ile many farmers may not be quite up to speed on any diet other than meat and potatoes, there are plenty of Americans who are choosing different dietary restrictions. You may have heard of the new meat alternatives, sometimes referred to as Impossible™ meat, that has popped up on store shelves and fast-food restaurants. This current trend in reducing the amount of meat consumed has left a wide-open door for the dry beans industry. Learn more about how American diets are changing the future of dry beans with these meat-free protein tips:
Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
There are about 6-8% of Americans today who would describe them-self as either Vegetarian or Vegan. Those that choose this lifestyle do not eat meat products. However, vegetarians usually do consume meat-related products like dairy and eggs. Vegans follow a strict diet that cuts out any animal by-products whatsoever. This means that dry beans, such as black or kidney beans, become a natural meat-free protein in vegan and vegetarian households. There has been a rise in popularity for vegetarian and vegan diets in recent years, which has spurred growth for the dry beans market.
As Americans become more carbon footprint conscious, some are starting to implement a change in how much protein they consume. Many households choose to go sans meat by incorporating “Meatless Mondays” into their weekly menu plan. Choosing one day of the week when no meat is consumed helps to cut down on the amount of energy and resources used to create the meal. Meat-free protein alternatives, such as dry beans and tofu, have taken their place as the center of attention on Meatless Mondays.
Since dry beans are plant-based, they contain no cholesterol as opposed to their meat counterparts. Americans who struggle with high cholesterol and heart disease often are put on diets that contain a limited amount of meat. Dry beans also skip the saturated and trans fats thanks to their plant origins. Plenty of Americans struggling with heart health issues choose to use dry beans in their diet as a meat-free protein.
An estimated amount of 34 million Americans struggle with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics add dried beans to their diet to help diabetic symptoms. Dried beans are low on the glycemic index, meaning that they take longer to raise blood sugar compared to other foods. Dried beans also contain a good amount of fiber, which is something that many Americans lack in their daily diet. Diabetics who consume one cup of black beans receive 15 grams of both protein and fiber, which helps curb hunger.
The way that Americans eat is changing the agricultural industry. In 2019, the plant-based food market in the United States hit the $5 Billion mark in direct correlation to how American diets are changing. Farmers choosing to grow dry beans can expect the demand for crops to steadily grow in the future. Understanding the importance of dried beans in these American diet alternatives can help support the choice to grow dry beans this year.
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