Beans have suffered an image problem for years. This is only partly due to the infamous kids' rhymes; since our culture went low-carb crazy, beans took a hit because some are relatively high in carbs. But research has shown that the fiber and phytochemicals in beans can help reduce cholesterol, prevent peaks in blood sugar following a meal and, most recently, that eating beans may protect against weight gain. If you avoid beans because of gas trouble, use these strategies: first, rinse canned beans well to get rid of some of the starch and reduce sodium content; try using the product Beano, which helps digest the problem substances; and incorporate more beans into your diet gradually, and your body will adapt.
Experiment with beans you've never tried before –– the variety is endless. And keep a bean salad full of chopped vegetables in the fridge for a quick and easy snack or side dish.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
Peppers Braised With Herbs Posole Almond Spread Mint-Dusted Asparagus Provencale Grilled Tuna Apple Fennel Soup Pita Veggie Pizza Spinach Pesto with Parmesan, Almond, and Garlic Escarole with Raisins Polenta With Tofu and Greens
As I noted in my last post, I'm currently in my company's open season, and after many years with only an employer-only-contribution Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) and high-stakes Flexible Spending Account (FSA), we finally have the option of a true, we-keep-the-money-we-don't-use Health Savings Account (HSA) plan. While priced between the two HRA plans, the HSA plan has some interesting quirks of its own that are...