Pulses could protect your heart

7 April 2014        

Kidney beans

Eating just one daily serving of beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas, significantly reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol and heart disease risk, according to research.

Researchers from Canada and the US reviewed 26 trials that included over 1,000 people. Despite variation between studies, researchers found a five per cent reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in people who ate one serving of beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas each day.

Men had greater reduction in LDL cholesterol than women, which researchers attributed to the fact that men tend to have higher cholesterol levels overall which benefit more markedly from a healthier diet.

Our Senior Dietitian, Victoria Taylor, said: “This study supports what we know about the heart health benefits of a Mediterranean diet rich in beans, peas and lentils.

“Pulses are a nutritious and inexpensive choice. They are low in fat and provide us with protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre.

“People tend to associate pulses with a vegetarian diet, but they’re not just for meat-free meals. Adding beans and lentils to everyday dishes will make your ingredients go further. Not only will you be helping to protect your heart, but you’ll be looking after your wallet too.”