Research from the University of Minnesota may bring new meaning to the adage “full of beans.” The study, published in the Journal of Food Science by the Institute of Food Technologies (IFT), found that a bean-based meal can leave your belly just as full as one that includes meat.

The Minnesota researchers served 28 people two meals that included “meatloaf" made from either beef or beans. According to IFT, the beef meal provided 26 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. The bean meal provided 17 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. Both meals had the same amount of calories and total fat.

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Three hours after pushing away from the table, the bean eaters were no hungrier than the beef eaters (although some did report feeling a bit bloated and gassy). What’s more, at their next meal the bean eaters ate the same amount of calories as the meat eaters. These results, the researchers wrote, show a “beef-based meal with high protein and a bean-based meal with moderate protein and high fiber produced similar satiety.”

3 smart reasons to chuck the beef (and other meat from your diet)

There are lots of benefits to cutting out (or at least cutting back on) animal-based proteins:

Lower grocery bill. It makes sense that filling your grocery bags with veggies, grains and beans would be easier on your bank account than buying a lot of meat. When LearnVest, a financial planning website, compared the average food costs of meat eaters and vegans, for example, the latter spent $3.60 less per day — a savings of over $1300 a year.

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Less impact on the earth. Raising animals for consumption can take a bigger toll on the environment than growing crops. This is especially true of producing beef, research has found. A 2014 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found beef produced five times more heat-trapping gases per calorie (the methane gas cattle burps into the atmosphere), put out six times as much water-polluting nitrogen, used 11 times more water for irrigation and took up 28 times the land.

A wealth of health benefits. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, vegetarian and vegan diets help to lower the risk for several types of cancer, including breast and colon; prevent heart disease ; lower blood pressure; prevent and even reverse diabetes; stave off gallstones, kidney stones, osteoporosis and even asthma.

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