Nutrition and You!

Can Chickpeas Help You Lose Weight?

Chickpeas_minestrone.jpgCould eating pulses, which are a specific type of legumes that includes, dried beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils, help you better manage your weight? MaybeÖaccording to a recent study published in the journal, Obesity.

In this study, researchers in Canada systematically reviewed nine studies involving a total of 126 subjects and uncovered that individuals who consumed about a cup of pulses as part of their meals felt about 30 percent more full after eating compared to when they consumed a similar meal without the pulses.

This study was partially funded by Pulse Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which is the equivalent to the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

Other studies have also shown that adding pulses to meals can help increase satiety or that feeling of fullness after you eat. Feeling satiated after eating may help you avoid snacking on unwanted excess calories between meals.

ďPulses are not only high in fiber and a good source of protein, but also contain a type of starch that is digested more slowly,Ē states John L. Sievenpiper, MD, at St. Michaelís Hospital in Toronto and the senior researcher in the study. ďAll of these attributes help explain why pulses can make you feel fuller, or increase satiety, when consumed as part of a meal.Ē

Swapping out other sources of protein with pulses can also reduce some of the calories at the meal without sacrificing meal satisfaction.

Try these mealtime ideas:

*Using a Ĺ cup of kidney beans (105 calories) instead of the same amount of shredded cheddar cheese (227 calories) on your lunchtime salad will shave off a fair amount of calories.

*Replacing part of the ground beef in a chili recipe with black beans can cut over 225 calories from the entrťe.

*Adding a combination of beans, chickpeas, veggies, and some pasta, can create a meatless, minestrone soup that ladles up only 343 calories for a hearty 2 Ĺ cup dinner serving. Add a salad with the meal, and you will likely be stuffed until you go to bed.

Your waist aside, a heart-healthy diet containing dried peas and beans, which are low in saturated fat and are cholesterol-free, has also been shown to help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol.



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