TORONTO – A new Canadian study says adding pulses to your diet could assist in weight loss.
So what the heck are pulses? Pulses are the dried seeds of the legume branch – beans peas, chickpeas and lentils.
According to analysis of existing studies conducted by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, these foods will help you lose weight and feel fuller longer, .
Their study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reveals that a daily serving of beans and other pulses can contribute to a modest weight loss and reduced cholesterol levels.
Researchers analyzed 21 previous clinical trials that involved 940 adults who lost an average of three-quarters of a pound over six weeks. The participants had aded a single serving of pulses to their diet, and did not make any specific efforts to restrict or reduce other food intake.
“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,” study lead author Russell de Souza, a researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital said in a statement.
Dr de Souza also added that, “Despite their known health benefits, only 13 percent 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 realize potential weight management benefits.”
Speaking to UPI, one expert wasn’t surprised by the findings.
“These types of legumes are some of the most underappreciated foods around,” said Dana Angelo White, a nutritionist and assistant professor of sports medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.
“They are full of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals,” she noted. “It makes sense they would help facilitate weight loss and reduce cholesterol when eaten regularly.”
A recent study had found that eating on average one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can also reduce “bad cholesterol” by five per cent and therefore lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers said.
Knowing which foods make people feel fuller longer may help them lose weight and keep it off, they said.
“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,” said de Souza.
As CTV News points out, in another recent study a high-protein diet, of which pulses are a great source, could help overweight and obese adults sleep better.