Research has found that it is possible to control diabetes by eating more legumes. For those that have type 2 diabetes, it can be hard to know what to eat. Some foods can make managing your condition a real problem, but others can help you to stay on track and maintain your overall health. Recent studies have found that those with diabetes can benefit from adding legumes to the diet. According to researchers, eating more beans, chickpeas and lentils can help to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Legumes tend to be high in fiber and protein, both of which are great for overall heart health. They tend to have a low glycemic index, the measurement of sugar amounts in food, which means that diabetics can enjoy them without worry or guilt, and adding them may be a good way to help better control diabetes.
Lead researcher, David Jenkins, M.D. with the University of Toronto has said that it has always been thought that legumes were beneficial to the heart, but it turns out that they have more goodness than previously thought. For those with diabetes who made it a point to add legumes to their diet, glucose levels became better, and blood pressure tended to drop, as well.
In the most recent study, published in the Archives of Internal medicine, and funded in part by the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, a nonprofit group that represents legume growers in Canada; researchers asked 121 participants to consume either one cup of whole wheat foods daily, or one cup of legumes daily for about three months. After this time, the scientists noticed that both of the groups experienced a drop in blood pressure and blood sugar levels, but those that were eating legumes each day experienced the most improvement for both.
Health care professionals emphasize the importance of focusing on the healthy diet, and legumes can be a beneficial part of that diet, even if it’s hard to consume a cup daily. Additional studies have found that legumes can also reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Jenkins says that legumes will be good for anyone. They can help to keep the blood pressure down and healthy, and can play a key role in controlling blood glucose levels. They can also help people to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.