Are Black Beans Good for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Black beans are good for high cholesterol because they have plant sterols and they can lower LDL cholesterol by providing fiber and other nutrients.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your blood vessels and can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke1.

In high cholesterol, your body produces too much of a type of fat called LDL cholesterol, which can build up in your arteries and cause them to narrow and harden.

This can lead to various health problems, such as heart attack, heart failure, and brain damage.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your cholesterol levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume legumes like black beans and avoid discretionary foods like fried foods, processed meats, and baked goods.

Now, black beans are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

People usually eat them as a staple ingredient in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine.

Black beans are good for high cholesterol because they contain plant sterols, which are compounds that can compete with LDL cholesterol for absorption from the gut and lower the total amount of cholesterol that eventually ends up in your blood.

Additionally, black beans provide both soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and resistant starch, all of which are associated with many of their benefits.

One cup (172 grams) of boiled, unsalted black beans can give you 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, and 64% of the daily value (DV) of folate.

Plant sterols can reduce LDL cholesterol by 5% in response to eating 130 grams of pulses per day.

That means you can eat about one small can or about a third of a 400 gram (large) can of baked beans per day safely.

More than that can cause digestive issues.

That’s why I suggest you limit your discretionary food intake to less than 10% of your daily calories and stick to more legumes like black beans to minimize high cholesterol risk.

Also, you shouldn’t eat black beans if you have gallstones or bile duct obstruction to prevent bile acid malabsorption.

Because these conditions can make it harder for bile acids to help digest fats and lower cholesterol.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a heart-healthy diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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