Today I decided to measure and weigh the beans in a can of black beans. The label says 40 % reduced sodium. (I always buy low or no added salt when I can find it.) It also says contents are equal to approx 3 1/2 servings of 1/2 cup each. Each serving is to be 130 grams. So I dumped the beans into the strainer, rinsed them well and began to measure.
The 1/2 cup serving was no where NEAR 130 grams. The can did not contain 1 3/4 cup of beans. It barely made the 1 1/2 cup.
Spark says if you drain and rinse well, you will reduce the sodium by approx. 40%. All the recipes I've ever read say drain and rinse the beans before you put them into your dish. So, if the measure is off, and the weight is off, I can only assume the nutrition label is telling me what I would consume if I used the sludge in the bottom of the can and the syrup surrounding the beans. To me, that is no help at all. I've asked several nutritionists, and they all say the same thing: I have no idea what the nutritional value is when the beans are drained and rinsed.
So, Spark Friends, what do you think of this situation?
I'm sure that the nutritional information on the can is for the entire contents of the can. Otherwise they would be in trouble with the labeling gods...
I think NANCYHOME247 is on the right track. Dried beans expand to three times their volume when soaked and cooked. Spark's nutrition data-base has black beans that have been cooked with no salt in it. You could use that, but be aware that your canned beans would have more sodium in them, even after rinsing.
It is the same with some prepared foods, like a cakemix for instance. They give you values of the mix, but not of when you add egg, oil, etc. What you read is what is there, I guess. Right. Not very helpful. 2008 days ago
OMG! This reminded me, that I totally forgot about the black beans I cooked yesterday!! I like to cook them up and package them up smaller and freeze them, and I totally forgot about them and left them out all night!!
Drats. OH well. So cheap to make yourself, I just hate it when I do things like that.
Thanks for sharing!
Smile and Enjoy the Rest of Your Day! Melinda (gopintos) Dr Oz Show Fans Team 2008 days ago
Thanks for taking the time to do your own empirical research, and sharing your results. Valuable information.
To propose an answer your question about how you can more accurately track these kinds of foods, why don't you compare the nutritional values listed for the equivalent amount of black beans you'd make yourself from dried beans, and compare with what's listed on the can. You can then intelligently "guesstimate" what you're eating. I've found another website helpful in tracking the micronutrients that aren't always listed on the Sparks website: www.nutritiondata.com