Are canned beans healthy?
Beans are nutrient-dense and a rich source of fiber, folate, protein, iron, vitamin B1, magnesium, potassium, and copper. They are good food for weight loss. Beans are filling and at the same time low in calories. You can add them to all kinds of meals like salads, soups, main dishes or as a snack.
The high levels of fiber will help you feel full and aid the digestive system to function efficiently. Also, fiber helps to slow the absorption of sugar into your blood and therefore reduce blood sugar levels.
Folate is essential for producing red blood cells. The calcium content strengthens your bones. Potassium supports healthy blood pressure. Beans are one of the best plant-based sources for protein. Therefore a lot of vegan protein powders consist of beans.
Unfortunately, canned beans are often full of added sodium. (Sodium is often used as a preservative to extend shelf life.) That can weigh down all the health benefits beans have to offer. Always check the nutrition label and go for a brand without added salt.
So, nutrition-wise canned beans and dried beans cooked by boiling have the same nutrition profile. But the huge and only difference is the sodium content. You can reduce the sodium level by rinsing the canned beans under running water. If you have any health problems that demand a low sodium diet the rinsing might not be enough.
To follow a low sodium diet only buy canned beans without added sodium or cook dried beans.
Beans, in general, are a nutrient-dense food and you should include them in your diet regularly.
However, if possible use dried beans over canned beans. A study shows that “dried cooked beans were significantly more energy-dense, contained more protein, fiber, iron, potassium and magnesium; and less sodium than canned beans.”
Canned beans are healthy as long as you are selecting varieties that are simply beans. No unhealthy ingredients like sugar or salt should be added.
Despite all the health benefits beans have to offer, a lot of bean-based dishes are far away from being beneficial to your health. The industry adds so much salt, high-fat components, and even sugar to the dishes that there is no nutritional value left. Think about baked beans in tomato sauce! They often include brown sugar and fatty cuts of pork.
You don´t have to cut canned beans in tomato sauce out of your diet. Just make them yourself. This way you are in control of the ingredients and you can control the nutritional value of your dish.
Here is my favorite, healthy recipe for homemade baked beans:
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 small, diced onion
- 1 cup sieved tomatoes (from jar)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dried tomatoes
- 400 gr. of your favorite beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1 pinch of pepper
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- heat coconut oil in a pan with medium heat
- add onions and cook until translucent, don´t forget to stir
- now add tomatoes, simmer for a few minutes to release their sweetness
- add herbs, beans, spices and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes
- finally, add some salt and pepper
- serve on toasted whole wheat bread and enjoy!
Beans and legumes nutrients comparison
See the calories in canned beans compared to other beans and legumes.
|kidney beans (canned beans)||104||6,9||6,2||390|
Is the slimy liquid in canned beans safe?
Every time I open a can of kidney beans the slimy red liquid swashes on my kitchen counter. What´s the deal with the murky liquid? Is it safe to eat or should you rinse it off?
In most cases, the sticky liquid is a mix of water, salt, and starches from the beans.
The canned bean liquid works as a preservative and keeps the beans fresh. They maintain their firmness and color too.
The sticky texture comes from the beans. They naturally produce starch.
It depends on your personal preference if you want to rinse the liquid or not. By rinsing it you reduce your sodium intake.
But sometimes people keep the liquid and use it to add some texture to salad dressings or soups.
All in all canned bean goo is safe to eat but not the healthiest choice you can make.
Canned foods and the risk of BPA
BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical that is part of many products like water bottles or in plastic linings inside cans. It is used to prevent metal corrosion and breakages, preserving the food inside.
The chemical is believed to be linked to some serious health problems. The conditions include infertility problems and messing with our hormones.
A research published on sciencediret.com indicates a higher amount of BPA in canned soups and pasta. As opposed to canned fruits and beverages with less chemical compounds found in.
Soups and pasta are hot when they are filled into cans. The heat could cause the separation of BPA into the food.
Since the discussion about BPA and possible health risks is around for many years you can avoid that topic if you buy food in glass jars.
Can you freeze baked beans?
Will the freezing process have a negative impact on baked beans in tomato sauce?
If you don´t want to ruin the flavor and texture make sure to follow 3 simple guidelines:
- Freezing Process
Only freeze beans that are cooked! But give them some time to cool down after cooking. Not only will hot beans challenge your freezer it will also affect the taste. Plus there will be a change of texture. The sudden temperature change causes expansion and the beans burst. To avoid cracked beans let them cool off for a few hours until they reach room temperature.
To keep texture and flavor don´t waste time. Let them cool down and freeze the beans the same day you made them.
- Use appropriate storage containers
Don´t freeze baked beans in the pot you cooked them in. Use freezer approved storage containers only.
They guarantee the best results and last for a long time. Minimal chances of cracks or other damages!
Your food is perfectly protected against freezer burns.
Don´t overload the containers! The beans need some space to expand when freezing.
- Obvious tip!
Make sure the container or freezer bag is tightly sealed. Depending on the other foods in your freezer the baked beans will absorb the flavors from all the other foods next to it.