More beans equals more fiber which equals improved health.
I do use canned beans often in cooking. I know myself in that if I have to use dried beans (soaking overnight, cooking, etc) I am less likely to make/eat them than if I use canned beans (even in all their high sodium glory). The trick is to drain and thoroughly rinse the canned beans. Do you remove all of the sodium? No. But quite a bit. Pick your battles with beans.
Four Bean Salad
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cut fresh green beans (fresh add a nice crunch)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup apple vinegar
3 Tbsp canola oil (olive oil will solidify in refrigerator)
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp sugar
Whisk together vinegar, oil, celery salt, pepper, parsley and sugar. Add to remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well to coat all beans in dressing. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours prior to serving. Stir once during refrigeration.
Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup serving: 182 calories, 5 g fat, 7.5 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber