What’s more, those who bumped just half a serving a day of eggs, bread, rice or baked potato in favour of more legumes had even better results in terms of risk reduction.
The study didn’t study why exactly legumes are such a powerhouse for diabetes prevention, but researchers did note that the food group contains a sizeable amount of fibre, and is considered a low-glycemic choice.
That means they don’t make your blood sugar spike after meals the way bread or baked potatoes might, and the fibre keeps your blood sugar steady for hours. That level of glycemic control has been noted in past studies as an important diabetes prevention strategy.
Lentils, in particular, are fibre all-stars. According to the USDA, there are 8 grams of fibre in a half cup of lentils, compared to 4 grams in the same amount of green peas. The agency recommends that people get at least 20 to 30 grams of fibre per day, although most Americans fall short at around 15 grams.
Making up the difference with legumes can boost you up to the recommended amount while potentially cutting your type 2 diabetes risk at the same time, the new research suggests.
This article was originally published on MensHealth.com