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Black beans can be one healthy treat

Black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, black beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, black beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.

If your looking for ways to omit red meat from your diet, black beans are a great option for a satisfying high-protein meal. Try making your own Black Bean Burgers for a healthy twist on the traditional hamburger recipe.

Black Bean Burger

16 oz can of black beans rinsed

and drained

1/2 green bell pepper diced

1/2 onion diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 egg

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

1/2 cup whole grain bread

crumbs

or rolled oats

Olive Oil

Saut onion, green pepper, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Mash beans with a fork until smooth. Beat the egg in a small bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix and form patties with your hands. Saut the burgers in a pan with a little bit of olive oil or cooking spray until firm. You can also bake them in the oven: pre-heat your oven to 375 and bake for 10 minutes on each side.

Serve them on their own with a salad or enjoy them on a whole grain bun with all the toppings. You can experiment with this recipe by adding more veggies and changing up the seasonings.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached by e-mail at corinna@adkbikeranch.com. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

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