According to the USDA, beans can serve as nutritious, low-fat, low-cost meat substitutes. USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans include dry beans in both the meat and vegetable groups.
Cooking Tip #15
If you're using seasoning meat for flavor (seasoning meat can be pretty salty), it's best to wait till your beans are finished cooking before tasting and adding more salt. You might just find that none is needed.