Bean there done that: Your 2016 diet saviour
Christmas is officially over and it's impossible to get away from adverts claiming to have the perfect diet or exercise regime to shift those holiday pounds. While it's tempting to buy into fads, you can make a change simply by introducing a very simple food into your diet: the bean. We explain why these nutritional powerhouses should become your best friend in 2016.
They're a great substitute for meat
Whether for health or environmental reasons, many people are looking to cut down on the amount of meat they are eating - or even ditch it completely. If you're struggling to bulk up dishes, try adding red kidney beans. They work well in fajitas and curries and will make your meat-free meals more substantial.
They're packed with protein
Beans are full of protein: you'll find 24g per 100g of kidney beans and 22g per 100g of black beans for example. Protein keeps your blood sugar and energy levels stable, meaning you'll be less likely to reach for calorific snacks if you've loaded up on beans.
They're full of fibre
If you find your tummy rumbling mid-morning, you need foods that will satiate you better. Beans are great for this, as the high fibre content helps you keep you fuller for longer. Try blending them into your morning smoothie - they're so subtle, you won't taste them.
They make a great low-calorie snack
The most successful dieters get through the day by eating regular small portions of low-calorie snacks. One of the best ways to snack on beans is to blend them into a tasty dip. Then enjoy with carrot sticks at your desk at work.