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Eating Pulses May Bolster Weight Loss

A meta-analysis has found that eating pulses daily may help you lose weight. While you may not have heard of pulses before (or maybe you have—after all, the UN named 2016 the year of the pulse), you probably have some in your kitchen cupboard. Pulses are a group of plants harvested solely for their seeds, and include all varieties of dried beans and peas, chickpeas, and lentils. Researchers of the meta-analysis, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at findings from 21 randomized, controlled trials that compared the effects of diets that included pulses and those that did not. The trials were all at least three weeks long; and, in total, they included data on 940 participants. After controlling for study quality and bias, researchers found that:

  • On average, people who ate one, 132-gram serving of pulses every day for six weeks lost around 0.75 pounds more body weight than people who did not include pulses in their diet.
  • Six of the trials suggested that eating pulses could also help reduce body fat.

While the weight loss in this meta-analysis may seem small, the findings are significant because they show that simply eating pulses every day may help you lose weight. One reason for pulses’ weight-loss benefits could be their high fiber content—research has found that eating 30 or more grams of fiber per day can lead to weight loss, even if you’re not following a restrictive diet. The best part of adding pulses to your day is that they’re so versatile: Try some huevos rancheros with black beans for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch, chickpea hummus for a snack, or risotto with peas for dinner. Weight loss tips don’t get much tastier than this!

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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