A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has revealed that not only do pulses help you to lose weight, they also help you to keep it off. Just three-quarters of a cup (1 serving) of chickpeas, lentils, beans or peas has been shown to contribute to moderate weight loss, by keeping people feeling fuller for longer on less calories. The new study has also shown that it reduces ‘bad cholesterol’.
Pulses help you feel fuller
The study, lead by Dr Rusell de Souza from the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, observed the results of adding one serving of pulses to 1000 adults daily diets. Over six weeks both men and women lost an average of half a kilogram. Unlike the majority of weight loss programmes , this was achieved with little effort paid to cutting down on other foods. The study also indicates that eating a serving of pulses makes people feel fuller than if they were to eat a control diet.
Dr de Souza says; “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. So there is room for most of us to incorporate dietary pulses in our diet and realise potential weight management benefits.”
Eating pulses was also shown to reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ by 5%. ‘Bad cholesterol’ (LDL) is defined as the cholesterol that contributes to the creation of plaque which clogs arteries and makes them less flexible.
Dr de Souza explains that most weight loss programmes fail due to the fact that individuals struggle to feel full when eating a control diet and experience cravings. Pulses could be an effective solution to this problem.
“This new study fits well with our previous work, which found that pulses increased the feeling of fullness by 31%, which may indeed result in less food intake,” he says, “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.”