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Rice and beans, a classic comfort food combo in Latino and Caribbean communities and also some components of the American South, is just one of the healthiest key you can eat. It"s rich in tree protein—12 grams per cup—and it provides nutrients that many Americans nothing get enough of.

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Top among them is fiber. One cup of white rice and beans has 10 grams the fiber, greatly supplied through the beans. To compare that v a cup the chicken and also rice, which has actually less than 1 gram.

“A diet that’s high in fiber helps control blood sugar and prevent certain types of cancer,” says Michelle Schelske-Santos, Ph.D., a professor in the nutrition and also dietetics program at the college of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. The sort of fiber in beans also helps us develop great bacteria that add to gut health, she says.

Recommendations for everyday fiber room 25 grams for women and 31 grams for men. Yet most civilization get far less than that, even those who are from cultures where rice and also beans room a staple. A shift from fiber-rich culinary legacies to rapid foods might be one factor for the high incidence of kind 2 diabetes in hispanic communities, Schelske-Santos says. If 40 percent of adults in the U.S. Are expected to build the disease, the number rises to an ext than 50 percent because that Hispanics, and also they"re around 50 percent more likely to dice from diabetes 보다 whites, follow to the Centers for condition Control and also Prevention.

Colorful beans—such together black, red kidney, pinto, or black-eyed peas (the varieties most commonly cooked through rice)—are also packed through antioxidants. These compounds protect against the type of cell damages that may lead to heart disease, cancer, and also other chronic diseases. And also beans do twin duty as a protein and also a vegetable, counting towards the 2 come 3 cup of vegetables friend should have in a day.

If friend need an ext evidence around the services of beans, consider this: In 2016 the American newspaper of Clinical Nutrition analyzed 21 studies, detect that civilization who ate around ¾ cup the beans per day shed a modest lot of load (nearly a pound over six weeks) even when castle didn’t cut the overall number of calories.

As for the rice side of the equation, white rice, the kind usually served with beans, is regularly enriched through some B vitamins. It additionally has some iron and about 2 grams of protein every half-cup cooked. White rice on its very own is comprised of fast-digesting carbohydrates, bring about spikes in blood glucose levels. Yet when girlfriend pair it v beans, it help you metabolize the carbohydrate better.

And because that the protein in rice and beans, it"s true that linked they make finish protein, giving all the essential amino acids (the structure blocks that protein) found in dairy, meat, poultry, and also fish. But you don’t need to eat them with each other for the protein to count. By eat a variety of foodstuffs throughout the day, you gain all the amino acids you need, and also your human body does the combining because that you.

Despite the healthfulness that the combo, there are methods you deserve to make rice and beans even better. Shot these tips:

Tweak classic recipes. The bean are regularly cooked through ham hocks, bacon, or lard, which add flavor but likewise a most fat and also sodium. Man-made ham-flavored seasoning is regularly used together a substitute for pork, however it’s packed with sodium.

But rice and also beans deserve to be tasty there is no the pork. Seasoning the beans fine is the key. Increase the odor by sautéing garlic, onion, and green peppers in olive oil until gold before adding cooked beans. Add in spices; paprika, oregano, coriander, and cumin room spices that pair well with beans. Any good-quality blend without MSG—Italian, Caribbean, Taco—also goes well. If you choose spicy food, include chili powder to her beans. And including fresh herbs at the end gives great freshness to the dish.

Bump up the beans. The usual ratio is about fifty percent beans, fifty percent white rice. “But because that a much more nutritious combination, you should try two-thirds beans and one-third rice,” says Isabella Ferrari, MCN, R.D., L.D., a clinical dietitian at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Dry beans room typically around one-third the price of box beans, however some human being find cooking with castle intimidating. Yet they can actually be an extremely easy to use, says Schelske-Santos. “I placed the bean in a slow cooker in the morning prior to going to work, and when ns get earlier I prepare the seasoning and also mix in the beans," she says.

If you use canned beans, rinse castle in a colander prior to cooking them. Canned beans can be high in sodium, but rinsing reduces it by about 40 percent.

Choose the best rice. Rice deserve to be a resource of arsenic, and also regular exposure to small amounts that this hefty metal have the right to increase the threat of some cancers and heart disease. Consumer Reports’ exam have found that white rices indigenous California, India, and Pakistan have about fifty percent the quantity of arsenic that many other types do. Brown rice will offer you about five times the fiber but likewise has an ext arsenic than white rice native the exact same area. Girlfriend can additional reduce the arsenic contents of any kind of rice by 40 come 60 percent by food preparation it in a big amount of water, the method you would certainly pasta.

Swap in other totality grains. At least fifty percent of the seed you eat in a day need to be whole grains. However a recent national Health and Nutrition Examination survey report uncovered that whole grains contribute just 16 percent of the grains American adult eat daily. Because that Hispanic and also African American adults, the portion is also less—11 and also 14 percent, respectively. In place of white or brown rice, shot other whole grains. “Barley, wheat berries, and farro combine an extremely well through beans,” says Jason Ziobrowski, this firm chef at InHarvest, a provider that rice, grains, and legumes come restaurants, caterers, and also culinary institutions. “They are toothy and bring texture to the mix.” Quinoa likewise works well, particularly in combination with rice. Mix it fifty percent and half with rice to boost the protein and also fiber content. One cup of cooked quinoa has about 8 grams the protein and also 5 grams that fiber.

You can additionally make rice and beans healthier by including other vegetables in the dish. “Carrots, onions, and red peppers mix in well through the beans, and they offer it a little of color,” says Ferrari.

To save time, prepare the totality grains and beans ~ above weekends, and also store them independently in serving-sized containers in her refrigerator. Most cooked grains and beans likewise freeze well. When you’re all set to eat, season the beans and combine with the grains.

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Slow cookers and also multi-cookers have the right to make cooking beans from scratch easy. Below are peak scorers from customer Reports" tests.

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