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Baked Beans & Weight Loss

by
author image Lara Winston
Lara Winston has been writing since 2001. She has written about a plethora of subjects including nutrition, anatomy, physiotherapy and current affairs. Winston is passionate about health and is currently running her own nutrition consultancy. She holds a Master of Business Administration in physiotherapy and two undergraduate degrees in nutrition and sports rehabilitation.
Baked Beans & Weight Loss
A small bowl of baked beans. Photo Credit telliott4/iStock/Getty Images

Baked beans are a protein-rich, low-calorie food, and as such are an appropriate part of a weight-loss dietary regimen. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database notes that although baked beans are low in fat and high in protein, they do not provide vital vitamins and minerals, such as calcium or vitamins B-12 and C. Consuming large amounts of baked beans can also have some undesirable side effects, most notably flatulence. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight-loss program.

Weight-Loss History

The idea that baked beans can help you lose weight gained a foothold in the public consciousness in 2008, when British newspaper “The Sun” published a story about a man who managed to shed 140 pounds by eating nothing but baked beans. Neil King, then 40, remained on the diet for nearly a year, and he cut out all alcohol and high-fat foods. Removing these foods from your diet will automatically help you either shed some weight, or prevent weight gain.

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Advantages

Baked beans are high in protein and low in fat, two attributes considered a healthy addition to any diet; that said, they should only be one part of a balanced diet, not a diet in and of themselves, one nutrition expert told "The Sun." Baked beans are also rich in fiber, which plays a crucial role in digestion and helps keep you full for longer. Fiber also lowers cholesterol levels -- which reduces your risk of heart disease -- improves blood sugar controls and benefits intestinal and digestive problems, such as ulcers and constipation, according to the April 2009 issue of "Nutrition Reviews."

Role

Protein is crucial for the efficient functioning of the body. Consuming protein with complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain bread or pasta can help you to feel fuller for longer. If you feel fuller for longer, you will be less likely to snack on unhealthy foods such as candy, cookies or sweets. Baked beans also contain plenty of iron, which is vital for blood function.

Caution

Although baked beans can be good for health, they can also cause problems like flatulence. Some brands of baked beans pack lots of sugar, and nearly all regular canned varieties are high in sodium -- around 870 milligrams per cup, according the USDA database, which is a hefty percentage of the 2,300-milligrams recommended maximum daily intake. Increased consumption of sodium can cause heart disease and diabetes.

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References

Demand Media