Eating about 3/4 cup (130 grams) each day of the foods known as pulses or legumes can led to weight loss, without much effort.
This is according to a study by lead author Dr. Russell de Souza, a researcher with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital.
For the study, de Souza conducted a meta-analysis of 21 clinical trials involving 940 adults. He found that the addition of a single serving of pulses to the diet - without making a particular effort to reduce other foods - help participants lose an average of 0.34 kg in six weeks.
Pulses have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are foods that break down slowly) and can be used to reduce or replace animal protein and 'bad' fats such as trans-fats and saturated animal fats in a dish or meal.
"This new study fits well with our previous work, which found that pulses increased the feeling of fullness by 31 per cent, which may indeed result in less food intake." said Dr. de Souza.
Another recently published systematic review and meta-analysis found that eating on average one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can reduce 'bad cholesterol' by five per cent and therefore lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
"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," Dr. de Souza said.
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