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Are Baked Beans Good For You?

By Luke Daley RNutr, MSc from Daley Nutrition 62,634 views


Baked Beans Overview

Are baked beans good for you? YES & NO….They are loaded with macro-nutrients (big nutrients) and micro-nutrients (little but powerful nutrients). They are also good for people with diabetes as they contain a relatively low glycemic index and prevent spiking blood glucose levels.  However over the years more salt and sugar has crept into these tins….in this post we have included all the common questions we get asked about baked beans such as:

  1. Are baked beans high in salt and sugar?
  2. Are baked beans fattening?
  3. Why does eating baked beans give me gas?

Are Baked Beans high in Salt & Sugar?

Salt (sodium): The average serve of baked beans (1 cup=150g) can contain an average of 1100mg of sodium (2.8g of salt)! Nearly 50% our daily sodium allowance. Our advice is to go for the no added salt versions that contain no salt and will not affect your blood pressure. The ‘no salt/no added salt’ versions will cost a little more than your average tin, but your kidneys and your vascular system will thank you some day.

Sugar: The average serve (1 cup=150g) of baked beans has 15g of added sugar, which is 3 teaspoons of sugar and is a moderately high amount. According to the World Health Organisation we should ideally stay under 25g of sugar per day for to stay healthy.


Are Baked Beans Fattening? 

Technically no, not if you are buying the no added salt and reduced sugar versions.  Baked beans actually contain a lot of fibre and vegetable protein which research has shown us to be beneficial at making us feel fuller for longer, preventing mindless snacking.  However, if you are consuming the average baked bean tin which has more than 4g of added sugar per 100g or consuming the meat, the sausage or curry flavoured versions then be prepared for some extra empty calories.  Further down the page we have included our star rating reviews for all the different Heinz baked beans products.


Do you know a good homemade recipe?? 

Due to public demand, we have posted a homemade baked beans recipe up on our blog, the recipe can be found here.  The recipe is relatively quick to make, but the cannellini beans need to be soaked the night before cooking.  The recipe costs $0.70 to make, which saves you nearly $2 dollars compared the Heinz baked beans versions.


Nutrition Information for Baked Beans

The below info is according to NUTTAB 2010 per 100g:

  • High fibre: (5.2g per 100g) – helps to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and fills you up
  • Low fat: (0.3g per 100g) – (good if you are on a weight loss plan)
  • Good protein source: (4.9g per 100g) (when mixed with toast it can make a complete protein meal)
  • Lycopenes: (470 micrograms per 100g) – known to reduce the risk of certain cancers such as prostate cancer
  • Folate: (50 micrograms) – helps with maintaining healthy DNA
  • Iron: (0.95mg per 100g) – required for energy production and healthy red blood cells
  • Magnesium: (25mg per 100g) – aids muscle contraction, sleep patterns & 100 other reactions in the body
  • Potassium: (238mg per 100g) – helps with muscle contractions, especially the heart and aids growth

are baked beans good for you?


Why does eating Baked Bean cause gas?

Baked beans offer a variety of nutritional benefits, one of these benefits comes from fibre in particular soluble fibre. This source of fibre is what causes flatulence (fart response).  The reason behind this is due to our gut flora (bacteria) breaking down the fibre in the beans. If you can deal with the extra gas, then baked beans actually can promote a healthy gut. One type of fibre we get in baked beans is called inulin which works as a prebiotic to feed good bacteria and benefit our health.

This good bacteria breaks down the soluble fibre (mainly oligosaccharides) and as a by-product produces hydrogen, nitrogen and Carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes flatulence (farting). This causes no health issues unless you have issues with your gut bacteria. If you are making your own baked beans from scratch it is advised to soak them first. Soaking them helps with the digestive process of the beans and reduces the amount of gas produced, this goes for all dried beans and legumes.


UK vs AUSSIE Heinz Tins

In the UK there are versions of Heinz Baked beans that we don’t get here in Australia.  On our infographic page we have posted a chart comparing the different tin types incluidng our star rating review which an be found HERE


HEINZ BAKED BEANS – No added salt tin (4 stars)    

HEINZ – no added salt version is the number 1 version in Australia with it’s low sodium levels.

  • 380kj of energy (92kcal)
  • 10mg of sodium
  • 4.4 g of sugar per 100g
  • 1.1.g of fat
  • 13.7g of carbohydrates
  • 5.3g of fibre
  • 1.3g of iron

 


HEINZ BAKED BEANS – Salt reduced tin (3.5 stars)   

are baked beans good for you?HEINZ – salt reduced versions tend to be 30-40% of a sodium reduction, which isn’t a large drop in sodium but better than the original version.

  • 380 kj of energy (92kcal)
  • 240mg of sodium
  • 4.4 g of sugar per 100g
  • 0.5.g of fat
  • 13.7g of carbohydrates
  • 5.4g of fibre
  • 1.3g of iron

 


HEINZ BAKED BEANS – Original classic tin (3 stars)    

Are baked beans good for you?HEINZ – original tin, is the tin that has been used as the leading baked bean tin by Heinz, the recipe hasn’t changed much over the years.

  • 380 kj of energy (92kcal)
  • 360mg of sodium
  • 4.4 g of sugar per 100g
  • 0.5 g of fat
  • 13.7g of carbohydrates
  • 5.3g of fibre
  • 1.3g of iron

 


HEINZ BAKED BEANS – ‘Ham in sauce’ tin (2 stars)   

Are baked beans good for you?HEINZ – ‘ham sauce’ tin has the highest amount of sodium and sugar of any Heinz tin with 415mg, this tin should be consumed in moderation.

  • 380 kj of energy (92kcal)
  • 385mg of sodium
  • 4.4 g of sugar per 100g
  • 0.5 g of fat
  • 13.6g of carbohydrates
  • 5.4g of fibre
  • 1.3g of iron

 


Baked Beans History

The slogan ‘Beans Meanz Heinz’ was initiated in 1960’s and has stuck ever since. Over the past 30 years supermarkets have introduced their own cheaper baked beans and the market is anyone’s game at the moment. Baked beans are commonly seen in the traditional English brekkie, but also on toast as a great lunch or quick and easy evening meal. The iconic tin can be purchased in every country in the world, averaging $1.80 in price in Australia.  However as food is becoming more commercialised and processed we should be asking ourself questions like ‘are baked beans good for you?’ as the tradional versions of products are fastly becoming a thing of the past.


Are Baked Beans good for a snack?

We run a lot of school nutrition workshops for kids and parents in Australia. We always get asked “what is a healthy snack for my kids to eat?”. To be categorised as a healthy snack a snack needs to be nutritious and also fill you up without being loaded with salt and sugar and bad fat. We believe that the mini baked bean pots that Heinz now do is a great little snack for little ones to have and is a good source of fibre and protein.


Baked Beans Meal Options

Baked beans can be enjoyed hot, cold, straight from the tin, on wholemeal toast or with eggs and avocado (my favourite). They are a great addition to an English brekkie, with grilled tomato, poached eggs, mushroom and grilled bacon (on a Saturday morning). They are cheap, very versatile and store for months. We called them our ‘back up meal’ when our food stores are running low.

are baked beans good for you?

http://www.daleynutrition.com/school-nutrition-incursions-and-workshops/

Are baked beans good for you?
Posted by Luke Daley, Registered Nutritionist, Msc, BSc (Hons)
Director and Founder of Daley Nutrition

A little about us….

Daley Nutrition is a community nutrition team based in Melbourne Victoria, we run a range of nutrition based programs such as school nutrition workshops and cooking demonstrations in Australia to raise people’s awareness of what they are eating and empower them to change certain eating habits.


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