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    ADARKARA   130,075
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints

Reducing Sodium in Canned Beans

Friday, February 08, 2013

I am lazy. Some of you may think I'm not because I cook my meals fresh 6 or 7 days a week, but when it comes to long, drawn out processes like soaking and cooking dried beans. I'm LAZY. Plus I prefer the mushier texture of canned beans when I'm making things like refried beans.

Last night I made tostadas with "refried" beans, turkey sausage, salsa and cheese. I used a can of regular dark red kidney beans, and drained and rinsed them. As I was rinsing them, I was thinking about how much of the sodium I was rinsing away. Canned beans generally are high in sodium unless you can find reduced sodium ones, so I knew between the beans, cheese and sausage this was going to be a high sodium meal.

I did a little search this morning, and apparently draining and rinsing your canned beans can reduce sodium by 41%!

"Recently, at the Institute of Food Technologists Conference, Joshua B. Jones and John R. Mount, both from the department of food science and technology at the University of Tennessee, presented “Sodium Reduction in Canned Bean Varieties by Draining and Rinsing.” Jones and Mount showed that draining and rinsing are effective ways to reduce the sodium content of canned beans. Overall, the draining treatment alone reduced sodium by 36% while the draining-rinsing treatment reduced sodium by 41%. Rinsing beans after they are drained ensures that all residual sodium adhering to the bean’s surface is removed and results in the highest reduction. All brands and all classes of beans tested demonstrated significant reductions in sodium by either draining or draining and rinsing."

That's awesome news! Unfortunately my tracker won't be correct, but I'll know in the back of my mind that I didn't go over sodium when I ate my recipe. Reducing the sodium in the beans by 157 mg, which is good, because they're DELICIOUS. Here's the recipe:

Om nom nom!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CLUMBOY 2/14/2013 7:14AM

    isn't it great that something so simple makes such a difference. and can't you see the people doing the study--rinsing away on beans!

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SIMONEKP 2/9/2013 7:19PM

    great tip

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MERRY_XMAS 2/9/2013 3:42PM

    Thank you for sharing the tip!

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    Thanks for sharing that! I'm just now starting to realize the whole sodium/weight gain equation. And thanks for sharing the recipe too!

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GRACEOMALLEY 2/8/2013 6:41PM

    emoticon emoticon
I generally try to soak dried beans in plain water and let it simmer to get the mushy texture, I mostly do that because I try not to eat anything canned if possible (too many chemicals!). However - there are times when I use canned beans and your information on rinsing away the sodium (and who knows what else) is positively brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing that info!

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LIVEDAILY 2/8/2013 5:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
The first woo hoo is for the beans! That is awesome info to know!!
The secon woo hoo is for feeling good about should!!
The third woo hoo is for just because!!

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CBLENS 2/8/2013 3:49PM

    I have always rinsed beans, tuna and other canned veggies.

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MARTY728 2/8/2013 3:40PM


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IBSHAUN 2/8/2013 2:32PM

    Wow! That is a big difference/reduction! Good to know and I'll definitely rinse them now!

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AHTRAP 2/8/2013 2:12PM

    For tracker purposes, how does the drained/rinsed beans compare with the sodium values for the reduced sodium varieties (assuming the reduced version is available as a tracker option)?

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_MOBII_ 2/8/2013 1:52PM

    Wow! I knew it reduced the sodium, but not by how much! Thank you for sharing :)

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ATTACKFATCAT 2/8/2013 1:51PM

    The recipe looks great and I definitely will try it myself down the road.

I'm the same way with canned versus dried beans. I know I need to take the time to cook the dried beans, but with everything else I have going on, this is one area I just have to compromise in. I do the rinsing as well and try to buy low sodium whenever I can.

I think trying to be perfect in everything we do to maintain a healthy lifestyle is likely a road to failure. At some point you just get so overwhelmed that you just want to chuck it all and have a cheeseburger. At least I do. I'm not saying it shouldn't be hard work...all the more reason to have a sense of accomplishment when you achieve your goals. But no reason to set yourself up for unnecessary stress because you don't have time to cook dried beans or everything from scratch. I think it's great if people have the time for that. But exercise and cutting out white flour/sugar are just bigger priorities for me.

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EMMAEKAY 2/8/2013 1:30PM

    I always buy Mrs. Grimes no salt added black beans and smash them up myself. More fibre and less fat than the refried beans, plus the sodium is puny. That recipe does look delish, too!

I'm definitely lazy as heck too, despite cooking probably 90% of my meals. They're mostly simple things that can be put together in a matter of minutes. The only long, drawn out recipes I have are crock pot deals - which is even easier/lazier. hahaha

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