Bean Eaters Lower A1Cs, Cut Heart Risk
Legumes such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils are nutritional powerhouses: filling, tasty, and protein-packed. Now, a study has found that legumes possess two additional super strengths: the potential to lower blood glucose levels and to improve heart health in people with type 2 diabetes. About half of the 121 participants ate at least a cup of legumes each day for three months while the rest upped their intake of whole grain. According to their food logs, both groups ate about the same percentage of daily calories in the form of carbohydrate (48 percent for the whole-grain eaters; 46 percent for the legume eaters). The beany diet lowered A1Cs (average blood glucose over the previous two to three months) by an average of 0.5 percentage point, which is enough to help ward off diabetes complications, while the whole wheat group dropped its average A1C by 0.3 percentage point. Legumes also helped lower blood pressure and heart rate, which cuts the risk for heart disease.
Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, published online Oct. 22, 2012