Eat Beans, Lose Weight

Beans, Your Ultimate Weight Loss Food

We know berries are considered super foods. Teas have anti-oxidants and other amazing health benefits. And avocados are rich in healthy fats and other nutrients. But beans are rarely or never included in these so-called lists of super foods when in fact they are packed with vitamins and minerals and offer weight loss benefits.

Beans or “pulses” as they are commonly called in other countries are said to be very effective for weight loss. They are packed with protein and healthy carbohydrates. An article by Dr. Cynthia Sass outlines the weight loss benefits of beans or “pulses”.

different types of beans

Pulses Boost Satiety and Curb Cravings for Processed Snacks

Australian researchers asked 42 volunteers to consume their usual diets plus about 3½ ounces of chickpeas daily for 12 weeks and then return to their typical diets for another month. Based on food diaries, the participants ate less from every food group, especially grains, during the three-month chickpea intervention. They also reported feeling more satisfied. In the four weeks after the study ended, their intake of processed snacks spiked.

Pulses Boost Calorie and Fat Burning

In a study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, University of Manitoba scientists found that hamsters fed diets containing 10 percent pea flour in place of cornstarch took in more oxygen, a measure of metabolic rate. Scientists believe this is because the pea-based diets contained nearly 25 percent more arginine, an amino acid that’s been shown to increase both carbohydrate and fat burning. Fava beans and lentils are also rich in arginine as well as glutamine, another amino acid that in human research has been tied to a 50 percent boost in post-meal calorie burning.

Pulses Quadruple Weight Loss

Scientists at Indiana’s Purdue University and Bastyr University in Washington State asked volunteers to consume 30 percent fewer calories than usual, randomly assigning dieters to one of three eating plans. The first plan included 3 cups of beans and lentils, or pulses, per week, the second included nearly 2 cups of pulses a day for women and 3 for men, and the third included minimal amounts of pulses. After six weeks, all three groups lost weight, but the dieters who consumed the most pulses shed the most pounds. The thrice-weekly bean/lentil eaters lost 7.5 pounds, those on the pulse-loaded diet lost 8.5 pounds, and those with the minimal pulse intake lost just 2 pounds.