Meat and Beans Group Go Lean with Protein

Even though we use its shortcut name, the Meat and Beans Group delivers much more than meat and beans! It's filled with many protein-rich foods: beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, finfish, shellfish, game, eggs, dry beans (legumes), lentils and peas, soybean products (tofu, tempeh, soyburgers, others), nuts, seeds, and nut butter. Beans actually lead a double life. They count toward the Meat and Beans Group or the Vegetable Group, but not both at the same time.

For good health, make most meat and poultry choices lean or low-fat. Nutrient-rich fish, nuts, and seeds contain healthy oils, making them a great meat alternate. Eggs are an economical protein source; just keep your day's cholesterol goal in mind. Enjoy meatless meals occasionally, too, with dry beans and peas as your "lean" protein.

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