Legumes (beans) are one of nature’s finest foods, and they are a smart addition to any driver’s diet! There are many varieties of beans: black, white, navy, pinto, soy, garbanzo, Lima, and lentils, just to name a few. They’re low in calories, but chock full of lean protein, high-quality carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are virtually fat-free. In fact, a half cup serving of most legumes contains just 140 calories, 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and only a half a gram of fat.
The fiber in beans is a soluble fiber, which helps with satiety (feeling “full”) and thus helps you to eat less. This fiber also delays gastric emptying, and therefore, slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream and keeps your blood sugar levels stable. Thus, beans are a great choice if you are diabetic! Soluble fiber is also good for digestive health and cutting the risk of heart disease, because it helps decrease cholesterol.
The one caveat to the canned legumes and beans, however, is that anything in a can is higher in sodium. So be sure to drain and rinse the beans before cooking them, and look for the ones marked as low-sodium.
Beans are inexpensive, so stock up on an assortment for your truck! When you’re ready to eat them, simply open the can and toss them in a salad or pasta, make a beans and rice dish, mash them with hard-boiled eggs, add to soup, or eat them right out of the can! You’ll find many ideas and recipes if you look online. Enjoy!