The detailed answer to the question “Are refried beans healthy?” will be given in this guide.
But it is a fact that refried beans can be a healthy or unhealthy food. The preparation is the determinant of this.
Refried beans prepared with animal fat can contain high cholesterol content and saturated fat, whereas beans fried with a small amount of canola or olive oil can be rather low in fat and cholesterol-free.
Refried beans are a healthy way to add fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates to your meals when they are cooked with hearty ingredients and little or no added salt.
What Are Refried Beans?
Refried beans are normally black or pinto beans that are crushed and mixed with spices and fat immediately after cooking, which results in that signature smooth consistency.
The following ingredients are mostly added as part of the “refrying” process: vegetable oil, lard, chili pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, sour cream, or olive oil.
Refried beans originated in Mexican cuisine; the “refried” in “refried beans” has to do with the technique used for cooking, not a type of bean.
Refried Beans Health Benefits
Refried beans offer great health benefits, but only when they are added in moderation to a healthy diet.
This is why, thanks to the fact that they are packed with such a nutritional punch, a lot of people use refried beans as a main ingredient in their dishes.
Below are a few health benefits of the refried bean:
Refried beans are low in fat, which makes them a healthy choice, particularly when it can be difficult to find food that has balanced macronutrients.
Refried beans are a natural source of minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
It is much easier to increase minerals in your diet when you have more nutrient-dense food on your plate.
Refried beans are extremely easy to add to a vegan diet, thanks to the fact that they provide a source of protein.
They are more or less one of the best natural sources of protein you can get, especially if you can find a brand that cuts down on added salt and animal fat.
High In Dietary Fiber
Fiber makes you feel fuller quicker, and refried beans can help with weight loss.
Fiber can stabilize blood sugar levels thanks to the fact that it aids your body by reducing the absorption of carbs and sugars.
Refried beans are definitely a healthy option for those who suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Refried beans possess an unexpectedly high amount of folate. Folate is essential due to the fact that it aids in cell growth and development.
In addition, make sure that you check for a brand that is low in sodium and unsaturated fat if you are not cooking your own refried beans at home.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Refried Beans?
Even though refried beans can be a good weight-loss option, they do have a few risks of their own.
A lot of people fry refried beans in bacon fat, lard, or butter. However, these foods can contain high amounts of trans fat.
And, this increases the risk of a person developing heart disease. But you can reduce the amount of trans fat in refried beans.
You can do that by substituting lard or butter for healthier alternatives such as vegetable or canola oil.
You will find 556 mg of sodium in one cup of refried beans. Keep in mind that a diet high in sodium can contribute to stroke, hypertension, and other severe health conditions.
Before deciding to use this food for weight loss, it is very important that you consider the benefits and risks of refried beans carefully.
That being said, pay close attention to the portion size and toppings to avoid eating too many calories, if you choose to add this food to your diet.
What Can You Eat With Refried Beans?
Refried beans are so attached to any traditional Mexican main or side dish.
There are a lot of options, but you can take a look at some ideas for your next Mexican feast:
- Served with Mexican rice
- Thickeners for soups and stews
- Chicken enchiladas
- Dip for baked tortilla chips
- Bean burrito bowls
- Spreads for sandwiches
Refried beans are an excellent addition to a fun, balanced diet, thanks to the variety of options.
There are a variety of ways that you can add extra seasonings to personalize your refried beans.
Making Healthy Refried Beans Yourself
Your best bet is to make them yourself if you actually want to ensure that your refried beans are healthy.
- And all you need to do to make that happen is buy low-sodium black or pinto beans from a supermarket.
- However, you can also buy dry beans that you can soak overnight. After that, rinse them thoroughly.
- Also, sauté the garlic, peppers, onions, and other vegetables in olive oil, and add spices such as cumin and chili pepper for some extra flavor.
- When that is done, add the beans and then mash them as the entire mix simmers.
If you are looking for an excellent way to reduce the overall saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet, particularly when you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, then I will say that eating healthy refried beans twice or thrice per week is your best option.
As you know, rice and beans are also a first-rate combo that offers a complete protein source for vegans and vegetarians.
Particularly white or brown rice has a high methionine content but a low lysine content.
But, in the case of beans, they have a high lysine content but a low methionine content.
That being said, it is quite evident that the two foods complement each other perfectly, and mixing them provides you with the essential amino acids that contain a complete protein.
And, when we are talking about portions, you will find 12g of protein and 10g of fiber in 1 cup of rice and beans.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Refried Beans
Refried beans are just pinto beans that are pan-fried in salt and lard. There are a variety of them, and they include black beans or kidney beans.
In addition, you can use plant oil rather than lard. Beans have a high mineral and fiber content that might enhance your digestive health and also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
However, since refried beans mostly contain added salt and fat, they might have a higher content of calories, sodium, and saturated fat compared to other beans.
And these factors might affect your weight loss goals, increase your risk of heart disease, and raise your blood pressure levels.
So, as previously stated, the cooking method is a great determinant.
It’s best that you prepare your own refried beans at home with olive oil, using salt scantly, to control for specific nutrients.
Well, that being said, this will be the wrap-up of this guide, as you now have the detailed answer to the question, “Are refried beans healthy?”