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Well and Good: Dieting Help

This time of year, almost everybody eats a little more, or maybe a lot more, than is good for them. Sure, it’s OK to splurge once in a while, but it’s the every-day buildup of holiday treats that leave many of us with a few extra pounds by the time the holiday season winds down.

If you’re trying to maintain – or even bravely trying to lose a few pounds – during the holiday season, let me suggest a product that has been brought to the attention of mainstream America by Dr. Oz.

It’s white kidney bean extract, sometimes called Phaseolin or by its formal name, Phaselous vulgaris.This supplement is sometimes known as a starch-blocker, and may be able to help your body from creating extra fat stores. Here’s how:

In general, beans are a wonderful food choice because they provide lots of fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, folic acid, iron and magnesium. But the white kidney bean, specifically, can inhibit or slow down carbohydrate digestion within the intestines. This, in turn, reduces the amount of simple sugars that enter the bloodstream. And, controlling carbohydrate absorption can help prevent the accumulation of additional fat in the body.

The white kidney bean extract does this by stoppingthe release of an enzyme called alpha-amylase, which is produced in thepancreas.  According to a report this spring in Nutrition Journal, white kidney bean extract has been shown to reduce amylase activity by more than 95 percent, as well as limiting glucose level increases after a meal is ingested.

The end result: Less starch is converted into glucose.  This, in turn, keeps your blood sugar from surging – which can lead to fat storage when the excess glucose is not used by the body.

Eating white kidney beans or bean soup are a wonderful addition to any diet, weight-loss or not. However, even if you love beans, there are only so many you can eat. By taking the beans in extract form, you can help block excess carbs at any meal and start working on a few of those stubborn pounds.