Peas, beans and lentils are an important part of a vegetarian diet, but even if you are a meat eater, you should regularly eat pulses to keep your blood sugars in check. Like oats, pulses are rich in soluble fiber, which may explain why research has found that people who regularly consume pulses have better blood glucose control. However, in addition to their soluble fiber content, legumes are also high in the insoluble fiber lignin, which may play a role in controlling glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Besides aiding blood glucose control for optimal management of diabetes, studies highlight that including pulses in your diet can also support effective weight loss. For instance, following a low-calorie diet rich in pulses for just 6 weeks can significantly reduce waist circumference in people with abdominal obesity, making peas, beans and lentils a useful addition to a calorie-controlled diet.
Add pulses to soups, salads, stews, pasta sauces and curries as an alternative to meat. You can also use beans and lentils to make a healthier alternative to pâté by blending cooked pulses with a little lemon juice, garlic and seasoning of your choosing. Finally, it is possible to substitute pulses for flour when baking, allowing you to create sweet items with a lower glycemic index. Just remember that if you are using dried lentils, peas and beans, they must be properly soaked to make the pulses more digestible and to enable cooking, aiding your comfort and giving you better results from your recipes.