Italian flat bean = Romano bean = runner bean Notes: These green or yellow beans are like ordinary green beans, but they're flatter. Select small, brightly colored beans that snap when you break them in half. Substitutes: green bean (Green beans have a rounder pod than Italian flat beans, but they can be used interchangeably in most recipes.) Beans are low in fat and loaded with nutrients, and we'd probably eat more of them if they weren't also loaded with flatulence-producing enzymes. There are ways to enjoy beans without having to forego social appointments, however. One is to change the water from time to time while you're soaking or cooking the beans. Pouring off the water helps gets rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. It also helps to cook the beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork. Most bean aficionados prefer dried beans, but canned beans are also available. These don't need to be cooked, but they tend to be saltier and less flavorful than reconstituted dried beans.