The high fibre content of meals made with pulses and legumes may contribute to a satiating effect that aids weight loss. [Photo: Bigstock]

Add pulses to help take away the pounds

12 December, 2016

Natural Health News — Meals based on legumes such as beans and peas are more satiating than meat-based meals, according to a recent study.

Numerous modern dietary recommendations encourage high protein consumption to help with weight loss or prevent the age-related loss of muscle mass.

In addition, consuming more vegetable-based protein from beans and peas, and less protein from meats such as pork, veal and beef, is recommended because meat production is a far greater burden on our land and climate than vegetable cultivation.

Including more pulses in the diet has recently been associated with a reduction in the risk of metabolic syndrome. But until now, we haven’t known very much about the impact of vegetables and the possibility of them catalyzing or maintaining weight loss.

What you need to know

» Meals based on legumes such as beans and peas are more satiating than meat-based meals, according to a recent study.

» In healthy men researchers compared the effect of ‘patties’ made from peas/beans or veal/pork and found that those who ate the pulse-based patties felt fuller and more satisfied – and ate less calories in subsequent meals.

» In addition, the researchers found that even when the men ate patties containing smaller amounts of protein the feeling of satiety persisted – suggesting we don’t need excessive amounts of protein to feel full or maintain healthy food intake.

More filling

A recent study by scientists in Denmark demonstrated that protein-rich meals based on beans and peas increased satiety more than protein-rich veal and pork based meals.

In the study, 43 young men were served three different meals in which patties – consisting of either beans/peas or veal/pork – were a key element. The study also demonstrated that when participants ate a protein-rich meal based on beans and peas, they consumed 12% fewer calories in their next meal than if they had eaten a meat-based meal.

“The protein-rich meal composed of legumes contained significantly more fiber than the protein-rich meal of pork and veal, which probably contributed to the increased feeling of satiety,” according to the lead researcher, Professor Anne Raben of the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports.

Aiding weight loss

Most interestingly, the study, published in the scientific journal Food & Nutrition, also demonstrated that a less protein-rich meal based on beans and peas was as satiating and tasty as the protein-rich veal and pork-based meals.

“It is somewhat contrary to the widespread belief that one ought to consume a large amount of protein because it increases satiety more. Now, something suggests that one can eat a fiber-rich meal, with less protein, and achieve the same sensation of fullness. While more studies are needed for a definitive proof, it appears as if vegetable-based meals – particularly those based on beans and peas – both can serve as a long term basis for weight loss and as a sustainable eating habit,” concludes Professor Raben.