When you think of going on a diet or trying to get lean, you probably think you have to eat the same healthy foods over and over—fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein sources like chicken and fish. But there’s another food you almost never hear about eating to get lean—beans.
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Beans are the high-protein food that you aren’t eating enough of. STACK talked to sports dietician Leslie Bonci to find out why beans can be a key to getting lean.
Beans can do a lot for you. They are a great source of protein and fiber, which help break down foods for easy digestion, maintain good bowel health, lower cholesterol and help you feel fuller longer. They are also rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are linked to health and longevity. Another great benefit of beans is that they are inexpensive!
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There are many types of beans and ways to prepare them: black beans, refried beans, chickpeas, baked beans and lentils, for example. If one does not meet your taste standards, you can always try a different one.
Beans are easy to cook and can go with almost any dish. And since they are a plant-based protein, you can substitute beans for chicken, steak or fish. To learn about other ways beans can benefit you, check out the video above.