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Last Updated on December 16, 2020

10 Delicious Bean Recipes to Help You Lose Weight

10 Delicious Bean Recipes to Help You Lose Weight

Beans receive mixed reviews in the weight loss community. On one hand, they’re a natural food, which experts normally recommend over processed foods to people who want to lose weight. On the other hand, beans contain carbohydrates, and many diets encourage people to limit their carb intake.

So, what’s the verdict? Do beans belong on our plates?

A 2013 study conducted by researchers at Loma Linda University found that “a high-fibre bean-rich diet was as effective as a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss.” Another study revealed that “bean eaters weighed, on average, 7 pounds less and had slimmer waists than their bean-avoiding counterparts.”

This is good news if you love beans. It’s also good news if you want to eat healthy because research has suggested beans can help:

But maybe you’re not sure where to start when it comes to eating more beans―or maybe you just don’t like beans. That’s not your fault. Most people think the only way to eat beans is to pile them on a plate and starting spooning them up. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beans are actually a very versatile food. Used correctly, you can add them to a dish and get all their health benefits―without overpowering the other flavors in the meal.

Here are 10 recipes to help you get started with eating more beans.

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1. Quinoa and Black Beans

Since this recipe requires only 15 minutes of prep time, you can move on to other tasks while this tasty meal simmers.

Black bean and quinoa bowl

    2. Corn and White Bean Chowder

    Make a big bowl of this delicious chowder for dinner and save the leftovers for an easy microwavable lunch.

    Corn Chowder

      3. Southwest Salad

      This enormous salad shows just how easy it is to add beans to a meal. And since beans naturally contain lots of fiber, you’ll be making the meal more filling too.

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      Southwest Salad

        4. Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich

        This versatile chickpea and avocado salad can be used in a sandwich or a wrap. It’s a no-cook recipe, which means faster prep time and fewer dirty dishes. By the way, chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans, and yes, they are a legume.

        avocado chickpea burrito

          5. Snickerdoodle Blondies

          Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Beans are a surprisingly versatile food. Blend them up, and you can increase the fiber and nutrients in these blondies without spoiling the sweet taste. To be clear, these blondies are still a dessert — translation: you shouldn’t eat ten of them if you want to lose weight. But they are a sweet way to get more of healthy the goodness of beans into your life.

          snickerdoodle blondies

            6. Chicken and White Bean Chili

            This meal combines the heartiness of chili with the fiber of beans to help you feel full longer.

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            Chicken Soup

              7. Asian Slaw with Ginger-Peanut Dressing

              Need more easy-to-make lunches you can take to work? Stuff this salad into a plastic container and grab a piece of fruit. This recipe contains lima beans, a healthy legume many people forget about. Even if you didn’t like them when you were younger, you should give them a try in this salad.

              lunch salad

                8. Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake

                If you’re like me, this recipe had you at “enchilada.” Plus, black beans (and pinto beans) go great with Mexican food. Now you have a reason to crack open your favorite jar of salsa.

                enchilada casserole

                  9. Easy Tuscan Bean Soup

                  You can easily add beans to lots of soup recipes. It’s a smart choice because the beans will make the soup more filling.

                  Tuscan Bean Soup

                    10. Breakfast Smoothie

                    Beans are a great natural source of protein. Add some blended beans to a smoothie, and you can be sipping on a healthy breakfast in no time.

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                    A white creamy breakfast smoothie

                      Now you have 10 tasty bean recipes to help you lose weight and start enjoying the many other health benefits beans provide. If you don’t know how to cook dry beans, or you would like to know how to cook dry beans for less gas, this free guide will help.

                      Thanks to Michelle Jones and Amy Hanus for providing the pictures used in this post. All Photos Used With Permission.

                      Featured photo credit: Skinny Enchilada Casserole/Amy Hanus via fullplateliving.org

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                      Kyle Young

                      Operations Manager, GoinsWriter

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                      Published on January 14, 2021

                      How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Week

                      How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Week

                      Meal plans are a great way to cut down waste, make shopping for food quicker and easier, and help you to stick to healthy choices. But where do you start? What makes a healthy meal plan for the week, and how do you know what to include?

                      Firstly, there is no healthy meal plan that works for everyone. At different stages of your life, you will need different levels of nutrients, but there are some general principles that you can follow, and then adjust as necessary. Here’s how to create a healthy meal plan for the week.

                      The Backbone of Your Healthy Meal Plan

                      For the vast majority of adults, these practical tips should be the backbone of your meal plan:

                      • A range of fruits and vegetables
                      • Whole grain carbohydrates (brown rice, brown bread, millet, bulgar wheat, etc)
                      • Fermented food such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut
                      • Unsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, and nuts
                      • Two portions of oily fish such as salmon per week (or nuts and seeds if you don’t eat fish)
                      • A handful of nuts and seeds a day
                      • Aim for 30g of fiber a day
                      • Eat a range of beans and pulses (such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils)
                      • Drink approximately 8 glasses of water a day[1]

                      Calorie Counting

                      A calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1g water from 14.5 to 15.5°Celsius. This is calculated in a laboratory, by burning the food. However, the food is not “burnt” in our bodies, and people’s metabolism and energy expenditure vary, so it’s a very rough estimate.

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                      The absorption and, therefore, how much energy is available for you to use, is also affected by how the food is processed. An example of this is sweetcorn. If you grind it down into a powder and make a tortilla, you will absorb far more calories than if you eat whole sweetcorn kernels. Instead, you will see most of the kernels untouched, in the toilet!

                      Another concern with calories is that instead of thinking about nutrient quality, it promotes prioritizing quantity. For example, there is a huge difference in the number of nutrients you could consume in 500 calories of fruit and vegetables, versus 500 calories of ice cream.

                      Also the number of calories you need varies according to so many factors, such as age, gender, lifestyle, and activity level, that it is hard to accurately predict exactly how many you need. Instead, I prefer to recommend a general principle of how to balance your plate and a reminder to eat mindfully when you are physically hungry, not because of an emotional trigger.

                      How to Balance Your Plate

                      When thinking of your healthy meal plan, for each meal your plate should contain approximately:

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                      • Fruit and vegetables (1/2 plate)
                      • Whole grains (1/4 plate)
                      • Lean protein (1/4 plate)
                      • A spoon of unsaturated oil

                      This will help you when you think of each meal to work out what to include and approximate portion sizes.

                      An Example Day

                      Breakfast

                      • Overnight oats, with chia seeds, quinoa and milk or fortified plant based milk
                      • A piece of fruit

                      Snack

                      • A handful of mixed nuts

                      Lunch

                      • Grilled tofu with a mixed salad and bulgar wheat
                      • A piece of fruit

                      Snack

                      • Apple slices with nut butter

                      Dinner

                      • Chicken / tofu / salmon with miso brown rice and spring greens
                      • OR vegetable curry, daal, and brown rice
                      • OR stuffed aubergine with mixed vegetables and millet or quinoa
                      • A piece of fruit

                      How to Adjust Your Meal Plan

                      There are certain phases when more or less nutrients are needed, so it is important to consider your changing needs.

                      When You’re Pregnant

                      During your pregnancy, you should limit oily fish to once a week, and only 2 tuna steaks or 4 medium sized cans of tuna per week, because of the risk of pollution.

                      You should also avoid the following food groups:

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                      • Raw or undercooked eggs
                      • Unpasteurized cheese
                      • Raw or undercooked meat
                      • Pâté
                      • Swordfish, shark, and marlin
                      • Homemade ice-cream with raw egg
                      • Soft-serve ice cream from vans or kiosks
                      • Vitamin A supplements
                      • Liquorice root
                      • Alcohol

                      When You’re Breastfeeding

                      While you are breastfeeding, your body needs more calcium (1250mg), selenium (70mcg), and iodine (200mcg). Ensure that you include these in your meal plan.

                      When Going Through Menopause

                      Menopause

                      changes your long-term risk of disease, so it is important to focus on items that help support bone and heart health. The framework above already sets out a diet to support long term heart health, but for bone health aim for:

                      • 1200mg calcium per day
                      • High-quality protein at every meal
                      • Foods rich in vitamin K
                      • Foods rich in phosphorus
                      • Foods rich in magnesium

                      Organizing Your Shopping

                      Once you have completed your healthy meal plan for the week, you can save the ingredients that you regularly need to an online shopping list, in order to make repeat ordering simpler. Some recipe books also now have a QR code so that you can easily synchronize the ingredients needed with your online shopping.

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                      Try to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables where possible, but canned beans, frozen, dried, and freeze dried fruit make great substitutes for fresh, retaining most of the nutrients.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Creating a healthy meal plan for the week may be daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll become a fun addition to your weekly planning, and one that will ultimately improve your overall lifestyle. Try to use the general feedback above and adapt it to your own specific needs. Enjoy looking for new and exciting recipes to include in your plan!

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                      Featured photo credit: Ello via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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