Pulses such as beans, chickpeas and lentils have been favoured for the longest time by health conscious people because these foods are low in fat and can make you slimmer when these are added into the diet. A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a 130 gram serving or three quarters of a cup of beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas that can help you to stay slim without making any other dietary changes.

By keeping us slim and enabling us to feel fuller for longer, it’s possible that this can prevent us from indulging in more snacks. Scientists found after analysing 21 clinical trials of 940 men and women that a single serving of pulses can help participants to lose an average of 0.34kg (0.75 pounds) over six weeks.

While the weight loss was found to be small, their findings suggest that including pulses within the diet can aid weight loss and even help to prevent people from gaining it back after the weight has been lost. The scientists from the work previously found that meals that contain pulses increased the sense of fulness by 31 per cent. The pulses are also believed to be good for the heart as they can significantly reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol.

As beans and lentils have a low glycemic index this means they have a slow digestion rate and therefore don’t cause any harmful spikes in the insulin hormone. These sharp insulin surges occur and are often caused by eating high glycaemic sugary foods, which has been linked with diabetes and weight gain. Breakfast cereals, white bread and white rice are all examples of high-glycaemic foods.