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Add a Little More Pulse

Beans, Lentils, and Chickpeas May Aid in Weight Management 

As declared by the United Nations, 2016 is the International Year of Pulses. Part of the legume family, the term “pulse” specifically refers to dried seeds including beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils. These tiny nutrition powerhouses are high in fiber and protein and packed with vitamins and minerals. Need another reason to give pulses a chance? A 2016 meta-analysis published in the American Society for Nutrition finds a serving of pulses a day may aid in weight management. 

Canadian researchers analyzed 21 scientific trials that studied the link between pulse consumption and weight management. Overall, people who ate one serving of pulses (132 grams, such as 2/3 cup cooked lentils) per day for six weeks lost about one pound more weight than those who kept pulses off their plates. Six of those trials also showed that eating pulses led to reductions in body fat percentage. The best part is that these results were seen even when total calories were not intentionally reduced or restricted. No diet or starvation needed for weight loss here! 

High fiber and protein content in pulses may be to thank for this effect. These properties help you feel fuller longer and keep your blood sugar stable, which ultimately helps with managing weight. Other health benefits of pulses may include lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. 

This is an easy, tasty and affordable weight management solution. Incorporate pulses into one meal per day by adding them to salads, soups, side dishes, and more. These versatile seeds offer nutrient-dense, plant-based alternatives for meat and animal proteins. Try beans in tacos, chickpeas in pasta sauce, lentils in burgers, and dried peas in casseroles. These Red Lentil “Burgers” make a tasty meatless dinner. 

BONUS: Looking for other vegetarian protein sources. Check out a few of our favorites in Plant Protein Power!

Published July 1, 2016

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