With soup season kicking off, you’re bound to come across beans and may be wondering if they’re good or bad. Aren’t beans carbs? Yes. Aren’t carbs bad? Not necessarily. Let’s look at if beans are good carbs or not:
First we have to break down carbohydrates briefly. Carbs can either be simple or complex.
Simple carbs have been processed, which causes the fiber content to be removed or altered. Think white bread, pastries, sugary drinks, candy, cookies. These carbs don’t usually offer too much in the way of nutrition. Some may call these “bad” carbs.
Complex carbs are unprocessed and have all of their natural fiber content intact. Think whole grains, vegetables, potatoes, quinoa, legumes, beans, nuts. These carbs usually offer some kind of nutrition whether it’s fiber, protein, or vitamins and minerals. These would be the “good” carbs.
Beans are a complex carbohydrate so we’re going to call them a “good” carb!
They contain more nutrients and fiber than processed, simple carbs. They’ll help you feel full longer and provide you with usable energy.
Beans won’t cause blood sugar levels to spike like simple “bad” carbs might. This makes them low-glycemic and a good option for those needing to keep levels stable.
They also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber to keep you regular. “Musical fruit” and all that.
Unlike most other carbs, beans contain a good amount of protein. It varies by type but most beans contain around 8g of protein for a ½ cup serving.