Beans and Weightloss

Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are running rampant these days. Some experts believe this is because so many people are overweight, and carrying extra pounds can increase your chances of developing these and other chronic conditions. To reduce the likelihood of developing a weight-related disease, many people are trying to shed extra pounds.

People trying to lose weight are constantly looking for foods they can enjoy but that are also good for them. If they can find something to eat that will aid in their weight-loss efforts they think that’s even better. To that end, some experts say you should eat more beans. But why are beans good for losing weight?

Part of the reason beans are good for helping a person lose weight is that beans are comparable with meat as far as calories are concerned. They also provide needed protein the same way meat will. The difference, however, is that beans contain much more fiber and water content than meat and this helps you to feel fuller faster. If you feel full, you’ll be less likely to overeat and you won’t feel like you’re missing anything.

Fiber is a substance severely lacking in most people’s diets. Men need at least 30-38 grams each day and women 21-25 grams. Eat one cup of cooked beans, which has almost 12 grams, and you’ve come a long way towards meeting that need for the day. Meat doesn’t contain fiber even though it does have other nutrients the body needs.

Beans also contain the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) which is necessary for the gastrointestinal system to work properly. It is needed to stimulate the system when digesting proteins and fats and is needed for the gall bladder and pancreas to function. Some reports state the CCK also acts as a hunger suppressant which would explain why beans make you feel full.

Recent studies have had groups of test subjects eat the same things, except for the addition of beans to one group’s diet. Scientists found the people who had eaten the beans weighed up to seven pounds less than those who didn’t eat them. They also noted the difference in the calories from the foods eaten. Because beans were added to their diets, those subjects were able to eat more calories and still maintain the benefits of lower weight and slimmer waists.

Which beans should you eat? The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests eating small red beans and red kidney beans to get the most antioxidants. You may also want to add black beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas so you’ll have a variety of beans to choose from.

Bananas may be called the “perfect” food, but it’s not the only one. Beans provide a great source of protein and fiber which are so important for people trying to lose weight. They also contain antioxidants and cholecystokinin which is why beans are good for losing weight and for good health.

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