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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014 Apr;27 Suppl 2:109-16. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12118. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

A high-fibre bean-rich diet versus a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity.

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School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA.



High-fibre and low-carbohydrate diets may enhance satiety and promote weight loss. We compared a diet rich in beans aiming to increase dietary fibre and promote weight loss with a low-carbohydrate diet in a randomised controlled trial to assess effect and tolerability of the high-fibre bean-rich diet.


One hundred and seventy-three women and men, with a mean body mass index of approximately 36 kg m(-2) (one-fifth with diabetes type 2) were randomised to a high-fibre bean-rich diet that achieved mean (SD) fibre intakes of 35.5 (18.6) g day(-1) for women and 42.5 (30.3) g day(-1) for men, or a low-carbohydrate diet. Both diets were induced gradually over 4 weeks and included a 3-day feeding phase. Among 123 (71.1%) completers at 16 weeks, mean (SD) weight loss was 4.1 (4.0) kg in the high-fibre versus 5.2 (4.5) kg in the low-carbohydrate group [difference, 1.1 kg, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -2.6 to -0.5; P = 0.2], with results similar to the intent-to-treat population. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels decreased with the high-fibre diet (difference in LDL-cholesterol versus low-carbohydrate diet, 0.2 mmol L(-1) , 95% CI = 0.01-0.44 mmol L(-1) ; P = 0.045), as did total cholesterol (P = 0.038), whereas changes in other lipids and glucose did not differ. After 52 weeks, the low-carbohydrate (n = 24) group tended to retain weight loss better than the high-fibre group (P = 0.06), although total cholesterol remained lower with the bean-rich diet (P = 0.049).


A high-fibre bean-rich diet was as effective as a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss, although only the bean-rich diet lowered atherogenic lipids.


beans; dietary fibre; low-carbohydrate; obesity; weight loss

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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