Eating about one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can increase fullness, which may lead to better weight management and weight loss, a new study from Toronto, Canada has found.
A systematic review of all available clinical trials found that people felt 31 per cent fuller after eating on average 160 grams of dietary pulses (just less than one cup of beans or lentils) compared with a control diet, according to senior researcher from St. Michael's Hospital's Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre.
Despite their known health benefits, only 13 per cent of Canadians eat pulses on any given day and most do not eat a full serving, which is 130 grams or ¾ cup.
Pulses have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are digested slowly and, as a result, don’t spike blood sugar and insulin)) and can be used to reduce or displace animal protein as well as "bad" fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.
The researchers noted that 90 per cent of weight loss interventions fail, resulting in weight regain, which may be due in part to hunger and food cravings. Knowing which foods make people feel fuller longer may help them lose weight and keep it off.
The review included nine clinical trials involving 126 participants out of more than 2,000 papers screened.
This trial was funded by Pulse Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.
Source: Obesity, August 2014.
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