A recently published analysis of 26 scientific studies on the effect of pulses (beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas) on cholesterol levels of mostly middle-aged people at risk of heart disease, revealed how good these little gems can be for you. Just one serving (130 grams) per day achieved a significant reduction in cholesterol. Regular pulse intake has also been shown to be beneficial in terms of weight control, improved sugar metabolism and lower blood pressure.
A new study suggests that eating pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, etc.) on a regular basis can prevent metabolic syndrome - characterised by being overweight or obese with the accumulation of fat mainly around the waist, raised blood pressure and increased fat and sugar levels in the blood (considered to be pre-diabetic). In the study, people who consumed the most pulses (around 2.5 portions per week) had lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels and a better ratio of bad v good fats in the blood than those people who consumed less.
A refreshingly original long-term study of several hundred elderly women found that a daily intake of pulses and soya products was associated with a significantly reduced risk of functional disability in later life. People with functional disabilities have problems, for example, with going outside the home, keeping track of money and bills, preparing meals, doing light housework, taking prescription medicines in the right amount at the right time, and using the telephone.
Numbers of Indians with cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes are skyrocketing, and numbers of overweight or obese people in India are no less alarming. A recently published study set out to identify key food patterns in several Indian regions and determine problematic foods linked to the above conditions. The food patterns were labelled as: fruit – dairy, vegetables – pulses, pulses – rice, fruit – vegetables, sweets – snacks, snacks – meat.
To assess the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets, a large study of nearly 130,000 people lasting for over 20 years was conducted and the results were recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The research revealed that a low-carbohydrate diet based on animal sources (where protein and fat are the main nutrients) was associated with increased all-cause mortality in both men and women, and more specifically with cardiovascular and cancer mortality.
Eating chickpeas on a regular basis can make you eat less, make healthier food choices and improve you bowel health according to a new study published in Appetite. This study’s participants consumed at least four cans of chickpeas (in various meals) per week for 12 weeks. It was found that they ate generally less (especially cereal-based foods) during the chickpea period, felt more satiated and their digestion was better.
New research from the University of Crete shows that asthma is less common in children whose mothers ate a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit and vegetables during pregnancy. Eating vegetables more than eight times a week and pulses (peas, beans and lentils) more than once a week helped most. These foods contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals including antioxidants which help keep us healthy. This study also found that eating red meat more than three to four times a week increased the risk.
A review of 25 studies shows that a plant-based diet can help slow prostate cancer. Writing in the journal Nutrition Reviews, scientists reported that prostate cancer patients who ate the most fruit, vegetables and pulses (peas, beans and lentils) and the least meat and dairy products lived longer. In contrast, men who ate the most saturated fat were three times more likely to die from prostate cancer than those who ate the least.