A new analysis published March 30th in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating pulses—such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, and peas—may help dieters shed pounds by helping them feel fuller and less inclined to cave to cravings. Researchers examined data from 21 studies made up of 940 adults and determined that when participants added ¾ cup of pulses a day to their diet, they lost an average of 0.75 pounds over 6 weeks, without making any other dietary adjustments or avoiding other types of food.
Lead author Russell de Souza, a researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, said in a hospital news release: “Though the weight loss was small, our findings suggest that simply including pulses in your diet may help you lose weight, and we think more importantly, prevent you from gaining it back after you lose it.”
The Slippery Slope of Weight Loss
According to de Souza, hunger and food cravings play a role in the failing of 90% of diet programs. It follows that reducing hunger and cravings is one of the keys to weight loss. In previous studies, the researchers found that eating pulses increased feelings of satiety by 31%.
Pulses appear to be a natural prescription for weight loss, providing fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t spike blood sugar and that they break down more slowly in the digestive tract. Pulses have also been shown to lower blood levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
So start soaking those beans now!