Eat 3 Servings Of This a Week to Cut Your Diabetes Risk By 35%
If you want to slash your diabetes risk, you may want to start replacing some of your tried-and-true meal choices with legumes—especially lentils, according to a new study published in Clinical Nutrition.
After analysing the food consumption of 3,349 people at high risk of heart disease but without type 2 diabetes, they discovered that those who ate about 3 servings a week of lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peas were 35 percent less likely to develop diabetes over a four-year follow up than those who consumed less legumes.
What’s more, those who bumped just half a serving a day of eggs, bread, rice or baked potato in favour of more legumes had even better results in terms of risk reduction.
The study didn’t study why exactly legumes are such a powerhouse for diabetes prevention, but researchers did note that the food group contains a sizable amount of fibre, and is considered a low-glycaemic choice.
That means they don’t make your blood sugar spike after meals the way bread or baked potatoes might, and the fibre keeps your blood sugar steady for hours. That level of glycaemic control has been noted in past studies as an important diabetes prevention strategy.
Lentils, in particular, are fibre all-stars. According to the USDA, there are 8 grams of fibre in a half cup of lentils, compared to 4 grams in the same amount of green peas. The agency recommends that people get at least 20 to 30 grams of fibre per day, although most Americans fall short at around 15 grams.
Making up the difference with legumes can boost you up to the recommended amount while potentially cutting your type 2 diabetes risk at the same time, the new research suggests.