~ Research Shows Adults and Teens Who Eat Beans Weigh Less

NewsRx.com, 04-21-06

A recent study gives new meaning to the word beanpole: The findings show that people who eat beans weigh less than those who don't.

Presented at the Experimental Biology conference, the study found that adults who eat beans weigh 6.6 pounds less - yet eat 199 more daily calories - than adults who don't eat beans. Similar results were found for teenage bean eaters who consume 335 more daily calories but weigh 7.3 pounds less than non-bean-eating teens.

Data for the study came from the National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey (1999-2002). The results also show that:

- Adult bean eaters consume less total and saturated fat than non-bean eaters and have a 22% lower risk of obesity.

- Adult and teen bean eaters have smaller waist sizes - three-quarter inch and one inch, respectively

- The fiber intake of adult and teen bean eaters is more than one-third higher than non-bean eaters

"Beans are an excellent source of fiber and previous studies have shown that high-fiber diets may help reduce body weight, so this makes sense," says Victor Fulgoni, PhD and author of the study. "As well, they are naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free. It's no wonder that beans have been called a 'superfood.'"

The federal government has recognized the many health benefits of beans:

- MyPyramid, the USDA's recommended eating plan for Americans, lists beans in two food groups. Beans are listed in the Vegetable Group because they are a plant-based food that provides vitamins and minerals. Beans also are listed in the Meat and Beans Group because they are a good source of protein.

- The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommends that Americans triple their current intake of beans from one to three cups per week.

In addition, other research has shown that diets including beans may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. This article was prepared by Health Business Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2006, Health Business Week via IncRx.com.

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