Why do legumes help with weight loss? They are very high in fiber, and provide a feeling of increased fullness when eating them. They also have a low glycemic index.

Up the beans to lower the body weight

Bean Salad

I talk fairly often about reaching and maintaining a healthy weight to reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart or pulmonary diseases or various cancers. But it’s easier said than done, right? And every single month there seems to be some new idea or diet for weight loss.

There is nothing magical about reaching a healthy-for-you weight, but a recent study lends support to upping your fiber intake, specifically bean or legume fiber. Here is more.

This study include data from 940 adults. For those who ate three-quarters cup of legumes DAILY, there was a 0.75 lb. of weight loss in 6 weeks. Almost one pound of weight went down with dried beans and peas.

Does it seem that one pound of weight loss is insignificant? Actually that will, of course, add up as the weeks march along. And if there are other weight-loss strategies put into place, the weight loss is a bit faster. Imagine if you made a few other changes to support weight loss such as drinking calorie-free beverages only, substituting high fat or sugar snacks with fresh fruit or getting up earlier to eat breakfast.

Why do legumes help with weight loss? They are very high in fiber, and provide a feeling of increased fullness when eating them. They also have a low glycemic index, so that means they do not spike glucose levels.

Sources of legumes include: chickpeas, black eyed peas, kidney, black, pinto, navy and Great Northern beans. Beans and peas….bean soup, chickpeas on salad, black bean and rice salad, black bean dip, hummus made from chickpeas, chili with extra kidney beans, baked beans made with navy beans, pinto beans and cornbread…. So many ways to serve them up!

The other point to make is that there is need to race for fast weight loss. Slow and steady with long-lasting life-time changes is the best approach. And there are certainly other sources of fiber other than legumes to work into menus to help with weight loss: fruits, vegetables, barley, oats, whole wheat, and brown rice.

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.