Study shows protective link between consumption of legumes and risk of developing type 2 diabetes

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Legumes are a food group rich in B vitamins, contain different beneficial minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) and sizeable amounts of fibre and are regarded as a low-glycemic index food, which means that blood glucose levels increase only slowly after consumption. Due to these unique nutritional qualities, eating legumes regularly can help improve human health. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2016 as the international year of legumes to raise people's awareness of their nutritional benefits.

Although legumes have long been though to offer protection against type 2 diabetes (which is a significant health problem worldwide affecting more than 400 million adults in 2015), to date there has been little research to confirm this association.

To increase the general level of knowledge in this area, researchers from the URV's Human Nutrition Unit in collaboration with other research groups in the PREDIMED study evaluated the association between the consumption of the different sub-types of non-soy legumes and the risk of type 2 diabetes among individuals at high cardiovascular risk. They also evaluated the effect of replacing other protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods with legumes on the development of the disease.

Researchers analysed 3349 participants at high risk of cardiovascular disease but without type 2 diabetes at the beginning of the PREDIMED study. After 4 years of follow-up, the results have revealed that compared to individuals with a lower consumption of total legumes -- lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas- (12.73 grams/day, approximately equivalent to 1.5 servings per week of 60g of raw legumes), individuals with a higher consumption (28.75 grams/day, equivalent to 3,35 servings/week) had a 35% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Of the different subtypes of legume, lentils in particular were associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Those participants who had a higher consumption of lentils during the follow-up (nearly 1 serving/week) compare to those individuals with a lower consumption (less than half a serving per week), had a 33% lower risk of developing the disease. The researchers also found that the effect of replacing half a serving/day of foods rich in protein or carbohydrates, including eggs, bread, rice and baked potato, for half a serving/day of legumes was also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes incidence.

The researchers highlight the importance of consuming legumes to prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, but state that further research must be conducted in other populations to confirm these results.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Research identifies a unique protein fingerprint linked to very short sleep and increased diabetes risk