Eat Lentils to Reduce Post-Meal Glucose Spike
Scientists found that replacing rice or potatoes with pulses, which are beans, peas and lentils, may reduce the after-meal rise in glucose. A study at the University of Guelph discovered that exchanging half a serving of rice with lentils dropped blood glucose levels up to 20 percent and exchanging half a serving of potatoes with lentils dropped it 35 percent.
“Pulses are extremely nutrient-dense food that have the potential to reduce chronic diseases associated with mismanaged glucose levels,” said lead author Professor Alison Duncan. “We are hoping this research will make people more aware of the health benefits of eating pulses.”
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In the study published in the Journal of Nutrition, 24 healthy adults were fed one of four dishes: white rice only, half white rice and half small green lentils, half white rice and half large green lentils, and half white rice and half split red lentils. Blood glucose levels of the participants were measured before eating and two hours after eating. The exact process was repeating using potatoes instead of rice.
“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,” said Duncan.
Lentils Slow Digestion, Which Lowers Blood Glucose
Substituting lentils for half the portion of rice or potatoes led to significantly better after-meal glucose levels. No differences were seen between the large green lentils, small green lentils and split red lentils.
Blood glucose levels are dependent on the starch content of foods consumed. Lentils and other pulses slow digestion, which slows the release of sugars within the starch into the bloodstream, thus resulting in lower blood glucose, said Duncan.
“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,” she said.
Duncan explained how lentils improve glucose levels. Pulses are rich in fiber, which boosts the production of short-chain fatty acids, nutrients that help lower blood glucose. In addition, they contain components that suppress the enzymes that have a role in glucose absorption.
Looking for a scrumptious and easy way to add more lentils to your diet? Click the link below for a recipe courtesy of Virginia-based Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.