Legumes Help Improve Glycemic Control And Lower Heart Disease RiskMain Category: Diabetes
Also Included In: Nutrition / Diet
Article Date: 23 Oct 2012
Eating plenty of beans, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes helps improve glycemic control and reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease in patients with diabetes type 2, researchers from the University of Toronto reported in Archives of Internal Medicine after carrying out a randomized, controlled trial.
As background information, the authors explained that low glycemic index foods had already been linked with better glycemic control in diabetes type 2 patients. They have been included as essential foods in many nutritional guidelines for patients with diabetes. The researchers wanted to quantify the benefit.
David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., and team carried out a randomized, controlled trial with 121 diabetes type 2 patients to determine what the effect might be on glycemic control if they ate more legumes, as well as their blood lipid levels and blood pressure.
The participants were randomly selected into one of two groups:
The researchers reported that legume consumption of about 1 cup (190 grams) per day appears to contribute effectively to a low-GI diet, and to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by bringing down blood pressure.
Below are some of the trial results:
"These findings linking legume consumption to both improved glycemic control and reduced CHD risk are particularly important because type 2 DM is increasing most rapidly in the urban environments of populations in which bean intake has traditionally been high (e.g. India, Latin America, the Pima Indians of Arizona).
If you increase your consumption of legume-based foods, you may have better glycemic control
Invited Commentary: Diabetes Nutrition TherapyMarion J. Franz, M.S., R.D., C.D.E, Nutrition Concepts by Franz Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., in an Invited Commentary in the same journal, wrote:
"The importance of the glycemic index (GI) and fiber in diabetes mellitus (DM) nutrition therapy has been controversial. Legumes, as documented in the study by Jenkins et al, are components of a healthy eating pattern for people with DM and the general public. Whether people with DM can eat the amount necessary to improve glycemic control is debatable, and, if legumes do improve glycemia, is it because of their low GI or high soluble fiber content?
What are legumes?Legumes are plants in the pea family that produce pods that slit open naturally along a seam (dehisce), revealing a row of seeds. Legumes are commonly eaten by humans and animals.
Examples of legumes eaten by humans include:
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