Toronto: A source of protein for the poor and rich alike, just one serving of pulses daily can also contribute to modest weight loss, reveals a study.
According to researchers, consuming 3/4 cup (130 grams) a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils led to a weight loss of 0.34 kgs or 340 grams in over six weeks.
Despite their known health benefits, not many people eat pulses on any given day and most do not eat the full serving.
“So there is room for most of us to incorporate dietary pulses in our diet and realize potential weight management benefits,” said lead author Russell de Souza from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Pulses have a low glycemic index — meaning that they are foods that break down slowly — and can be used to reduce or displace animal protein as well as “bad” fats such as trans-fat in a dish or meal.
The study analysed 940 participants who lost an average of 0.34 kg over six weeks with the addition of a single serving of pulses to the diet — and without making a particular effort to reduce other foods.
The new study fits well with previous work which found that pulses increased the feeling of fullness by 31 percent which may indeed result in less food intake.
“Though the weight loss was small, our findings suggest that simply including pulses in your diet may help you lose weight and we think more importantly, prevent you from gaining it back after you lose it,” de Souza noted.
Knowing which foods make people feel fuller longer may help them lose weight and keep it off.
“So eating more pulses means, being more sustainable and receiving many health benefits,” he said.
Researchers have found that longer and sustained exposure to obesity is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
For the findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, the research team from Indiana University in the US, used data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) to identify body mass index (BMI) trajectories over the early adult life course.
They then examined the relationship between distinct BMI trajectories and risk of type 2 diabetes. Also investigated were the associations between timing of obesity onset, obese-years and type 2 diabetes.
“Our data also indicated that baseline BMI among young women was significantly associated with risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said the study researchers from Indiana University in the US.
“The results highlight the importance of overweight or obesity in early adulthood as risk factors for adult diabetes, indicating that weight control starting before early adulthood is critical for reducing type 2 diabetes risk in later life,” they added.
Women aged 18-23 years at baseline (number of participants was 11,192) enrolled in the ALSWH in 1996 were followed up about every three years via surveys for up to 19 years. Self-reported weights were collected up to seven times.
New cases of type 2 diabetes were self-reported. A total of 162 (1.5 per cent) women newly developed type 2 diabetes over an average of 16 years of follow-up.
Six distinct BMI trajectories were identified, varying by different initial BMI and different rates of increase in obesity.
Higher initial BMI was associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Increased age at onset of obesity was associated with a lower risk of diabetes, with a 13 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes per one-year delay in onset.
A higher number of obese-years was associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Obese years is calculated by person’s BMI minus the BMI for obesity (30), then multiplying by the number of years of exposure.
The authors estimate that for each extra 10-obese years, the risk of diabetes increased by 25 per cent.
Among 10,521 women who were not obese at baseline, the researchers observed that women who became obese during follow-up had a 3-fold increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to women who remained not obese.
More specifically, compared with women who did not become obese during the follow-up, women who became obese and had obese-years of <10, 10 to under 30, and 30 or more had increased risks of developing type 2 diabetes of two, three and six times, respectively.
Results of analysis using only the women’s initial (baseline) BMI found that having baseline obesity (a BMI of 30 or more) was associated with a 7-times increased risk of developing diabetes, while overweight women (BMI 25.0 to 29.9) had a 2.3 times increased risk compared with women with normal weight.
“Our data confirmed that BMI in young adulthood played an important role in the subsequent risk of developing type 2 diabetes during adulthood,” the researchers said.
“We also observed that women who were non-obese at baseline, but became obese during follow-up had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes relative to women who stayed non-obese; the younger the age at onset of obesity or the greater the obese-years, the higher the risk of type 2 diabetes,” they added. (IANS)