If you have been advised to reduce your cholesterol
levels, here is one more suggestion that you can adopt - eat a serving of
legumes like beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas every day.
A new study from the Canadian Medical
effect of taking non-oil-seed legumes in reducing LDL -
or bad cholesterol levels. They pooled data from
individual studies which covered 1037 individuals. They found a 5% reduction in
LDL-cholesterol levels in those who took a serving of legumes
every day for at least 3 weeks. This could reduce the risk of heart disease to
a small extent.
legumes are a part of the regular diet in India, it is less consumed in the
western world. Adverse effects recorded in the study include bloating
Types of Legumes
Legumes grow from plants
which develop pods with seeds inside. The seeds and sometimes the pods are
consumed as food. Common types of legumes include:
Beans: There are several types of beans like French beans, soybeans
, fava beans, kidney
beans and lima beans.
types of peas include green peas, black-eyed peas and split peas.
: Lentils are small oval
grains that are a type of legumes. Sprouted lentils are nutritionally desired
Benefits of Legumes
Legumes are rich
. They can substitute the
protein requirement in vegetarians. Sprouted lentils are a particularly good
They are rich in
Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol levels and also helps in the proper
functioning of the digestive system.
are low in fat.
contain micronutrients like folate
iron, potassium and magnesium.
Heart Disease Diet Plan
Here are a few diet tips to keep your heart healthy:
Control your salt
. Salt increases blood
and increases the work load of the heart.
Reduce your fat intake, especially that of
saturated fats. Excessive fats deposit in blood vessels, thereby obstructing
the free flow of blood. This can result in a heart attack.
Eat a lot of fresh fruits and
. These contain antioxidants that are good for your
Eat whole grain-based foods rather than
those based on refined grains or flour.
Eat just as much as you need. Eating 5 to 6
small meals may be a better option than three large meals.
Control your intake of sugar
which adds up to your calorie intake.
If you are a non-vegetarian, fish like
is good for your heart.
1. Ha V et al. Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic
lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systematic review and
meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ 2014.