Being overweight and obese can increase one’s risk for various diseases. It’s easy to say “I’m going to lose weight”, but it’s that easy to do it. The reason is simple; there are various exercise programs and diets which make it difficult for you to find the right way to shed those extra pounds. While some experts suggest eliminating certain food groups such as legumes, others claim otherwise. For example, the latest study discovered that eating beans, peas, lentils and co. can help you not only lose weight, but to keep it as well. Keep reading to find out more.
What Does Science Say?
The study was conducted by a researcher with the Li KaShing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada called Dr. Russell de Souza, and team of scientists. Researchers analyzed 21 previous clinical trials which involved about 940 participants who lost about ¾ of a pound per week over period of six years.
Participants who were involved in these studies had to add a single serving of pulses (3/4 cup or 130 grams) to their diet. Furthermore, they didn’t have to restrict or reduce consumption of other food items. Pulses are the dried seeds of the legume branch e.g. chickpeas, peas, lentils, and beans.
Results of the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that serving pulses daily, make people feel fuller for a longer period of time. Pulses act like appetite suppressants thus preventing cravings and overeating. Moreover, study also shows that this food item lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 5% which is another reason why you should add a serving of your favorite legume to your menu.
Pulses have a low glycemic index which means they break down slowly in your stomach and can be effectively used to replace animal protein and bad fats like trans fat. This means that legumes such as beans, peas, lentils etc. are a perfect addition to the high protein diet and an excellent way to lose weight.
According to Dr. de Souza, 90% of weight loss endeavors fail. In turn, people gain even more weight as a result. This is largely caused by cravings and constant feeling of hunger. He also points out that this study only proved his early discoveries that pulses heighten the sensation of fullness by 31% which results in decreased food intake.
With all the amazing benefits of pulses, it comes as no surprise that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization designated 2016 as the Year of Pulses.
5 Ways Beans Can Assist You in Losing Weight
According to the experts, eliminating certain food groups from your diet can only cause the opposite effect from the one you’re trying to accomplish i.e. you gain weight. That’s why adding foods such as legumes to your menu might seem like an odd idea, but it definitely promotes balanced diet plan as your body gets the variety of nutrients that are necessary for overall health and well being as well as digestion which is highly important for weight loss. Below, you can see different ways beans and other legumes can help you lose weight:
- Curb cravings and Pulses boost satiety for processed snacks – We’ve already mentioned they’re ideal for weight loss due to their appetite suppressing characteristics.
- They are responsible for fat burning and boost calorie– In the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism study, experts of the University of Manitoba revealed that diets fed by hamsters with 10% pea flour instead of cornstarch, took in more oxygen which is a measure of metabolic rate. Scientists believe this happens due to the fact that peas and other pulses contain 25% more of an amino acid called arginine, that increases carbohydrates and fat burning
- Pulses quadruple weight loss – Scientists at the Indiana’s Purdue University discovered that people who consume more pulses shed the most pounds.
- They attack belly fat – British Journal of Nutrition study discovered that women who ate the muffins with the whole pea protein powder had the lowest waist-to-hip ratio which indicates that fat was directed away from waistline.
- Pulses protect heart – As it was already mentioned above, eating beans and other members of the legume family help decrease levels of LDL cholesterol thus preventing heart diseases and stroke.
It’s needless to mention that legumes, particularly beans, are excellent sources of fiber which is necessary for healthy and regular digestion.
The study conducted by scientists from Canada only confirmed what de Souza and his team as well as other scientists from other parts of the world already discovered – pulses can be of huge weight loss help. Adding a serving of pulses to your diet on daily basis doesn’t only aid in weight loss, but it also protects you from cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, you eat less because you don’t even feel hungry. Findings from the study above promote healthy weight loss and balanced nutrition.