Dietary pulses as essential as superfruits, says study
Dried beans are considered often get linked to causing gastric problems in the system. It is not considered fabulous cuisine. Dietary pulses reduce bad cholesterol.
Dried beans are considered often get linked to causing gastric problems in the system. It is not considered fabulous cuisine.
But new research may help elevate dietary pulses — lentils, peas, beans, and chickpeas — to the star status of exotic superfruits and exotic leaf greens.
A group of Toronto-led researchers has found that eating one serving of dietary pulses daily can reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which in turn lowers the risk of heart attacks and stroke. This puts pulses on par with other foods known to have lipid-lowering effects, including fibre-rich oats and barley. Said study senior author Dr. John Sievenpiper, a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital, “Pulses are one more thing to add to your diet to get a better cholesterol profile.”
To be precise, eating a daily serving of dietary pulses corresponds to a 5 per cent reduction in LDL cholesterol. One serving of cooked dietary pulse is three fourth of a cup (180 ML).
Sievenpiper said research has shown that for every one per cent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels, there is a corresponding one per cent reduction in cardiovascular disease. The author adds, “What this means is you are getting a 5 per cent reduction in LDL cholesterol by eating this daily serving of pulses. And that would equate to a 5 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and stroke.”
But, he said, dietary pulses are not curative on their own. He stressed, “If somebody is at risk for heart disease or had a heart problem and requires interventions to prevent the second heart attack, they would be looking at a broader strategy to lower LDL (cholesterol) as much as possible.” Today, only 13 percent of Canadians report eating pulses on a given day.
Sievenpiper said this means there is room in the average adult’s daily diet to include a serving of pulses, a food he described as inexpensive and easy to incorporate into meals.
The researchers noted that some study subjects complained of stomach problems, including bloating, flatulence and constipation.
But Sievenpiper said these symptoms diminish over time as people develop tolerance to dietary pulses — something he has also found by observing his own eating habits.