Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) and weight loss: Are they fattening?

People who want to lose weight are always conscious about the kind of foods they consume, no matter how healthy they are. You probably have some weight-loss goals to achieve, but you are wondering whether chickpeas are fattening or not. It might also be that you love these legumes, and you want them to be part of your weight-loss diet; but that cannot happen if they are fattening.

Chickpeas are not fattening. On the contrary, they can help you slim down and lose some weight. A cup of boiled chickpeas provides 269 calories. That’s a significant amount of calorie intake. While losing weight depends on the amount of calories you consume, chickpea contains some other nutritional components that can also facilitate weight loss.

Are chickpeas fattening

Chickpea and calorie-intake

For individuals who want to lose weight, 269 calories per cup may seem to high. But it’s worth it. Besides, it only makes up about 12 percent of your daily calorie-intake if you are on a 2500-calorie diet per day. If you are on a 1500-calorie diet, a cup of boiled chickpeas will make up about 18 percent of your calorie intake.

Moreover, by eating chickpeas, you stand to gain from its rich store of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. It also contains significant amounts of some B-group vitamins. These B-group vitamins are said to go hand-in-hand with losing weight, because they increase the body’s ability to metabolize fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Chickpeas are packed with protein and rich amounts of fiber. See how they affect your weight below.

Proteins and weight-loss

Chickpeas are significantly rich in protein, with a 100 gram of cooked, mature chickpea seeds providing up to 8.86 g. A cup of 200 grams provides 19 g of protein; that’s about 38% of the daily recommended intake for protein. The high thermic effect of proteins (about 30%) contributes to weight loss, because you will burn 30 percent of the ingested proteins during digestion.

Now, let’s do the math. Since 1 gram of protein provides 4 calories, 8.86 g of protein will provide 35.44 calories, solely from a 100-gram serving boiled chickpea protein content. Since proteins have a thermic effect of 30%, that means about 11 calories will be burnt during digestion of the 35.44 calories provided. Due to this, only about 24 calories will be added to your body. Hope I’m making some sense?

Moreover, protein makes you feel full quickly, and reduces your chances of overeating. And if you agree with me, overeating means more calories to your body, and majority of those calories won’t be burnt down by your body. Instead, they will be deposited in your body to cause weight gain.

A research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has found higher-protein diets to provide improvements in appetite, body weight management, and even cardiometabolic risk factors (1).

Fiber and weight-loss

Perhaps you are not aware of the amount of fiber present in chickpea. I recently wrote down a piece on that – you can check it out here. Chickpeas are among the richest source of fiber when it comes to leguminous foods. Fiber has been documented by numerous scientific researches to help with weight loss. By eating a diet rich in fiber, you will find it effective in preventing overeating due to the increased satiety that’s associated with it. Increased fiber intake translates to a feeling of satiety.

Moreover, fiber has been found to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This does not only keep your blood sugar stable and prevent type 2 diabetes, it also keeps your weight in check.

According to a research published in the Journal of Nutrition, fiber intake significantly reduces the risk of gaining weight and fat in women (2). The research found weight to decrease by 0.25 kg for each 1 gram increase in total fiber consumed. Fats also decreased by 0.25 percentage point for the same increase in fiber.

How much chickpea is enough?

You shouldn’t forget that chickpeas or garbanzo beans are significantly rich in calories. This is why you should keep portion control at the back of your mind. Chickpeas combine well with other low-calorie vegetables to give rise to a diet that’s satiating and filling. You might also want to watch out for cuisines that combine chickpea with high-fat foods, as they can altogether form a calorie-dense diet that may not be good for your weight-loss goals.

Lastly, you should also remember to measure your portions accurately. Whether you achieve your weight-loss goals all boils down to your overall calorie intake. Basically, no food makes you lose weight. It is the amount of calories you consume that determines whether you gain or lose weight. If you take in calories more than the amount your body can burn, you gain weight, and vice versa.

By Abbati

Abbati studied Biological sciences at Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!

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