HEALTHY NATION

Daily serving of pulses can reduce bad cholesterol by 5 per cent

This would translate into a five to six per cent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease

In Summary
  • One serving of pulses is 130 grams or ¾ cup, yet Kenyans on average eat less than half a serving a day.
  • Since many pulses are grown in Kenya, this is also an opportunity to buy and eat locally and support our farmers. Not every day Ugali and greens.

Eating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce bad cholesterol and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study has found.

John Sievenpiper the lead author of the study said that by eating one serving a day of pulses, people could lower their LDL ("bad") cholesterol by five per cent.

He said that would translate into a five to six per cent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death globally.

Pulses have a low glycemic index, meaning that they are foods that break down slowly and tend to reduce or displace animal protein and "bad" fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.

“We have a lot of room in our diets for increasing our pulse intake to derive the cardiovascular benefits,” Sievenpiper said.

“Pulses already play a role in many traditional cuisines, including Mediterranean and South Asian. As a bonus, they're inexpensive.” 

One serving of pulses is 130 grams or ¾ cup, yet Kenyans on average eat less than half a serving a day.

Since many pulses are grown in Kenya, this is also an opportunity to buy and eat locally and support our farmers. Not every day Ugali and greens.

Dr Sievenpiper's analysis reviewed 26 randomised controlled trials that included 1,037 people.

Men had a greater reduction in LDL cholesterol compared with women, perhaps because their diets are poorer and cholesterol levels are higher and benefit more markedly from a healthier diet.

Some study participants reported stomach upset such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation but these symptoms subsided over the course of the study.

The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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