Fibre is our best friend when we try to lose weight. This is because fibre has very few calories, and although it is not digested it has many health benefits.
In the Black Eyed Beans post we discussed soluble and insoluble starch. The bean is also very beneficial due to its fibre content, especially soluble fibre. Soluble fibre absorbs fluid in the stomach, forms a gel, and slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates. More importantly, soluble fibre has the ability to bind with the bile acids excreted by the gall bladder when we eat. The secreted bile acids contain cholesterol which is often not fully eliminated because it is reabsorbed by the intestines. So, by eating beans we may help our body to eliminate cholesterol because the fibre can help to carry the cholesterol out.
I was happy to discover that three of my favourite beans were investigated in one research study (Food Chemistry, Volume 86, Issue 3, July 2004, Pages 435-440). Black-eyed beans, Chickpeas (Garbanzo) and Lima beans were compared with Soya Beans for binding with the bile acids across multiple categories. I won’t get into the details, but just for comparison when the three beans were assessed for binding capacity with bile acids the percentages were: Black-eyed beans – 14%, 21%, 25%; Chickpeas – 47%, 68%, 80%; Lima beans – 17%, 19%, 23%. I really like the conclusion that authors made: ‘Incorporation of garbanzo, black eye and lima bean in diets should be encouraged.’
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