Pulses – beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas – can help control blood sugar in diabetes, a growing heath problem in Canada, says Pulse Canada.
In a release Dec. 7, the industry organization said researchers from the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto recently analyzed the results of 41 randomized, controlled experimental trials in 1,674 people to assess the evidence that beans benefit blood sugar control. The review showed pulses lowered fasting glucose and insulin levels when eaten alone, added to a high-fibre diet or as part of a low-glycemic diet.
Pulse Canada says human research studies funded by the Canadian pulse industry have shown that eating pulses can improve risk factors related to diabetes. Pulses can lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce blood pressure in overweight or obese individuals, reduce waist size and help with weight management.
Today, 2.5 million Canadians have diabetes and that number is expected to grow to 3.7 million in 2010. An article in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 7 predicts that diabetes is going to trigger an “economic tsunami,” increasing health care costs to $16.9 billion in 10 years.