Last week, I was talking with a diabetic friend. During her latest weight-loss effort (and there have been many), she gave up beans. But she was still eating whole-grain bread and pasta. She reasoned that “beans are too high in carbs,” believing they would worsen her diabetes and waistline woes.

When I told her I eat beans (dark red kidney beans or chickpeas) just about every day, her jaw dropped. “But you’ve never been leaner or more fit,” she said. Exactly! Beans are a great low-glycemic carbohydrate that helps keep blood sugar in balance and your appetite in check.

The Benefits of Eating Beans
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved just how much better beans are than popular wheat-based products for keeping blood sugar levels stable.

At each meal, healthy participants were given 50 grams of carbohydrate – either from chickpeas, wheat-based foods, or white bread. Researchers found that plasma glucose levels of those eating chickpeas was substantially lower 30 minutes and one hour after each meal than levels of the participants eating the other carbohydrates.

What makes beans so effective at stabilizing blood sugar? Fiber and protein. This powerful combo helps slow digestion and blunt the spike associated with eating other carbohydrate-rich foods. Plus, you’ll stay full longer and eat less, which is the key to losing weight… and keeping it off.

[Ed. Note: Kelley Herring is the founder and CEO of Healing Gourmet (, and is editor-in-chief of the Healing Gourmet book series.]

Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet. Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.