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Beans can Help you Lose Weight

Beans can help you to lose weight and keep it off.    A recent study suggests that legumes including chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans in a diet may be beneficial to weight loss. The study demonstrated that ¾ of a cup of legumes each day let to a weight loss of 0.34 kg in a 6-week period compared to diets that didn’t contains beans. 

The leading author of this study, Dr Russell de Souza, a researcher with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that, ‘Despite their known health benefits, only 13 per cent of Canadians eat pulses on any given day and most do not eat the full serving." He goes on to say, ‘there is room for most of us to incorporate dietary pulses in our diet and realize potential weight management benefits.’

Pulses or legumes have a low glycaemic index.  This means that these foods are broken down slowly and the blood sugar levels do not spike as quickly as it does when high glycaemic foods are consumed.

One of the reasons why they could be beneficial to weight loss is that they give a sense of satiety.  In other words, beans increase the feeling of fullness by a great percentage which in turn may result in less snacking and therefore less calorie intake. Dr de Souza said that most weight loss interventions fail.  This may be due to hunger and food cravings.

Legumes are an important factor in reducing LDL cholesterol.  This in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Legumes are high in fibre and are an important factor in reducing LDL cholesterol as well as keeping the gut healthy.  Knowing which foods make people feel fuller longer may help them lose weight and keep it off.

"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," Dr de Souza said.

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