Beans, including teparies, kidneys, pintos, limas, garbanzos, black-eyed peas and lentils, are the quintessential “slow release” food. Because they digest slowly, the converted sugars from the starches travel into the bloodstream over a period of 4-6 hours, as opposed to many processed foods, which move sugar into the bloodstream during a quick half hour energy fix. Beans are also a good source of low-fat protein and iron, and a good alternative to red meat. Tepary beans are especially helpful for controlling blood sugar, as they contain fewer carbohydrates than other beans.
Dried beans are easy to include in the diet because they are available at low cost and the diversity of recipes and flavors makes it easy to find new ideas for preparation. Many varieties of beans have been grown in the desert for centuries and are adapted to the heat and drought conditions of the Southwest. They are easy to grow in your own garden.