Legumes help prevent diabetes

Cholesterol levels are known to be one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (the “number one killer” in the modern world). But, despite the fact that it is not difficult to monitor cholesterol levels, and it is quite widely known which foods lower it, many simply turn a blind eye to the possibility of lowering it with proper nutrition.

The recommended level of consumption of “bad cholesterol” (LDL) per day is no more than 129 mg, and for people at risk (smokers, those who are overweight or have a hereditary predisposition to cardiovascular diseases) – less than 100 mg. This threshold is not difficult to exceed if you eat only fresh and healthy food – but it is almost impossible if the diet includes fast food and meat. One of the most beneficial foods for lowering “bad cholesterol” levels are legumes – this is confirmed by the results of a recent study.

Every 3/4 cup of legumes in the diet reduces the level of bad cholesterol by 5%, while increasing good cholesterol, and thus effectively prevent type 2 diabetes, modern doctors have found out. At the same time, this amount of legumes reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 5-6%. By consuming more, the health benefits naturally add up.

In this sense, legumes, which contain high amounts of protein and dietary fiber, as well as iron, zinc, B vitamins and phosphorus, are a kind of “alternative” or direct opposite of meat foods – which are known to contain record amounts of cholesterol, and data from many studies leads to cardiovascular diseases.  

You can consume legumes, of course, not only boiled (by the way, they cook much faster in a double boiler) – but also: • In spaghetti sauce; • In soup; • In a salad (ready-made); • In the form of a paste for sandwiches or tortillas – for this you need to grind the finished beans along with sesame seeds in a blender; • In pilaf and other complex dishes – where non-vegetarians use meat.

However, don’t be in a hurry to try to lower your “bad” cholesterol by 100% by cooking a whole pot of peas! The consumption of legumes is often limited by the individual characteristics of digestion. In other words, if you do not live in a remote Indian village and are not used to eating legumes every day, then it is better to increase their consumption gradually.

In order to reduce the gas-forming properties of legumes, they are pre-soaked for at least 8 hours and / or spices that reduce gas formation are added during cooking, azhgon and epazot (“Jesuit tea”) are especially good here.  


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