Beans are Good for Your Heart and Waistline

We’re always on the hunt for simple and effective ways to stay trim and healthy. Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas, collectively called “pulses,” have been shown to lower cholesterol, which is important for your heart.

Pulses have also been shown to assist in weight loss, and are starting to get more attention, especially as The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has declared 2016 to be the “Year of the Pulses.”

A paper from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition took a closer look at protein- and fibre-rich pulses, and found that participants in several studies (middle-aged, overweight and obese men and women) who ate about one serving of pulses— 3/4 cup, cooked—per day lost an average of .3 kilos over six weeks.

These studies also suggest that eating beans may help with weight loss in older, heavier people, regardless of whether people eat a reduced-kilojoule diet. Researchers speculate this effect may be due to the high fibre and protein content in pulses, which contributes to feeling full and may prevent overeating.  The high-fibre content also helps move things along quickly, making it harder to absorb all of the calories from a meal—an interesting way to promote weight loss.

It’s important to note that while there’s no shortage of pulse benefits for everyone, more studies are needed to look at weight-loss effects in a wider variety of people, including fit runners.


Ultimate Bean Salad

Makes 10 one-cup servings


1 can black beans (or 2 cups cooked)

1 can garbanzo beans (or 2 cups cooked)

1 can red kidney beans (or 2 cups cooked)

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 capsicum, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro (or parsley)

1 bunch green onions, chopped


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

Juice from half a lime

1/4 tsp. sea salt


Drain and rinse beans in colander. In an extra large bowl, combine all chopped and fresh ingredients. Mix dressing in a separate bowl and pour over bean and veggie mix. Refrigerate for several hours before serving to blend flavours.

Subscribe to Runner's World

Related Articles