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Eating beans and lentils daily balances blood sugar and prevents complications in diabetics

Saturday, October 27, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: lentils, blood sugar, diabetics

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(NaturalNews) More evidence has emerged debunking the appropriateness of a whole grain-based diet for diabetics, which mainstream health authorities often recommend as beneficial for managing the disease. A new study out of Canada reveals that regularly eating beans, lentils, and other legumes instead of grains can help effectively promote and sustain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels, suggesting that diet alone may be all that is needed for many diabetics to properly manage and even cure their condition.

For the study, 21 diabetics were divided up into two groups, one that was instructed to eat at least one cup a day of cooked legumes, and the other that was instructed to eat more whole wheat for its fiber content. Throughout the course of three months, each participant in both groups had his or her hemoglobin A1c levels checked, a protocol that assesses blood sugar content by measuring the amount of sugar that combines with hemoglobin to cause it to become "glycated."

At the conclusion of the three months, the research team observed that those in the legume group experienced a modest drop in hemoglobin A1c levels from 7.4 percent to 6.9 percent. And while no drop in blood pressure was observed in the whole wheat group, those eating the extra legumes saw an average drop in systolic blood pressure from 122 to 118 points, as well as a drop in diastolic blood pressure from 72 to 69.

"Legumes are good protein sources, and proteins tend to dampen the blood glucose response and they lower blood pressure," said Dr. David Jenkins, lead author of the study from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, noting that eating beans was enough to help diabetics drop their hemoglobin A1c levels into the healthy 6s range. "They are also good sources of fiber and that tend to be associated with lower cholesterol."

Since the legume group presumably also ate other foods like grains during the study, it is likely that the benefits observed were not nearly as great as they could have been if the group had eaten no grain-based foods at all. Steve Cooksey, the "Diabetes Warrior" who was targeted by the state of North Carolina for blogging about how the "Paleo" diet helped him completely cure his condition (http://www.naturalnews.com), is a great example of how a no-grain diet rich in healthy proteins can literally reverse diabetes.

"The public should be doing some preventive strategies using these foods," Dr. Jenkins added about his research. "We are not introducing some novel 'Frankenfood' into the diet -- this is really deep, traditional stuff."

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