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How much beans should I eat?

I was just wondering if eating too much beans can halt your weight loss because it makes me feel sooo heavy after eating them. I eat them because they do help make me feel full, but how much is too much, and how many times a day should i eat them??

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The Best Answer

United-States flag

Are you crashing like you would on bread after eating beans? Well did you know that all beans have the potential to do this, depending on which bean and how they're prepared? Yea, I just found this out today after crashing twice, first after black bean soup at lunch, then again after eating chili for dinner. What it boils down to (pun intended) is that the longer you cook beans, the closer they become to sugar, and thus the more fattening/crash prone they become.

Compare the glycemic indices of boiled kidney beans 29 with the canned kind 52, or boiled black beans 30 with black bean soup 64 (that's more than a freaking pizza!). Same story with canned vs fresh chickpeas. Even from bean to bean, there's big differences, boiled soybeans being the best at 16, compared to boiled pinto beans at 39. When in doubt, always do the least amount of cooking necessary and let your stomach do the breaking down for you. Here's the chart I got this from in case you're wondering:

http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_food_diet/glycemic_index.php#ax...

  • mustangmae commented May 4th 2011:
    Thanks for the information!! I definitely prefer cooked beans over canned but it is the convenience of the canned ones that is nice. This information will definitely influence my bean choice.
  • Nadia Papineau commented May 28th 2011:

    Hey there CasualJr, the website you linked to doesn't take into account glycemic load. Try reading this site, it demonstrates that the glycemic index of beans shouldn't be an issue when you account for portion size.

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_...

    For a broken down description, with multiple links of how this exactly works, and the equation for how to calculate glycemic load, check out my blog post on the issue:

    http://4hrveg.tumblr.com/post/5937792711/beans

  • Fletch commented Jun 17th 2011:

    Are we eating beans to fill up so we aren't hungry or are they integral to the diet? What I mean is, if we are getting our 20g protein each meal from say meat do we also need the beans?

  • T-C commented Jun 17th 2011:

    So much for my bean and spinach pot-roast.

  • Patrick_MCSE commented Jun 20th 2011:

    We eat beans for extra caloric load (extra fiber can't hurt either). Otherwise we would have to eat a ton of proteins and vegetables.

  • kuriousjorj commented Jun 27th 2011:

    If one took away the 'slow-carbs' of beans, this would basically just be a ketogenic diet. And since it cycles (cheat day) it would basically be a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, like Tim mentions using in the late 90's. (my guess is he did the 'Metabolic Diet')

  • Charley commented Mar 6th 2012:

    I think the glyc. index of the boiled canned ones comes from the sugar that is very often used in cans, pickles and that stuff. read the labels....

  • erdunn75 commented Apr 11th 2012:

    I always rinse my beans before eating them, whether cold or warm.

  • BabyDolphin commented Apr 12th 2012:

    Awesome! I prefer eating red & green lentils, and they have the lowest GI! Thanks for posting.

All Answers

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United-States flag

Every body is different.

Eating too much of anything will halt weight loss.

How many meals a day are you eating? I prefer 4-5 meals myself. Sometimes 6. I like them small and satisfying.

My favorite being 1/2 cup of beans, small amount of diced jalapenos (usually half), diced tomoatos and hot sauce. I add a little goat cheese personally. It is heaven. I make a bag of fresh, no salt added beans every 4-5 days and keep them in a container in the fridge. Easy to add to any meal I am having. Cut back your portion of beans per meal, increase the number of meals and the decrease the time between meals.

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I eat 1/2 cup of either black beans or lentils per meal (4x a day) and have consistently loss weight for almost 4 months. Lentils are higher in protein and fiber than black so I try to eat lentils more often. Also, I use canned black beans and make my lentils from dry. If you're not already, make sure to rinse any canned beans before you eat them too.

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That's the best part about beans, they keep you full without making you fat. Because beans take a loooong time to digest, you’re left feeling full for longer. They slowly release energy over a long period of time, so there's less chance of unused carbs converting into fat. Sugar has the opposite effect. You should definitely have beans with every meal and remember to only eat until you are full.

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So what's the appropriate serving size? And didn't Tim say he usually uses canned veggies/beans because he hates cooking? Hard to limit as they're the only source of carbohydrate : / but certainly don't want to stall weight loss. Thanks!

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I'm with you guys on this one...today I really ate a lot of beans, like 1/2 cup of black beans and 1.5 cups of black eyed peas. I'm literally crashing as if I had a bunch of energy drinks and then crashed...but the only reason I upped the beans was for the protein intake b/c I didn't have meat on hand. :\

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Thailand flag

My first couple weeks I ate a lot of beans, now i am more than satisfied with a half cup or less per meal (3 out of 4 meals a day). Like Tim, I like black beans and lentils the most, and they cause the least amount of craving to eat more beans. White beans are like crack to me.

  • mortenft commented May 4th 2011:
    Are white beans bad for you ? i.e. why stear clear of those ? I'm new to this, so please bear with me if this is a stupid question.

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Bosnia-And-Herzegovina flag

I feel tired after eating lots of beans, and someone in another post mentioned that beans causes her insulin to spike and needed to cut them out because she has diabetes. So maybe there's a specific type of bean or method of preparation that affects spikes?

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United-States flag

I like black beans the best, but someone's reply says they cause the most crash. Anyone know if there are certain beans I should be eating over others? (I start the diet tomorrow!!)

  • BobbyBigGuns commented Jul 25th 2011:

    I prefer pinto myself. But I need to switch it up from time to time. Pinto may be the worst beans for you, but they are still better than your average twinky. I usually east 2 bags of pinto beans and then a black and a black eyed pea bean. I purchased a bag of lintels and will try them out this week. The short story is that most people cannot eat the same bean day in and day out. A little variety is good and black beans give that to me. Go team.

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United-States flag

Black beans, especially canned has a higher sugar content and will spike your insulin, making you crash. I would cut back on the black beans and try other kinds of beans.

  • TheIronWil commented Nov 15th 2011:

    I have crashed on the canned beans I started washing them before I ate them and the effect is much less.

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Costa-Rica flag

SO, I'm buying my beans raw at the market and I put them on the slow cooker for however long it takes for them to cook. Usually 8 or so hours at very low heat. Is this too much cooking for the beans, and is it increasing their GI. What other cooking method is there?

I don't want to buy canned beans because of the waste the cans generate, the price of a one pound bag of beans here is around $2, and it is easier to provision for the week.

  • keithmattg commented Mar 1st 2012:

    God, I'm so fricking happy I found this blog. I've been eating WAY too much beans.

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