Beans Peas and Lentils - Detail - ©

Lentils Can Reduce Blood Glucose

Good news for Diabetics? Maybe… But recent studies by researchers at the University of Guelph suggest that you can reduce your blood glucose levels by up to 35 percent by replacing either of two common foods in your diet with Lentils. Seems Lentils effect the way your body processes carbs…

Beans Peas and Lentils - © jennieyuen.blogspot.caA new study reveals Pulses and Lentils can dramatically lower you blood Sugar!

Prof. Alison Duncan, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, and Dan Ramdath of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, found that swapping out half of a portion of Rice or Potatoes for Lentils can significantly improve your body’s response to the carbohydrates.

Replacing half a serving of Rice with Lentils caused blood glucose to drop by up to 20 per cent. Replacing Potatoes with lentils led to a 35-per-cent drop.

What they did…

The study involved 24 healthy adults fed four dishes – white Rice only, half White rice and half large Green Lentils, half White Rice and half small Green Lentils, and half white Rice and half split Red Lentils. Researchers measured glucose levels in the participants’ blood before they ate and during two hours afterward. They repeated the process for white potatoes alone and the same combinations of Potatoes and Lentils.

“We mixed the lentils in with the Potatoes and Rice because people don’t typically eat pulses on their own, but rather consume them in combination with other starches as part of a larger meal, so we wanted the results to reflect that,” Duncan notes.

What they found…

Pulses, such as Lentils, can slow digestion and the release of sugars found in starch into the bloodstream, ultimately reducing blood glucose levels.

“This slower absorption means you don’t experience a spike in glucose. Having high levels over a period of time can lead to mismanagement of blood glucose, which is the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes. Essentially, eating Lentils can lower that risk,” Duncan explains.

Health Canada requires a 20 percent reduction in blood glucose levels before a health claim about blood glucose lowering can be approved.

My take…

If the Lentil connection is confirmed by further, independent studies, this could be a major breakthrough for sufferers of Type 2 diabetes. And that’s a good thing. Type 2 diabetes is becoming a major global health problem, along with obesity, which often leads to diabetes.

One thing we really want to know is, what do Lentils have in them that produces the beneficial effect? Duncan says she and her team have discovered that something in Lentils and Pulses inhibits an enzyme that promotes glucose absorption. If we could determine what that is, we could, perhaps, create a drug – for those who don’t want to eat Lentils…

~ Maggie J.