If you have type 2 diabetes, you probably already know that you need to keep a close eye on what you eat. Certain foods can affect how well you manage your condition. A recent study suggests people with diabetes should try adding more legumes to their diet. Researchers found that eating more of them may lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Legumes are foods that include beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Such foods are naturally high in protein and fiber - two components that may boost heart health. Legumes are also rated low on the glycemic index, which measures the amount of sugar in a food. Eating foods on the low end of the index may help control diabetes better.
"Legumes, which we always thought were good for the heart, actually are good for the heart in ways we didn't expect," says lead researcher David Jenkins, M.D., at the University of Toronto. Among people with diabetes, "not only did their glucose control become better, but - and this surprised us - it had a significant effect on blood pressure."
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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)
Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.
Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)
Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.
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For the study, researchers had 121 people eat either 1 cup of legumes or 1 cup of whole-wheat foods a day. After about three months, researchers noted both groups saw a drop in blood sugar and blood pressure levels. But those eating legumes had the most improvement in both levels.
Focusing on a better diet
Experts stress that people with diabetes should focus on a healthy diet. Legumes can certainly play a part in that, even if you can't eat a cup a day. Other studies have suggested that legumes can lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.
"Legumes will do well for you," says Dr. Jenkins. "They will help you keep your blood pressure down and your blood glucose under control. They can help you keep your cholesterol down, too."
This study was published in a recent issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study was partially funded by the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, a nonprofit organization representing legume growers in Canada.
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.