Canned Beans Decrease Serum Total and LDL Cholesterol in Adults with Elevated LDL Cholesterol in a 4-wk Multicenter, Randomized, Crossover Study

J Nutr. 2021 Dec 3;151(12):3701-3709. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab323.


Background: Practical risk reduction strategies are needed to address cardiovascular disease. Beans can decrease LDL cholesterol; however, research into different daily amounts and varieties is warranted.

Objectives: To examine the effects of canned beans (daily rotation of black, navy, pinto, dark red kidney, white kidney) in 1-cup (1CB, 180 g) and ½-cup (½CB, 90 g) daily amounts compared with a 1-cup white rice (WR) control on serum lipid and glycemic biomarkers in adults with elevated LDL cholesterol.

Methods: Adults [n = 73, mean ± SD age: 48.1 ± 14.2 y; BMI (in kg/m2): 25.9 ± 4.22; fasting serum LDL cholesterol: 3.0-5.0 mmol/L] consumed 1CB, ½CB, and WR for 4-wk treatment periods separated by ≥4-wk washouts in a multicenter, randomized, crossover study. Fasting serum LDL cholesterol (primary outcome) and other lipids and glycemic biomarkers (secondary outcomes) were measured on study days 1 and 29 of each treatment period with study day 29 values compared using repeated-measures ANCOVA, including study day 1 values as covariates.

Results: Treatment completion was n = 66 for 1CB, n = 68 for ½CB, and n = 64 for WR. Total cholesterol on study day 29 was lower for 1CB (P = 0.04) but not ½CB (P = 0.77) compared with WR (-5.46%, -2.74%, -0.65% changes from study day 1, respectively) and did not differ between 1CB and ½CB (P = 0.17). LDL cholesterol on study day 29 was also lower for 1CB (P = 0.002) but not ½CB (P = 0.30) compared with WR (-8.08%, -3.84%, +0.49% changes from study day 1, respectively) and did not differ between 1CB and ½CB (P = 0.11). Other lipids and glycemic biomarkers did not differ among treatments.

Conclusions: Consumption of 1 cup (180 g) of canned beans of multiple varieties decreased total and LDL cholesterol in adults with elevated LDL cholesterol, supporting a practical strategy for cardiovascular disease risk reduction. This trial was registered at as NCT03830970.

Keywords: LDL cholesterol; adults with elevated LDL cholesterol; bean varieties; beans; cardiovascular disease risk; total cholesterol.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Vegetables*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, LDL

Associated data