heart disease

Legume consumption shown to improve blood glucose control and lower heart disease risk

Friday, November 02, 2012 by: John Phillip
Tags: legume, blood glucose, heart disease

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(NaturalNews) Poor blood glucose control is a leading indicator of pending chronic illness, as excess sugars combine with proteins and fats to create advanced glycation end products (AGE's) that damage the lining of arteries throughout the body and block blood flow in the smallest capillaries of the eyes, kidneys and extremities. A number of natural foods and compounds have been validated to block the formation of damaging AGE's. Among them are resveratrol, carnosine and the consumption of many varieties of nuts and seeds.

A research team from the University of Toronto in Canada, publishing in the Archives of Internal Medicine have found that eating more legumes (such as beans, chickpeas or lentils) as part of a low-glycemic index diet appears to improve glycemic control and reduce estimated coronary heart disease risk in patients with Type II diabetes mellitus. In prior research works, many low glycemic index foods have been associated with improvements in the industry standard hemoglobin A1C blood test that determines blood sugar levels over the past 90 to 120 days.

Increasing legume consumption and eliminating processed foods lowers cardiovascular disease risks

Lead researcher, Dr. David Jenkins conducted a randomized, controlled study of 121 patients previously diagnosed with Type II diabetes to test the effect of eating more legumes on glycemic control, serum blood lipid levels and blood pressure. Participants were divided into two groups to receive either a low-glycemic diet that emphasized eating at least one cup of legumes each day or to increase consumption of whole wheat carbohydrates (known to boost blood glucose levels in a similar manner to eating table sugar) for a period of three months.

The study team used changes in hemoglobin A1C to determine overall heart disease risk. The results demonstrated that A1C was lowered by a statistically significant factor of .5 in the legume-consuming group and .3 among the wheat eaters. Heart disease risk was reduced by .8 percent among the legume group, largely due to reductions in systolic blood pressure readings. The scientists concluded "Legume consumption of approximately 190 g per day (one cup) seems to contribute usefully to a low-GI diet and reduce CHD risk through a reduction in BP."

The result of eating a relatively small amount of legumes every day are not dramatic, yet do provide a small heart disease risk reduction. This study provides one example of how altering diet impacts chronic disease risk. Much greater health improvements are realized by eliminating hydrogenated and fried foods, limiting refined carbohydrates and eliminating sugar from the diet. Adding healthy options including legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds will optimize health and dramatically lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sources for this article include:

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1384247
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022162546.htm
http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/35491
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251882.php

About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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