Research has found that legumes, which include lentils, beans, peas and pulses, are an extremely healthy addition to the diet. Legumes are a low glycemic carbohydrate – meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar levels. They are full of great amounts of protein and fibre, and many important minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium.
Carbohydrates have been given a bad reputation. But why?
Refined carbohydrates, often known as simple carbohydrates, are foods that have been stripped of nutrients and fibre, for example white bread and white pasta. These foods have a high glycemic index and send blood sugar levels up quickly. Complex carbs on the other hand such as legumes, fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients, vitamins and minerals, plus that all important fibre. These foods have a low glycemic index and take longer to digest, meaning they have a slower impact on your blood sugar.
Current research has found that legumes can have a positive impact on blood sugar control in those with Type two Diabetes. The study found that those who consumed legumes regularly had up to a 0.05% decrease in HbA1c levels
Authors say, “Regular legume consumption may play a considerable role in reducing the risks associated with Type two Diabetes”.
It is suggested by healthcare professionals that when introducing legumes into the diet, to do so slowly, and gradually build up to avoid digestive discomfort. Soaking, rinsing and cooking legumes also really help with digestion.