Americans consume canned beans, but dried beans are also a great way to incorporate more beans in your diet. Dried beans are underutilized in America and on any given day less than 8% of Americans report consuming beans .The problem many people face with dried beans is how to cook them. Canned beans are easy and convenient yet dried beans can come off as intimidating and time consuming. The truth is that they aren’t that hard to figure out once you know how! Soaking your beans is what takes the most time but you actually don’t have to do much to soak them…it’s just a waiting game. There are many different methods that can be used when cooking dried beans such as traditional, hot and microwave soaked methods. One method that is most convenient is the quick soak method:

  1. Rinse: to ensure proper cleanliness of your beans it is important to wash them off before consuming them.
  2. Place beans in a large pot and add 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
  3. Bring to a boil and let boil 2-3 minutes.
  4. Dried beans, discard soak water and rinse with cold water.

How easy is that?! Once you figure out which method works best for you, you can incorporate beans in your diet. Dried beans make a mass amount of product and can last you for a long time. If I over-committed on my bean abilities and made too much I freeze the remaining beans and just quickly heat them up! A 1-lb. bag of dried beans usually costs around $1.49 and can make around 13 servings of beans! What a great, and cheap, way to incorporate more protein into your diet!

Check out the US DryBean Council website for many recipes to try using beans!

Written by: Courtney N. Klebe Dietetic Intern, Bowling Green State Univeristy and Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, LD, MA, Extenstion Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County

References:

  1. Messina V. Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 100: 437S-42S.

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Shift Workers

Good nutrition is important for everyone but for shift workers, healthy eating is vital to feeling your best, both on and off the job and for maintaining your mental, spiritual and physical health. Eating during shift work often requires a change in the type of foods chosen and the timing of meals.

If you work shifts, you probably experience more gastrointestinal problems, ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite and heartburn. Dehydration, another common problem, can cause headaches, dry skin and nasal irritation, making you more susceptible to colds, coughs, sore throats and the flu.
There is evidence that shift work can lead to stomach disorders, nutritional deficiencies, irregular appetite and weight gain or loss. There also seems to be a link between shift work and heart disease and cancer.

Some reasons for these problems include:
• Too much caffeine intake to stay awake
• High-fat snacking instead of eating meals
• Eating infrequently during the day, then over-eating during the evening
• Eating when digestion and other body functions are slowed down
• Eating meals in a rush, often without the company of family and friends
• Sedentary jobs and lack of opportunities to exercise

It is critical for shift workers to establish regular eating times. Skipping meals can result in fatigue, increased snacking, increased eating at the next meal, or even less overall food intake. Snacks can play an important part of a healthy eating pattern and are especially important during long shifts.

What to eat
• Pack food to take to work to avoid vending machines and take-out fast foods.
• Be sure each meal is balanced with protein, starch, vegetables and fruit.
• Taper off liquids as you near the end of your night shift.
• Place some crackers by your bed in case you wake up hungry during the day.

When to eat
• Try to avoid eating a large meal before work.
• Eat small, nutritionally balanced snacks throughout the shift.
• Eat the largest meal of the day when you wake up.
• Eat as little as possible — and avoid fatty foods entirely — toward the end of your shift.

The right food at the right time:

protein food
• Consume protein foods when it is necessary to stay awake, carbohydrate foods when it is necessary to sleep.

To promote sleep after completing their shift, workers may benefit from a high carbohydrate meal. Foods high in carbohydrates increase levels of serotonin, which promotes sleep. Cereal, bread/bagels, crackers or fruit are good high carbohydrate snacks.

To stay alert, shift workers may turn to protein foods. Protein foods have the opposite effect of carbohydrates and decrease serotonin levels. A high protein meal can make you feel more alert; so, it is important to include protein foods in meals and snacks during your shift. Food choices might include low fat cheese or meat, peanut butter, or hard-boiled eggs in sandwiches or with low fat crackers.

• When working afternoon and evening shifts, eat the main meal at midday instead of during the middle of the shift.
• When working night shift, the first main meal during waking hours should be late afternoon or early evening. After completing a night shift, a moderate snack will prevent going to bed hungry or too full.

Caffeine

Drink caffeinated beverages before your shift or early into it. Don’t have caffeine after midnight; it stays in your body for 6-8 hours. Limit caffeine to no more than 400 mg. a day (about 2 cups of coffee). Excessive caffeine may cause insomnia, headaches, anxiety, among other disorders.

Resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/workschedules/

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/About-Us/News/News-Releases-2006/It-Can-Be-a-Hard-Days-Night-For-Weight-Watchers-on-the-Late-Shift.aspx
WebMD.com: http://blogs.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/2009/12/shift-worker-alert-curb-the-caffeine.html

Writer: Kathryn K. Dodrill, MA, CFCS, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County/Buckeye Hills EERA, dodrill.10@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, LD, MA, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County/Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

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Beans

Beans

Beans aren’t just for baking at summer picnics anymore. Use this inexpensive, low-fat, high protein and high fiber food staple to make healthy alternatives to other fat laden salads and dips at your summer gatherings.

Beans are so versatile, a half-cup serving of cooked dry beans counts as one, one-ounce serving of lean meat in the USDA Dietary Guidelines Meat and Beans group, and as a full serving of vegetables in the Vegetables group.

The quality and digestibility of beans can be improved by consuming them with cereal grains. When beans and grains are served together in dishes like beans and rice, or tortillas and refried beans, they provide a complimentary protein profile.

Easy bean dip
Make an easy bean dip by combining a can of any type of beans (rinsed and drained) with 1/3 cup of olive oil and process until smooth. Rinsing the beans helps remove some of the sodium.  Season to taste with onions, garlic, or your favorite herb mix. Bring along baked tortilla scoops for the perfect appetizer.

At only 100 to 120 calories per serving, beans are a great nutrient investment. The high fiber content of beans – about 25-30% of the recommended daily value per serving – slows the release of glucose and the increased satiety from beans may also enhance the effectiveness of weight-reducing diets. At about 20 cents per serving, beans do our wallets a favor as well.

Add beans to your favorite salad to increase protein and fiber. Or, better yet, try an all bean salad. Drain, rinse and mix five cans of your favorite beans in a large bowl – try kidney, garbanzo, lima, navy, great northern, pinto and/or black beans. Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper and a can of rinsed and drained corn. Marinate overnight in ½ cup wine vinegar and ½ cup olive oil seasoned to taste with garlic powder, oregano, basil, rosemary and/or anise. This makes a delicious salad that can be served as a side dish or a dip for baked tortilla chips.

Try something new this summer – bring on the beans!

Source: Idaho Bean Commission, http://bean.idaho.gov

Writer: Polly Loy, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Belmont County, loy.1@osu.edu, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu, Ohio State University Extension.

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