Refried beans are a staple of Mexican cooking and have become an American favorite as well. In 1945, an Arizona man named Pedro Guerrero helped make that happen when he decided to sell his enchiladas, tamales and refried beans commercially and founded Rosarita. Over the years, the brand has remained strong -- so strong that you can find Rosarita refried beans in most grocery stores today.
Beans of all sorts are a nutritious part of a healthy diet, and along with navy beans, refried beans accounted for 5 lb of the 8 lb of beans Americans consumed in 2001. Refried beans are usually made of pinto beans that are boiled, seasoned, mashed and fried in lard or olive oil. Rosarita Traditional Refried Beans do contain lard, but other varieties are fat-free.
The main ingredients in Rosarita Traditional Refried Beans are cooked beans and water. They also contain less than 2 percent of lard, salt, distilled vinegar, chile pepper, onion powder, spices, garlic powder and natural flavor. The label states the beans may also contain soy, which is a common food allergy. On the can’s label, a double asterisk next to the word “lard” indicates that the ingredient “adds a trivial amount of trans fat” to the beans. Processing transforms the liquid oils into solid, creating trans fat. Similar to saturated fat and cholesterol, trans fat raises the “bad” cholesterol in your blood, but it also lowers the “good” cholesterol at the same time. Because the amount of fat per serving in the Traditional refried beans is less than 0.5 g, the label can list the trans fat value as zero.
Rosarita Refried Beans comes in several varieties, some of which contain no fat because they do not incorporate lard. For example, the Vegetarian Refried Beans contain canola oil rather than lard. The double asterisk indicates it adds a “trivial amount of fat” rather than trans fat. However the No-Fat Traditional Refried Beans contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which adds a “trivial amount of cholesterol.” The words “partially hydrogenated” are a clue that the oil, processed from liquid to semi-solid, contains trans fat. Because the amount is less than 0.5 g, the trans fat value is zero. Other varieties of Rosarita Refried Beans are No Fat Refried Beans With Green Chiles, No Fat Refried Beans With Salsa and No Fat Refried Black Beans.
Regardless of the small amount of trans fat in Rosarita Refried Beans, they are an excellent source of fiber and protein at 6 g each per 1/2 cup serving. The Traditional and Vegetarian contain a total of only 2 g of fat per serving. Rosarita Refried Beans also contain 15 to 20 percent – depending on variety – of your daily value of manganese, an essential nutrient involved in the processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates and protein in your body. Overall, if you do not overdo the amount of servings you consume, Rosarita Refried Beans are a healthy addition to your diet.
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Based in Arizona, Kira Jaines writes health/fitness and travel articles, volunteers with Learning Ally and travels throughout the Southwest. She has more than 16 years of experience in transcribing and editing medical reports. Jaines holds a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications and journalism from Northern Arizona University.