Research Confirms SRDNs Know Why and How Canned Beans Can Do!
Cannedbeans.org is an unbranded campaign designed to educate Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) about the universal health benefits of canned beans. In 2020, a national quantitative research study was conducted to better understand what RDNs know about these health benefits and how this compares to consumers. This study was replicated in 2022. In addition, in 2022 the survey was conducted among Supermarket Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (SRDN) to understand how their knowledge levels compare to their non-SRDN colleagues. The results reveal SRDNs know significantly more about the health benefits of canned beans, a compelling insight particularly when considering SRDN’s ability to educate their shoppers!
When compared to non-SRDNs, SRDNs are much more likely to agree that canned beans make it easy to eat more plants (96% vs 81%), that adequate bean consumption can lower both total and LDL cholesterol levels (87% vs 77%) and that they frequently recommend beans when counseling people on how to improve their diets (84% vs 70%) and that the added convenience of canned beans makes them an acceptable alternative to dry bagged beans (96% vs 82%).
In addition to clearly understanding why beans are so healthy, SRDNs are extremely knowledgeable about how people can add more beans to their diets. Universally, survey participants recommend using canned beans to save time. They also suggest shoppers either rinse canned beans to reduce sodium or purchase low-sodium canned beans. They recommend shoppers replace some meat with beans, mix beans and grains together or eat chilled beans in salads, and they frequently provide resources for bean-based dishes.
The research also reveals that SRDNs are much more likely than their non-SRDN counterparts to recommend a plant-based diet. When recommending a plant-based diet, 100% of SRDNs surveyed recommend that shoppers substitute beans for the meat they are eliminating.
When it comes to plant-based diets, consumers are not necessarily on board. The research reveals only 7% of consumers currently follow a plant-based diet, and less than one-third (30%) are moving toward a plant-based diet. Forty-one percent don’t think a plant-based diet is for them, and nearly a quarter (23%) either have never heard of the term plant-based diet or are familiar with it but don’t think it’s for them.
Canned beans fit naturally into both plant-based and plant-forward diets and are always economical, convenient and versatile. At less than half the price for chicken and about 20% the cost of beef, canned beans are an affordable way to add taste, texture and nutrition to just about any meal! They can be substituted for some or all the meat in tacos, spaghetti or salads to add protein and shave costs. They can be roasted, toasted or broiled and sprinkled with salt, cumin and/or grated parmesan to create a finger-licking snack. Or they can be mashed and substituted for avocado, peanut butter or cream cheese for a delicious toast topper.
Whether following a plant-based diet, a plant-forward diet or simply looking for variety and versatility, canned beans are increasingly popular. In fact, the research shows a significant increase in canned bean consumption. The number of consumers who eat canned beans always or often jumped to 72% in 2022, up from 66% in 2020. The largest barriers, including risk of flatulence and sodium concerns, are easily overcome. Slowly introducing beans helps the body adapt and reduces flatulence, and rinsing canned beans is shown to reduce sodium by 41%.
SRDNs can continue to educate shoppers and help them learn more about the health benefits of canned beans. Sharing ideas for how to incorporate them, ways to overcome some of the barriers and benefits of adding more plants to the diet will help boost their shoppers’ health and wellness, one tasty bite at a time.
1. The national 2020 study was conducted Feb – Mar 2020 among 1402 RDNs and 301 consumers. The national 2022 study was conducted in Mar 2022 among 1401 RDNs and 302 consumers.
2. The SRDN study was conducted in July 2022 among 67 SRDNs.