Harvard Health Letter

Beans may help control blood sugar in people with diabetes

A cup of beans or lentils each day, when combined with a low-glycemic diet, helped lower blood sugar levels and coronary artery disease risk in patients with type 2 diabetes. Those are the findings in a study published online Oct. 22, 2012, in Archives of Internal Medicine. Legumes, because they pack a lot of protein, help dampen the blood sugar response, and lower blood pressure. And as a good source of fiber, beans can help lower cholesterol, too. Researchers found that after just three months on the "bean diet," the patients' hemoglobin A1c levels (which reflect blood sugar level over a period of several weeks) had dropped half a percentage point.

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