This is the introduction to an interesting study published in the journal “Advances in Nutrition“, the authors are Megan A. McCrory, Bruce R. Hamaker, Jennifer C. Lovejoy, and Petra E. Eichelsdoerfer. 2 Department of Foods and Nutrition, 3 Department of Psychological Sciences, 4 Ingestive Behavior Research Center, 5 Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, and 6 Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059; 7 Free & Clear, Seattle, WA 91804-1139; and 8 Bastyr University Research Institute, Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA 90828-4960

Summary

The high percentage of obesity has reached epidemic proportions, with finding a solution to reduce obesity being a public health priority. One part of the solution may be to increase the consumption of non-oily legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils), they have nutritional properties that are considered beneficial for weight control, including slow-digesting carbohydrates, high in fiber and protein and low “energy density”.

Several studies consistently show an inverse relationship between the consumption of legumes and the BMI (body mass index) or risk of obesity, but many do not control it due to the confusion of diet and other lifestyle factors. Short-term experimental studies (<1 d) using a controlled diet according to the energy intake, but not in terms of carbohydrates, show that the consumption of legumes increases the feeling of satiety for more than 2 to 4 hours, indicating that at least the effect of Legumes on satiety is measured by the amount of carbohydrates or composition.

Randomized controlled trials show the benefits of legumes in weight loss when the consumption of legumes is accompanied by a decrease in energy intake, but not without that decrease. However, few randomized trials have been carried out and most were short-term (3 to 8 weeks for whole legumes and 4 to 12 weeks for legume derivatives).

In general, there are data on the beneficial effects of legumes in terms of short-term satiety and weight control when energy consumption is intentionally restricted, but more studies are needed in this direction, mainly in the long term (> 1 year), investigate the optimal amount of legumes to consume for weight control, including the behavior of the elements to help overcome barriers to legume consumption. Ad. Nutr. 1: 17-30, 2010.

The full article can be found in English at the following address:

http://advances.nutrition.org/content/1/1/17.full.pdf+html