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article imageEating more pulses helps with weight management

By Tim Sandle     Aug 11, 2014 in Health
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 has found.
The reason for this is because 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.
From a review of different studies, researchers concluded that people felt 31 per cent fuller after eating on average 160 grams of dietary pulses compared with a control diet. The reason for the research was based on the fact that many weight loss interventions fail, resulting in weight regain. One reason for this is due to hunger and food cravings. Knowing which foods make people feel fuller longer may help them lose weight and keep it off.
The term "pulse", as used by the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed. This excludes green beans and green peas, which are considered vegetable crops. Also excluded are crops that are mainly grown for oil extraction (oilseeds like soybeans and peanuts), and crops which are used exclusively for sowing (clovers, alfalfa). Pulses include dry beans like pinto beans, kidney beans and navy beans; dry peas; and lentils. Pulses provide protein, complex carbohydrates, and several vitamins and minerals. Like other plant-based foods, they contain no cholesterol and little fat or sodium. Pulses also provide iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and other minerals, which play a variety of roles in maintaining good health
As well as helping with weight loss, the study also showed that found that eating on average one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can also reduce "bad cholesterol" by 5 percent and therefore lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study was undertaken by Dr. John Sievenpiper of St. Michael's Hospital's Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre. The findings have been published in the journal Obesity. The paper is titled “Dietary pulses, satiety and food intake: A systematic review and meta-analysis of acute feeding trials.”
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