Want to lose weight and keep it off? Science says to eat more lentils, chickpeas and cannellini beans.

By Justine Sterling
Updated May 24, 2017
© Eva Kolenko

The U.N. declared 2016 the year of pulses and now there’s yet another reason to eat the dried leguminous crops. According to a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just one serving (about three-quarters of a cup) of legumes like beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils could help with weight loss.

The study analyzed 21 clinical trials and saw that the 940 men and women who participated lost an average of almost one pound over six weeks just by adding a single serving of pulses to their diets. Researchers believe that the secret to pulses’ diet-boosting magic is that they make people feel fuller longer. “This new study fits well with our previous work, which found that pulses increased the feeling of fullness by 31 percent, which may indeed result in less food intake” said Dr. Russell de Souza, the study’s lead author, according to Science Daily. “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.”

A separate study found a bonus benefit of adding pulses to your diet: Eating one serving a day can help reduce bad cholesterol by five percent.

Need help coming up with ways to get your daily dose of pulses? Try these amazing lentil recipes, chickpea dishes and bean ideas.