Study reveals health benefits of bean diet for type 2 diabetes

By regularly eating beans, people with type 2 diabetes can lower their blood sugar and risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study showed. The study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, was funded by the Pulse Research Network and the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers.

The study evaluated 121 men and women with well-controlled type 2 diabetes before and after three months, FoodBeat reported. During that period, one group consumed a low glycemic index diet with a daily cup of legumes. The others ate healthy foods, including whole wheat products.

"People with diabetes did better in terms of blood sugar control on the bean diet versus a diet without beans, which was otherwise healthy," said researcher Dr. David Jenkins, professor of medicine and nutrition at the University of Toronto to WebMD.

Both groups showed positive changes to their blood fat, blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels, but those who ate beans also experienced a drop in blood pressure, according to The Huffington Post.

"[The bean diet] reduced heart disease risk predominantly because of its effect on blood pressure," Jenkins continued in CBS News. "That came as a shock to us."

The estimated, 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease for the bean eaters fell about one percentage point, which compares to the typical two percentage point reduction from cholesterol-lowering medications, FOX News noted.

"We hope that this could be the point that allows you to delay medication use," Jenkins remarked.

Article sources  expand

About Doresa Banning

Doresa Banning, a freelance writer, has a family member with diabetes, so she's often reading food labels and searching for tasty, sugar-free dessert recipes.

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