Beans are rich in cholesterol-lowering dietary fibre, so the more you include in your diet the better. The good news is that they’re inexpensive and really easy to fit into your normal meals.
Cooked tinned beans are great because you can keep them stocked in your kitchen cupboard to add to meals whenever you need them. Here’s a list of the main varieties of tinned beans in descending order of fibre content (per 120g serving):-
- Pinto beans (9.2g fibre, 8.1g protein)
- Black beans (8.3g fibre, 8.8g protein)
- Black eyed beans (8g fibre , 10.8g protein)
- Haricot/navy beans (7.9g fibre, 8.2g protein)
- Cannellini beans (7.8g fibre, 8.8g protein)
- Borlotti beans (7.8g fibre, 9g protein)
- Red kidney beans (7.4g fibre, 8.3g protein)
- Butter beans (5.4g fibre, 7g protein)
- Chickpeas / Garbanzo beans (4.9g fibre, 8.6g protein)
It’s best to buy tinned beans with just water and no added salt. If they do contain salt, rinse them well before adding them to your meals.
I add beans to most of my lunches and dinners. It’s easy to chuck them in during the cooking process, even if they’re not part of the recipe. I eat them cold in salads too or make houmous to snack on (recipe here).
Here are some easy cholesterol-friendly bean recipes to try:-
- Sausage and Butter Bean Casserole
- Chicken, Chickpea & Vegetable Curry
- Quinoa Black Bean Tacos (v)
- Mexican Chicken & Black Beans
- Italian Meatballs with Kidney Beans
- Chickpea & Coriander Burgers (v)
Most commercially canned baked beans are made from haricot beans (also known as navy beans) and contain 8.6g fibre per 210g serving. Baked beans on wholemeal toast or on a baked potato can therefore make a great cholesterol-lowering meal (as long as you don’t add any butter or cheese!). It’s best to choose the low sugar and salt varieties, or you could even make your own (see recipe here).
Soya Beans (Edamame)
Edamame beans are a really great cholesterol-lowering food option as they can be eaten cold as a snack, or added to salads or stir fries. They contain 4.8g fibre per 80g serving.
Here are some good cholesterol-friendly edamame bean recipes to try:-
- Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
- Edamame Avocado Houmous (v)
- Chicken, Edamame & Ginger Pilaf
- Egyptian Edamame Stew (v)
Beans are one of the top cholesterol-lowering foods, so try to eat some every day. There are all sorts of options to pick from, like tinned beans, baked beans and soya beans. You can add them to your normal recipes (replacing some of the meat if you like), or try some of the recipes above. Alternatively, you can eat them cold in salads, or make houmous to snack on with wholemeal pitta bread.