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New research: Pulses help prevent diseases


February 6, 2009
By CNW Group / Pulse Canada

Feb. 6, 2009, TORONTO – New clinical research released yesterday shows that eating pulses – beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas – can help combat chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes and contribute to overall good health.

The results from six clinical trials were released at the Pulse Health & Food Symposium in Toronto. Leading researchers from across Canada as well as Purdue University and the University of Florida presented their findings to more than 140 researchers, health professionals, academics, food developers, government officials and industry representatives.

“Chronic diseases and other health problems are on the rise,” says Peter Watts, director of market innovation for Pulse Canada. “These research results add to the body of evidence that shows beans, peas and lentils have enormous potential to reduce cholesterol, fight cardiovascular disease, help with insulin management and improve gut health.”

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The clinical trial results show pulses can help manage weight-related health problems, such as type II diabetes and heart disease. Regular consumption of beans and other pulses can contribute to reduced serum cholesterol and triglycerides, which are two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The research also linked pulse consumption to improved arterial health and lower blood pressure.

Several studies showed regular consumption of pulses can be an important tool in combating obesity as they help increase feelings of fullness and contribute to weight loss. Diabetics can also benefit from pulses, which have a low glycemic index and can help regulate insulin levels.

“With growing rates of childhood obesity, an aging population and increasing concerns about health issues, finding solutions to improve the health of Canadians and people around the world is becoming increasingly important,” says Watts. “Pulses are a prescription for healthy living right out of the grocery cart.”

The clinical trials were funded through the Pulse Innovation Project, a Pulse Canada project which received a $3.2 million contribution from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Science and Innovation program. The project’s objective is to increase pulse utilization in North America to provide health and nutrition benefits to all Canadians and increase demand for Canadian pulses. The Pulse Food Symposium is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative made possible through funding from AAFC’s Agricultural Policy Framework. Pulse Canada is the national association that represents growers, processors and traders of Canadian pulse crops.