Beans, Peas, Chickpeas & Lentils

Eating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils could contribute to modest weight loss, says research published in ‘The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’. The study shows that eating about 3/4 cup (130 grams) each day of these foods known as pulses led to a weight loss of 0.34 kilograms (just over half a pound). who lost over six weeks with the addition of a single serving of pulses to the diet – and without making a particular effort to reduce other foods.

Pulses have a low glycemic index, meaning that they are foods that break down slowly, and can be used to reduce or displace animal protein as well as ‘bad’ fats such as trans-fat in a dish or meal. About 90% of weight loss interventions fail, resulting in weight regain, which may be due in part to hunger and food cravings. The study supports the earlier research which has found that pulses increase the feeling of fullness by 31%, which may indeed result in less food intake.

Another systematic review and meta-analysis has found that eating, on an average one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils, can also reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ by 5% and hence lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Knowing which foods make people feel fuller longer may help them lose weight and keep it off. The researchers say that simply including pulses in your diet may help you lose weight and, more importantly, prevent you from gaining it back after you lose it.