I hope you find this as interesting as I did! Ready? Here goes! Eating white kidney beans (also known as cannellini beans) can aid in weight loss – and NOT for the obvious reason(s). When one thinks of beans, what comes to mind is the fiber (and uh, ….yah, gas 😯 ) and that bloated fullness feeling, right? However, there is more to it, and this is crazy! There is actually an enzyme in these beans that BLOCKS starch absorption, ……BLOCKS IT! Does that excite you too, or am I just a total freak? Read on, but food for thought….add cannellini beans to your salsa, and enjoy your (whole grain) chips without guilt!
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So what does this mean exactly? Follow this cuz it’s actually pretty cool! There is an enzyme called amylase that is naturally in our digestive tracts. That amylase enzyme breaks down the starch we eat (aka – carbs) so that our body can use it for energy (what isn’t burned for energy, is stored as fat). An amylase INHIBITOR (contained in these beans) blocks the enzyme’s action of breaking down that starch, therefore making the starch pass THRU you UNABSORBED. Excited yet? Think of it this way. You eat carbs (starches) and instead of it being stored to be burned off OR as fat, it goes THRU YOU so those carbs are GONE. Buh—–bye! Nice little advantage of ‘them’ beans, huh?! That’s pretty significant since most of our diets’ greatest source of calories come from carbohydrates!
Scientific studies appear to indicate that these amylase inhibitors in white beans (oh, and found in green tea too!) also helps reduce blood sugar levels which help in weight loss, not to mention with diabetes. What an amylase inhibitor does is latch onto molecules preventing the recognition of starch. Without the starch identification, the enzyme cannot function, and the starch/carb moves right through you. That means the energy from the starch does not get absorbed into the body and there is no spike in blood sugar from the carb. In turn, no weight gain from that starch energy.
Preliminary studies have shown that taking an amylase inhibitor with meals may really help in weight loss. However, well-designed clinical studies are definitely still needed in this area. Research IS continuously ongoing, however, and some versions of inhibitors are already on the market. This is such a crucial finding for diabetics since the substance has an effect on blood sugar. One product out there is called Phase 2 Carb Controller. I’m not recommending or endorsing it (nor have I tried it) but google it if you’re interested. It sounds promising!
Lastly, If you like chips and salsa, here’s a tip! Get the whole grain HEALTHIER chips instead of the corn, fried, UNHEALTHY kind, and mix in a nice helping of cannellini beans in your salsa! Let that salsa (with the added beans!) go to work for you, blocking those carbs from the chips from being stored in your body. That’s amylase inhibitors at their finest! 😉
So that’s it! I hope you find this as interesting as I do, because I definitely watch my carb intake to help with my energy and weight control. If I want to splurge a bit, it’s nice to know that adding cannellini beans to that meal may actually block the absorption of those carbs! I’ll be checking back on this too, since interest and research is actively ongoing! 😀