(NaturalNews) Recent research out of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto has demonstrated that eating at least one serving of beans, lentils, chickpeas or peas a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing bad cholesterol! Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Lead researcher Dr. John Sievenpiper said that you could witness a 5 percent decrease in your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by eating one serving a day of these foods. This can correlate to reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease by 5 to 6 percent, according to Dr. Sievenpiper. The study, which looked at trials from over 1,030 participants, determined that males had a greater reduction in their LDL cholesterol than women. It was hypothesized that this could be due to their diets being poorer in general, and thus their cholesterol was already higher to begin with.
According to the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, one serving of this type of food is three-quarters of a cup (130 grams). That may not sound like a large amount, but on average people in North America consume less than half of that recommended daily allotment. Beans are known to break down slowly when consumed (they have a low glycemic index, helping you feel fuller longer), and because they are generally high in protein, they can be quite helpful in taking the place of some animal protein and bad fats in your meals! This can lead to a substantial decrease in your bad cholesterol! Dr. Sievenpiper said, "We have a lot of room in our diets for increasing our pulse intake [term for this grouping of food] to derive the cardiovascular benefits."
As one might expect from the increased consumption of foods such as beans and lentils, some participants in the study witnessed bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea, but these symptoms were diminished or subsided completely over the course of the study!
Beans have also been shown to have cancer-preventing abilities as well! Research out of Japan determined that the more beans you ate, the lower your risk of colon cancer. The study of over 43,000 people (age 40-79) found that fiber from beans had the largest effect on colon cancer statistics, especially in men! Not only do beans lower bad cholesterol and help prevent cancer, but they have also been linked to helping prevent diabetes and helping induce weight loss due to their slow digestion and fiber content.
One of the biggest benefits of eating more beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas on a global level is that not only are they a good source of protein but are also inexpensive. Dr. Sievenpiper said, "Pulses already play a role in many traditional cuisines, including Mediterranean and South Asian. As an added bonus, they're inexpensive. Since many pulses are grown in North America, it's also an opportunity to buy and eat locally and support our farmers." Along with other health factors, such as the remainder of your diet and your exercise regime, beans could help reduce your bad cholesterol!
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