Half a cup of pinto beans does more than make a great burrito, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition. While researching connections between diet and colon cancer, the study authors coincidentally found that a daily serving of 130 grams of dried pinto beans, cooked, versus a chicken soup entrée, lowered cholesterol by approximately 8 percent in healthy adults and 4 percent in adults with premetabolic syndrome. Premetabolic syndrome affects nearly 25 percent of adults in the United States and is characterized by obesity, increased insulin resistance, hypertension, high cholesterol, and other physical dysfunctions that can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The takeaway? You might want to make eating beans a daily habit-along with following a low-saturated fat diet-to improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.