When working towards losing weight, putting time aside to create a healthy, balanced diet for yourself is just as important as making time to exercise. With that said, we reached out to registered dietitians, nutritionists, personal trainers and other health experts to learn more about one type of bean they recommend to support your weight loss journey with its high protein and fiber content, and low calorie count. Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Jesse Feder, RDN, CPT, registered dietitian, nutritionist and personal trainer at My Crohns and Colitis Team, Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, and Jenni Hackworth, certified personal trainer, transformation specialist, nutritionist and CEO of White Lotus Yoga.
How Black Beans Promote Healthy Weight Loss
Whether you're on a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or any kind of diet, really, Best explains how adding black beans can provide more necessary nutrients for energy to take on your day. These beans, she says, "pack a ton of nutrients into any meal, which is helpful when you are working to get adequate protein on a plant-based diet and also to reduce your grocery budget." She adds that the "fiber content of these beans will keep you full and satisfied long after a meal and is beneficial for feeding the gut's good bacteria, binding and flushing out toxins and waste from your body, and even helps to reduce cholesterol and body weight."
Feder agrees, and says that the "healthiest high-protein bean choice that can support weight loss in my opinion, is the black bean." Black beans have one of the highest protein contents among beans, Feder notes, and this choice is "also one of the lowest" in calories. "Consuming foods high in protein and fiber, and low in calories can help preserve lean muscle mass while also keeping you satiated," he explains. This, Feder stresses, will "help you feel fuller for longer, and want to eat less, supporting weight loss." Feder recommends "getting in half a cup of black beans into your diet daily" to reap these aforementioned benefits.
Hackworth concurs, and points out that when it comes to fiber for weight loss and gut health especially, "black beans are loaded with fiber, which can help with weight management and weight loss." Because of this fiber content, Hackworth says these beans "can help prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract." Black beans, she adds, are rich in minerals such as “magnesium, iron, calcium, and more which aid in building and maintaining healthy bones and muscles.”
Along with fiber, these beans are also "rich in protein," a macronutrient that Best notes can often be found "lacking in the diet of those seeking to save money at the grocery store." These beans are known for their protein content, and "eating them along with rice is the best way to get in all 9 essential amino acids," Best says. "There are twenty amino acids, nine of which are essential, meaning they must be obtained through the diet," she concludes, adding, "animal protein sources naturally contain all 20 amino acids and are therefore naturally complete proteins, but many plant-based proteins are not." Good to know!