Is Baked Beans Healthy? Health Benefits and Downsides

Baked beans are parboiled white beans baked with sauces at low temperatures. The taste is heavenly. But, is baked beans healthy? Different cultures eat baked beans in different ways. As an example, Americans use them as an outdoor side dish, while in the United Kingdom, they are served with toast. 

However, are baked beans good or bad for you?

Baked beans are a good source of major nutrients such as proteins, healthy fats, and dietary fibers, which help significantly! But canned baked beans also contain sufficient amounts of salts, additives, and preservatives in them, which can cause serious health problems.

Let’s dig into the detail of the query, is baked beans healthy?

Is Baked Beans Healthy?

Traditionally, legumes have been considered good sources of protein, but is baked beans healthy? People often ask nutritionists this question. Unfortunately, this isn’t a straightforward question, since not all baked bean tins are prepared alike.

The right baked beans contain plenty of nutrients, as long as they’ve been cooked well. Just like any other food, there’s a particular way to prepare baked beans in order to maximize their nutritional value.

Cannellini and Haricot baked beans are good sources of protein and fiber. Also, the iron and zinc content is high while the caloric content is low. It provides a good amount of folic acid as well. 

Some manufactured canned baked beans may contain additional ingredients such as extra meat (sausages, pork, bacon), salt, or sugar that increase your fat and caloric content. It results in weight gain, stomach ailments, and heart risks. 

However, if you opt for one with low sugar and additives, you will get all the macro and micronutrients your body needs for normal functioning and growth. 

is-baked-beans-healthy

Nutritional Profile of Baked Beans

Beans are naturally high in protein and fiber. Baked beans are likewise a good source of zinc, iron, healthy fats, and protein. However, the nutritional profile of baked beans sold at marketplaces may differ depending on their ingredients. If you are purchasing canned baked beans, check the salt and sugar content. 

The nutritional profile of one cup of baked beans is given below:

Serving size254g
Calories 239
Total Fat0.9g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Total Carbohydrates54g
Protein 12g
Sugars 20g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sodium 871 mg
Potassium 569 mg
Iron5.1 mg

Nutritionix 

Benefits of Baked Beans

Nutritionally, baked beans are excellent. Molecularly derived from plants, it is rich in dietary fiber, which supports digestion, and protein, which improves body function. Following are the few top advantages of baked beans:

  • Baked beans are rich in dietary fibers. Fibers work by helping to regulate bowel movements. 
  • The consumption of baked beans can help lower bad cholesterol levels in the body, as it reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. 
  • Beans are good for the health of microorganisms like bacteria in our large intestine. They are called probiotics. Some probiotics produce vitamin K. These beneficial bacteria protect the gut against harmful bacteria, promote digestion, and keep the stomach healthy.
  • Baked beans are a good source of fiber, proteins, carbohydrates, as well as some essential minerals such as magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and selenium (Se). The nutrients contained in this food boost immunity and regulate metabolism.
  • Aside from these, baked beans are a good source of thiamine. It helps reduce nerve pain and improve memory loss.
  • Baked beans are tasty and easy to make and eat as well.

Are Baked Beans Good For Your Heart?

Baked beans made from scratch contain nutrients that promote heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. For instance, fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content, in addition to its lack of cholesterol, help maintain heart health. 

Studies have shown that beans can naturally lower blood cholesterol levels. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important to prevent heart problems. The soluble fiber in baked beans reduces the absorption of cholesterol. Moreover, it contains phytosterol that enhances heart strength. 

baked-beans

However, canned baked beans may contain additional fats and sodium that increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart stroke. 

Can You Eat Heinz Baked Beans With Type 2 Diabetes?

Heinz baked beans do have a small amount of sugar, salt, and fiber. Moreover, it has a relatively reduced amount of carbs. As a whole, the low GI value of Heinz baked beans don’t result in the sparking of blood sugar level. 

While Heinz baked beans are not too bad for diabetic patients, people with type 2 diabetes should keep the quantity sensible, and if you have a meter, check your blood sugar two hours after eating.  

heinz-baked-beans

Disadvantages of Canned Baked Beans

Canned baked beans contain preservatives and additives that may cause health risks. High fat and sugar content in some brands lead to bloating, a spike in blood sugar level, or heart disease. However, many drawbacks can be minimized when you eat homemade baked beans. 

Following are the few drawbacks of canned baked beans:

  • Some brands of baked beans contain a high amount of sodium. Consequently, there will be an increased risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, and heart strains. 
  • For long-term storage, baked beans are often mixed with preservatives and additives, such as caramel color, modified corn starch, and other flavors. However, these additives are not suitable for you.
  • There is a possibility that baked beans may cause digestive issues, as they contain high soluble fibers and carbohydrates that are difficult to digest, thus it causes gas.
  • Moreover, canned baked beans often contain too much sugar. Whether canned or homemade, baked beans typically contain 3 teaspoons of added sugar per 1/2 cup serving. It is equal to 20% of the daily calorie intake for a 2,000-calorie diet. Excessive sugar consumption leads to tooth decay, diabetes, obesity, and memory loss, as well as an increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Besides these, the container lining of the baked beans may contain bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxic chemicals, which can leach into the food. It causes reduced fertility, obesity, and other potential health diseases. Therefore, you should consider making your baked beans rather than using canned ones.

Is It Better To Have Fresh Or Canned Baked Beans?

It is better to make baked beans yourself than buy canned baked beans. You will ensure that all the ingredients in your baked beans are healthy and nutritious, free of preservatives or additives you do not like. The recipe is simple to make and delicious as well. 

healthy-recipe-of-baked-beans

Nevertheless, if you consider baked bean tins, make sure you read their labels before purchasing. Be sure to steer clear of canned beans with added sugar, salt, or ingredients. Many brands may include extras such as pork or sausages, which add more calories and fat to the product. Thus, it might cause gastrointestinal problems and heart problems.  

It’s likely that some highly rated baked beans, such as those from Heinz, Bush’s, Branston, or supermarket baked beans, are loaded with sugar and salt. A good choice would be a baked bean variety with low fat and sugar. Indeed, it is a healthier option.

Although you are probably accustomed to the taste of regular baked beans, you can lose weight by choosing healthier varieties. 

Best Ever Homemade Baked Beans

You can make baked beans at home easily, with fun. Here’s a recipe for baked beans that you’ll love. You will enjoy this comforting dish with a smoky flavor and reduced sugars and salts compared to store-bought beans. 

Ingredients You Want

  • 300g Haricot beans
  • 1⅓ cups Passata
  • ¼ cup Chicken / Vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

How To Make Baked Beans?

  • Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan.
  • Saute the garlic until it sizzles, but watch it carefully not to burn it.
  • Stir in the smoked paprika over low heat.
  • After that, add the passata, stock, and tomato puree. Next, cook for 20 minutes to reduce the sharp taste of the tomatoes and thicken the sauce.
  • Next, add the beans and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, season as desired.
  • There you have it! Enjoy your smoky flavored baked beans.
homemade-baked-beans

FAQs

Question: Are baked beans good for weight loss?

Answer: Baked beans are indeed healthy when it comes to weight loss. You can only achieve fat reduction by choosing foods low in fat and calories. Proteins or some essential nutrients should also be present in the food. Baked beans are a good example that contains minerals and protein while low in calories.

Question: Are canned baked beans good for you?

Answer: Their benefits and drawbacks are both notable. Canned baked beans are often kept for a long time. Canned baked beans are a good source of fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. In contrast, canned baked beans have some additives, such as preservatives, that are convenient storing but not healthy.

Question: Do baked beans have carbs or protein?

Answer: Baked beans have both carbohydrates and protein. Being legumes, they are rich in the macromolecule. One cup of baked beans has about 54 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of protein.

Conclusion

As for, “is baked beans healthy?” Baked beans are an easy way to consume more protein, fiber, healthy fat, protein, and other nutrients. These nutrients help reduce cholesterol and improve gut health. 

Although canned beans can be more convenient, they are loaded with sugar, salt, additives, and BPA. Rather than buying canned foods, prepare them using dried beans instead. 

To add nutritional value to a balanced diet, baked beans with minimal sugar and moderate salt content can be a good choice.

Aneeza Pervez

Aneeza Pervez

Hello, I'm Aneeza Pervez. Writing about mental health, wellness and a healthy lifestyle is something I specialize in. I also enjoy traveling, reading, entertaining, and composing. As a health advocate, I create content that educates people about how to be healthy. Health is wealth, so do your best to keep it!

Wholesomealive.com -a blog about Healthy Living
Logo