Patients who are trying to lose weight may want to try a lentil-based diet before resorting to obesity surgery, new research has suggested.
Scientists claim that people who consume a diet with plenty of lentils have a greater chance of losing weight than those who eat foods such as white bread.
Lentils release energy slowly once they have been consumed, whereas white bread releases sugar more rapidly into the blood stream and is therefore said to have a high glycaemic index.
Researchers analysed 202 volunteers for between five weeks and six months and found that those following a low glycaemic index diet - such as lentils - lost on average one kilogram more than those on high glycaemic index diets, even if the overall amount of energy consumed was similar.
Dr Diana Thomas, scientific director at Australia's Centre for Evidence Based Paediatrics Gastroenterology and Nutrition, said that low glycaemic index diets "appear to be particularly effective for people who are obese".
"It may be easier to adhere to a low glycaemic index diet than a conventional weight loss diet, since there is less need to restrict the intake of food so long as the carbohydrates consumed have a low glycaemic index," she added.
New research has also revealed that asthmatic patients who seek obesity treatment may experience an improvement in their breathing, as scientists claim to have found a biological link between asthma and obesity.