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Mediterranean Food Pyramid – Home Of The Beans and Legumes

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Beans and legumes are honor guests in the Mediterranean food pyramid. A great source of protein without the fat and cholesterol, lowers cholesterol levels, controls diabetes, prevents constipation, and helps maintain optimal weight. Considering their bad reputation and the long time it takes to cook, beans are nutritious and valuable to our health and pocket book.

Dry beans and peas are the richest in protein from all plant foods. They also contain starch, dietary fiber, and are a good source of iron, potassium, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and folic acid. Legumes are low glycemic index foods.

Research has indicated that amino acids in beans join perfectly with those in grains to provide protein that is equivalent to animal protein or better. Lentils and rice, minestrone soup, or peanut butter sandwich provide the protein found in hamburger, an omelet, or a serving of chicken.

Beans and legumes are very hearty food and contain nutrients that are beneficial to our health, combined with their rich protein content they can be a great substitute for meat. Thus avoiding concentrated saturated fat and cholesterol and keeping your weight at bay.

Mediterranean Food Pyramid   Home Of The Beans and Legumes

Dietary fiber is another important contributor to healthy weight. Fiber causes us to feel full as it slows down the exit of food from our stomach, preventing overeating and weight gain. Fiber also contributes to bowel regularity.

Beans and peas are low fat, and whatever fat they contain is polyunsaturated which we already know protects us from blood vessel and heart diseases.

The Mediterranean diet pyramid calls for having 5-6 servings of beans and legumes weekly

Serving sizes:
1/2 cup dry beans and legumes