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Lentils Have Blood Sugar Benefits

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Glucose control without completely omitting carbs

Getting a grip on diabetes isn’t easy.  From checking blood sugar to dosing insulin and controlling portions, there’s a lot that goes into keeping oneself healthy.  While there are many aspects of disease management to consider, a common concern with diabetes is blood glucose control.  Often with diabetes, especially after eating a carbohydrate rich meal, blood sugar is elevated and the body is unable to move it efficiently into the cells where it is used for energy or stored away as fat.  However, research published in the Journal of Nutrition, investigated a food swap that may help keep blood sugar in check, without completely omitting the carbs you love.

Researchers at the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada, aimed to determine how blood glucose levels responded when 50% of portions of rice and potatoes were replaced with cooked lentils.  They randomly assigned 24 healthy adults to consume a serving of white rice, a serving of potato or either potato or rice mixed with half lentils.  Blood glucose levels were measured before eating, and two hours after.  Analysis revealed that replacing half a serving of rice with lentils reduced blood glucose by 20%.  Replacing potatoes with lentils produced a greater drop at 35%.  Researchers chose this approach since lentils are typically consumed in combination with other carbohydrate sources.

Not familiar with lentils?  They’re a type of legume that have a rich, nutty flavor and are a generous source of fiber, complex carbohydrates and protein.  Because of their unique makeup, lentils digest slowly, ultimately reducing blood glucose levels.  Just a ½ cup of green lentils provides 12g protein and 9g fiber for only 140 calories.  And unlike other dried beans and legumes, lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking, making them an ideal addition to dishes like salads, soups or even baked goods!  If you are a fan of bean soups, try our Wild Salmon Vegetable and Bean Soup or if you prefer a smooth soup experience, our Smoked Lentil and Spinach Swirl Soup may be your pick.

Published October 1, 2018

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