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Beans a Boon for People With Diabetes, Study Finds
Eating more legumes, such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, can lower blood sugar, blood pressureBy Steven Reinberg
MONDAY, Oct 22 (HealthDay News) -- People suffering from type 2 diabetes can see an improvement in both their blood sugar levels and blood pressure if they add beans and other legumes to their diet, Canadian researchers report.
Chickpeas, lentils and beans are rich in protein and fiber, and these may improve heart health. Because they are low on the glycemic index, a measure of sugar in foods, they may also help control diabetes, the researchers explained.
"Legumes, which we always thought were good for the heart, actually are good for the heart in ways we didn't expect," said lead researcher Dr. David Jenkins, the Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Toronto.
Among diabetics, "not only did their glucose control become better, but -- and this surprised us -- it had a significant effect on blood pressure," he said.
Exactly why legumes have this effect on blood sugar and blood pressure isn't known, Jenkins said. The effect is most likely due to the protein, fiber and minerals they include, he noted.