The news is always full of headlines urging people to eat this or that to lose weight. Often, it’s a ploy to sell a new brand or product, but this time science is backing the news. New research suggests that eating ¾ cup of pulses a day can help you lose weight, even without any other diet change. When comparing people who ate pulses for 6 weeks compared to those who didn’t, the pulse eaters lost 0.75 pounds.
Pulses are legumes like dried beans, dried peas, lentils, and chickpeas. They are low in fat and calories and high in protein and fiber. In addition to an ideal macronutrient profile, they are chock full of micronutrients such as iron, zinc, phosphorus, folate, in addition to other beneficial vitamins and minerals depending on the type of pulse consumed. They have a low glycemic index, are gluten free, and loaded with antioxidants. The dried beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are broken down slowly in the gastrointestinal tract, and can increase your feeling of fullness by 31%, which can result in less food intake, and weight loss.
This is excellent news for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients. Pulses are high in protein, and it is very important for bariatric patients to adequate amounts of protein. Pulses provide carbohydrates, but because they also have fiber they are not treated like simple carbohydrates in the body, like white bread. Not to mention, they can be quite tasty.
Dried beans, such as kidney, great northern, cannellini, black eyed peas, lima, fava, and pigeon and peas make great additions to soups and salads, or simply seasoned as a side dish. Chickpeas are extremely versatile. They can be roasted or stewed, pureed into hummus, mashed into falafel, spiced or sweetened. Lentils are just as versatile, they make a tasty stew or soup, mix easily with beef in stuffed peppers, taste great when topped with fish, and are a staple in many Indian dishes. The internet is full of great low calorie recipes for pulses, but we like this one because it turns chickpeas into a snack, which is good for when your might otherwise want to reach for chips or sweets.
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
1 can of chickpeas
1 ½ tsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
Cayenne pepper, to taste
The above is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and obesity surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric patients come to his Boca Raton, Florida office from both local towns like Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Wellington, and from far away towns like Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa. His gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and adjustable lap band patients are often seeking ideas and recipes for foods that are both good for them and will help contribute to weight loss. Pulses, like chickpeas, lentils, dried peas and beans are not only full of protein and fiber, but may help with weight loss.