Most people think losing weight is simply a matter of willpower, but it’s not that simple.
You see, your appetite is regulated by what I call your “hunger hormones.”
And nature has created one of the best ways to keep those hormones in check and help you lose weight naturally.
It’s the white kidney bean.
I first became interested in this “magic” weight-loss bean when I was in Umasbamba, Peru, visiting the elementary school sponsored by my Wellness Research Foundation. While I was there, I was served an incredible dish of white beans, garlic, peppers and onions.
Not only was it delicious, but just half a bowl of the stew filled me up. My hosts told me it was because of the bean. The people in Peru have been using it in their cooking for centuries. They told me it keeps them from overeating.
I knew from my travels to Rome that the white kidney bean is also popular in Italy. Italians use it in dishes like pasta fagioli and minestrone. They call it the cannellini bean.
And here’s the thing… Italians are known for their starchy, pasta-heavy diets. Yet the obesity rate in Italy is among the lowest in the world.
I was intrigued. So I started doing research…
The medical journal Obesity found that when people took an extract of the white kidney bean, they lost six pounds in a month. And they didn’t make any other changes in their diet or lifestyle.1
In a second study, researchers followed a group of people for 30 days. Half were given white kidney bean extract and the other half a placebo. They were told not to make any changes in their eating or exercise habits.
On average, those who took the white kidney bean lost: 2
- 6.5 pounds overall
- 5.5 pounds of body fat
- 3 inches off their belly
- 2 inches off the hips
The people who took the placebo lost less than a pound.
The reason behind the bean’s success is that it modulates levels of various gut hormones —ghrelin, CCK and two peptides — that regulate hunger and produce a feeling of fullness.
Ghrelin produces feelings of hunger, while the CCK and peptides produce feelings of satisfaction and satiety.3 The end result a decreased desire to eat… so you eat less.4
That backs up what my friends in Peru told me.
But there’s a second reason why the white kidney bean helps with weight loss. It reduces an enzyme called alpha-amylase that breaks down dietary starch into sugar. These sugars pass through your body undigested — before it can settle on your stomach, hips and thighs.
That’s right. The bean prevents the carbs in breads, rice and pasta from being stored as fat in your body, especially your belly!
And that backs up what I saw for myself in Italy.
That means that you can go back to eating an occasional starchy food without it resulting in fat gain. Even better? It doesn’t affect non-starchy carbs in fruits and vegetables from being absorbed.
I love making the Peruvian bean dish I was served in Umasbamba. I also love to make a minestrone soup with beans, meat, vegetables and herbs. The beans soak up all the flavors, making the soup even more delicious.
I recommend buying dried beans, not canned, because of the estrogenic chemicals used to line the cans. You can buy them in bulk online. They’re easy to find. Even Amazon sells them.
To get the full weight-loss effect, you’ll want to take white kidney bean extract. Start with 500 mg twice a day. Take it 15 or 20 minutes before you eat.
I’m so impressed with white kidney bean that I’ve included it in one of my weight-loss supplements.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Grube B, Chong W, Chong P, Riede L. Weight reduction and maintenance with IQP-PV-101: a 12-week randomized controlled study with a 24-week open label period. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Mar;22(3):645-51.
2. Celleno L, Tolaini MV, D’Amore A, et al. A dietary supplement containing standardized Phaseolus vulgaris extract influences body composition of overweight men and women. Int J Med Sci. 2007 Jan 24;4(1):45-52.
3. AJ Smeets, S Soenen, ND Luscombe-Marsh. Energy expenditure, satiety, and plasma ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide 1, and peptide tyrosine-tyrosine concentrations following a single high-protein lunch. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Mar;23(3):304-11.
4. Carai MA, Fantini N, Loi B, Colombo G. Multiple cycles of repeated treatments with a Phaseolus vulgaris dry extract reduce food intake and body weight in obese rats. Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(5):762-8. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511000778. Epub 2011 May 3.