Bean consumption has been associated with reduced risk of mortality, although only limited data on this endpoint are available. The Food Habits in Later Life Study followed nearly 800 older men and women for 7 y, during which time 169 participants died (61). Among the 5 populations evaluated, mean legume intake ranged from ~85 g/d in Japan and Greece to a low of only 14 g/d in some segments of the Australian population. Of all of the food groups studied, legumes were the only foods associated with a reduced risk of mortality: the RR was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.85, 0.99) for every 20 g consumed. Dried beans were not assessed separately in this study, although other than in Japan, soybean intake would be negligible among the populations in this survey.
This study was published in 2014 and contains a wealth of information. The online and PDF copies of the study are here.
Because populations in recent decades have adopted more Western-style diets, however, dried bean consumption has seen a decline. For example, between the 1960s and 1990s, dried bean intake decreased by 40% in India and by 24% in Mexico.
Bean consumption down, obesity up. Hmmm……