Make pulses a staple
Pulses – beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas – have been repeatedly shown to improve fat metabolism and reduce heart disease risk but health professionals have not been paying attention. So, a scientific team conducted a review that analysed 26 previous trials to assess the effect of pulses on the key factors in heart disease risk. Each trial they looked at had at least three weeks’ duration and compared a diet rich in pulses with one that did not include pulses but provided the same amount of energy. The results revealed that diets which averaged 130 g of pulses a day significantly lowered LDL (the bad type) cholesterol levels compared with the control diets. This means just over half of a can of beans, lentils or chickpeas, or a generous serving of peas added to your meal, can make you healthier! There aren’t many foods that are as versatile as pulses – so get creative! Add them to soups, curries and stews, blend into a pate or a sauce – butter beans make a great sauce – turn them into burgers or use chickpea (gram) flour for pancakes! See the Vegan Recipe Club for some inspiration!
Ha et al., 2014. Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ. 186 (8) E252-62.