Beans, beans, they're good for your heart... -

The Bean Diet

Refried beans, bean soup, bean salad - there are lots of ways to eat beans.

And there are multiple bean based entrees volunteers are eating as part of a study to see if beans can lower cholesterol.

LSU Ag Center researcher John Finley is the man 'behind the beans'. "We've made spaghetti and meatballs, we've made enchiladas, we've made ice cream."

Every bean dish served up to study volunteers has to be 40-percent beans or bean powder.

Most of us don't get enough fiber, and that's what this study is all about.

"Fiber tends to help reduce cholesterol, which is one of the risks for heart disease," says Dr. Frank Greenway, head of research.

Ultimately, the study will tell researchers if specially prepared bean-based meals can lower cholesterol levels that lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

And, just as importantly, if people will stick to a diet of foods made with beans or bean powder.

Many people associate a certain side effect with eating beans. As for this, Greenway says, "If you're eating beans on a regular basis, your body adjusts to this and it's not the same problem."

In other words, whatever gastro-intestinal side effects a diet high in beans may cause, they're temporary and not everyone has them.

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