I haven’t had a bean post in a while. Here’s a new study:
α-Galacto-oligosaccharides Dose-Dependently Reduce Appetite and Decrease Inflammation in Overweight Adults, The Journal of Nutrition, September 2015
I really like when the title says it all. No link bait. Just the facts. The moral of this story? Eat beans.
What are alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides (α-GOSs)? Well, if you take the monosaccharide glucose and you link thousands of them together, you end up with starch, a carbohydrate. GOSs are similar except they use the monosaccharide galactose instead of glucose, and they are much smaller. They are more difficult to digest than glucose-based starches so they end up passing through our small intestine and feeding the bacteria in our colon.
By the way, products like Beano reduce gas because they contain alpha-galactosidase, the corresponding enzyme to alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides (GOSs). Beano breaks down these GOS carbohydrates so we can digest their sugars before they reach our bacteria. That reduces gas, but it also reduces some of the benefit of eating beans in the first place – feeding our bacteria! Taking Beano and eating beans is still better than not eating beans.
Here’s what they did:
Methods: In 2 single-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials, 88 overweight adults [50% men and 50% women; 18–60 y old; body mass index (in kg/m2): 25–28] were supplemented for 14 days with tea that contained α-GOSs with different α-GOS dosages (6, 12, or 18 g α-GOSs/day), formulas (12 g α-GOSs/d with >80% of molecules with a degree of polymerization of 2, 3, or 4), or a control substance (glucose syrup).
After 2 weeks, people drinking the oolong tea spiked with soluble fiber from legumes reported decreased appetite. The more GOSs they consumed:
- The more full they felt.
- The fewer calories they consumed in a day. (That is, involuntarily, without trying.)
- The lower their bodily inflammation. (Markers of inflammation, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and C-reactive protein (CRP), were both lower.)
One thing the long-lived people who lived in Blue Zones had in common? They ate beans. Often. Here’s Dan Buettner, the author of Blue Zones:
The cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world was the humble bean. One five-country study showed that beans were the only food that predicted a longer life — for each 20-gram serving (about two tablespoons) eaten a day, the chance of dying dropped by 8%. Fava beans in Sardinia, black beans in Costa Rica, lentils in Ikaria, soybeans in Okinawa.
In the McDougall starch diet, which I think is a great diet, beans fall under the category of starch, something to be eaten every day.