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Full of Beans

Fibre-rich beans help manage blood sugar levels

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Full of Beans

Blood sugar levels are easy to manage with a diet that focuses on whole foods and beans, which consistently appear on the low end of the glycemic index (a measure of how a given food will raise blood sugar when compared to pure glucose).

Blood sugar levels are easy to manage with a diet that focuses on whole foods and beans, which consistently appear on the low end of the glycemic index (a measure of how a given food will raise blood sugar when compared to pure glucose).

Researchers at the University of Kentucky reviewed current scientific research and reported in 2004 that people with diabetes should ideally consume low-glycemic carbohydrates as the largest portion of their diet (greater than 55 percent), with relatively low levels of protein (12 to 16 percent) and less than 30 percent fat. You’ll find that most of this month’s recipes easily meet those criteria.

Beans are an excellent source of protein, but they also contain protective fibre; for example, one cup (250 mL) of chickpeas provides 11 grams of fibre. Fibre helps eliminate toxins and, more importantly, slows the release of complex carbohydrates, resulting in balanced blood sugar over several hours.

Botanically speaking, beans are the edible seeds of any leguminous plant that grow in long pods, and more than 14,000 known varieties have been identified. Readily available kinds include red kidney beans, black beans, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), split peas, pinto beans, and soy beans.

Beans offer us plenty to play with in the kitchen, so why not give them a try with this month’s recipes?

Recipes

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