Background: Epidemiological studies have shown positive findings associated with legume consumption and measures of cardiovascular disease and obesity. However, few observational trials have examined beans as a separate food variable when determining associations with health parameters.
Objective: To determine the association of consuming beans on nutrient intakes and physiological parameters using the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002.
Methods: Using data from NHANES 1999-2002, a secondary analysis was completed with a reliable 24-hour dietary recall where three groups of bean consumers were identified (N = 1,475). We determined mean nutrient intakes and physiological values between bean consumers and non-consumers. Least square means, standard errors and ANOVA were calculated using appropriate sample weights following adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity and energy.
Results: Relative to non-consumers, bean consumers had higher intakes of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper (p's < 0.05). Those consuming beans had a lower body weight (p = 0.008) and a smaller waist size (p = 0.043) relative to non-consumers. Additionally, consumers of beans had a 23% reduced risk of increased waist size (p = 0.018) and a 22% reduced risk of being obese (p = 0.026). Also, baked bean consumption was associated with a lower systolic blood pressure.
Conclusions: Bean consumers had better overall nutrient intake levels, better body weights and waist circumferences, and lower systolic blood pressure in comparison to non-consumers. These data support the benefits of bean consumption on improving nutrient intake and health parameters.