Replacing potatoes and rice with pulses in your diet may significantly reduce blood glucose levels.

In a study conducted at the University of Guelph, researchers found that replacing half a serving of rice with lentils caused blood glucose to drop by up to 20 percent and replacing potatoes with lentils led to a 35 percent reduction.

Pulses are the seeds of legumes. Examples include dry beans, lentils, faba beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cowpeas, and bambara beans.

Blood glucose comprises of sugar found in the blood during digestion in the upper digestive tract and depends on the starch content of foods consumed.

“Pulses are extremely nutrient-dense food that have the potential to reduce chronic diseases associated with mismanaged glucose levels,” said Alison Duncan, department of human health and nutritional sciences.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, concluded that pulses, such as lentils, can slow digestion and the release of sugars found in starch into the bloodstream, ultimately reducing blood glucose levels.

“We are hoping that building evidence for approval of a health claim for pulses will further encourage people to add pulses to their side dishes,” said Duncan.



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