Bean Math

by Brooke on April 26, 2011

Post image for Bean Math

With the Pro-Plant movement on the horizon and Meatless Mondays becoming a huge hit, it is important to learn how to do a little bean math.  Beans are packed with fiber and water keeping your body feeling fuller for longer.  Beans, unlike meat, have phytochemicals in them, which are compounds that can only be found in plants and are a class of antioxidants.  Antioxidants help reduce free radicals in the body, which cause damage to cells and other tissues. 

According to the USDA nutrient database, beans contain large amounts of iron, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, calcium, and zinc.   Most Americans do not consume enough fiber.  It is recommended that women consume 25 grams of fiber per day and men consume 38 grams of fiber per day.   Beans contain 12 grams of fiber per 1 cup, which provides almost half of the daily recommended amount of fiber for women.   One half cup of cooked beans provides about 6-7 grams of protein.  When swapping in beans for meat in recipes, do a little bean math to meet your protein needs.

1 Ounce of Meat = 1/4 Cup of Beans

Many people are scared to cook dried beans.  Chez Bettay, the vegan gourmet, gives some great tips on how to cook dried beans. Here are also a few more tips for cooking beans and some quick recipe ideas!

Beans are not only veggie friendly, but they are delicious, filling, more ecologically prudent (compared to animal protein), and CHEAP.  Remember to use your bean math next Meatless Monday!

Photo courtesy of I Believe I Can Fry.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra Hamel April 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm

mmmmmm beans…


Dagny April 27, 2011 at 1:40 am

I could eat beans every day!! I eat them more often now that I use a pressure cooker! It’s so easy to cook up a batch and keep in the fridge to toss with a salad or re-heat with veggies and rice.


Lauren April 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Do you mean equal to in protein? Calories? Curious. Love beans, lentils, chickpeas- so versatile and delicious.


Brooke April 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Hi Lauren,

1 oz of meat to 1/2 cup of beans is the protein equivalent. Calories are slightly different depending on the fat percent of the meat.


Betty Morgan April 30, 2011 at 12:07 am

Just wanted to thank you for linking to my article: How to Cook Dried Beans. This is the most popular page on I think cooking dried beans is a perfect way to save money!


Brooke May 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm

My pleasure Betty! I thought the page was really informative :)


Robert May 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I agree that dried beans are great. They’re versatile, delicious, and oh so nutritious. My favorite are actually lentils (which technically aren’t beans but rather legumes, but beans are legumes too so if it’s in the family I think it’s ok). They take a lot less time to cook and don’t need to be soaked! And like most dried beans, as you mentioned, they’re dirt cheap. They go great as a side dish or a main meal.


Brooke May 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Hi Robert! Thanks for stopping by :) You’re right legumes like lentils, soy, and peas are delicious and cheap too!


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