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.
Low birth weight was linked not only to poor health outcomes in the beginning but also to chronic health conditions later in life, researchers have warned.
“Low birth babies are either associated with congenital heart disease or on a long term basis, has increased risk of cardiovascular morbidities such as myocardial infarction,” said Prashant Patil, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, Kamineni Hospital in Hyderabad.
According to the study published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, West Virginia University researcher Amna Umer explored how low birth weight correlates to cardiovascular risk factors in childhood.
The research team assessed data of 20,000 fifth-graders born in West Virginia.
They discovered that if children had a low birth weight, they were more likely to exhibit cardiovascular risk factors in fifth grade.
“Previously it was thought that risk factors for cardiovascular diseases were only observed in adults because cardiovascular disease is mostly seen in adults, but in the past few years, we’ve seen that these risk factors are observed in children as well,” Umer said.
The children in the study comprised were all born full-term, between 1994-2010, across West Virginia’s 55 counties.
The researchers considered each child’s birth weight and his or her body mass index (BMI) in fifth grade, among other variables.
They also evaluated each fifth-grader’s level of triglycerides, the fat that circulates in the blood, and various cholesterol types.
“Low birth weight was associated with higher levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower levels of ‘good’ cholesterol,” Umer said.
“In addition, children with a low birth weight tended to have higher triglyceride level. These traits are risk factors for heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis and other disorders,” she added.
Even after the researchers took into account the children’s BMIs, socio-demographics, family medical histories and other factors, the relationship between these risk factors and low birth weight remained significant.
According to L. Srinivas, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, Jupiter Hospital, Mumbai, low birth weight was mostly linked with hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease and Metabolic syndrome X.
“However, prematurity with low birth weight has a strong association with persistent ductus arterioles which is a major cause of poor outcome in small babies. Low birth weight could also indicate the presence of various genetic disorders of which heart disease could be co-existent,” he told IANS. (IANS)