So today I posted my “Health & Fitness Links” and one of them was about how eating beans can help you lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol.
A team of researchers from the U.S. and Canada analyzed 26 randomized-controlled studies that included a total of 1,037 people, and found an association between consuming at least one serving a day of dietary pulses, or legumes — which includes chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans — and 5 percent decreased levels of LDL cholesterol over a median follow-up period of six weeks. (One serving of dietary pulses is equal to about 3/4 of a cup.)
I don’t know about you, but I love beans. Any kind. I can easily eat them every day. Which is why I am writing this post…to throw out some ideas on how to get your serving of beans per day. Sure, you could scoop out a serving and eat it with dinner, but there are a lot of great recipes that include beans! Here are a few I have regularly (bear with me and my not so great food photography):
Add beans to your salad
My favorite salad combo is mixed greens, tuna, strawberries and chickpeas. I have also used white/canellini beans, and loved the combo with my tuna cakes pictured below.
Experiment with different types of beans in your salad and see what you like best. I think chickpeas are probably the best. Here are a few other tips to make a better salad
You can also make sandwiches or wraps that include beans. I like a turkey wrap with hummus, avocado and chickpeas.
Make tacos or burritos
Who doesn’t love tacos or burritos? I mean…that’s why I go to Chipotle like once a week. Chicken burrito bowl? Yummmmmmm.
But you can easily re-create this at home. I wrote up a taco salad recipe once and it is still something in our dinner rotation. Whether you make a burrito or a bowl, throw in your favorite kind of beans. Making a taco salad or burrito once a week is a great way to get in your bean servings!
Chili or lentil soup
Now that it’s getting warmer out, you may not want soup, but it’s still delicious. My mom makes great lentil soup with melted cheese in it…so good. You can also whip up your favorite chili recipe. I’ve also made vegetable soup with beans in it, and sliced up avocado and crumbled pita chips in it. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of any of these ideas, but I’ll make sure to do that next time my mom makes her famous lentil soup!
Black bean burgers
I have not tried this but am putting it on this list because I really want to try it. I would like to make my own but I’m not sure how much time it will take. Perhaps I’ll try the frozen variety first? Any suggestions?
Here’s a recipe from the Tone It Up community (picture above goes with this recipe):
1/2 red onion
1 red bell pepper
4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 15.5 oz. can or 1 cup cooked black beans
2 tablespoons of water
3/4 cup of wheat germ (to make it gluten free I used cooked quinoa- it didn’t stick together as well so I cooked it on a pan rather than a grill, as it fell through the grill!)
From quickly reading this, I’m thinking maybe adding eggs would help make it stick together too? Once it gets warmer out and I start grilling, I’ll try this out and keep you posted!
So there you have it…a few ways to add in beans to your routine to help lower that LDL cholesterol. I’m sure these aren’t mind-blowing tips but still some reminders for quick meals you can make!
Have you tried making black bean burgers?
What do you order at Chipotle?
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