Pulse it up to make LDL go down

By 16. April 2014Blog, Health, Nutrition

We’ve all heard that beans are good for the heart,  (and if you haven’t then I suggest you google it to learn a great playground rhyme) but did you know beans along with chickpeas, lentils and peas are able to reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol?

Well, according to a paper published in The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) they can. Researchers pooled together diet studies that compared diets containing beans and pulses with isocaloric diets (diet containing equal amounts of carbohydrate, protein and fat).

The LDL cholesterol levels of the volunteers were measured and it was observed that those eating diets containing the beans and pulses had significantly lower LDL cholesterol than the people consuming the isocaloric diet.

One downside though was the number of participants reporting upset stomach, flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea and oddly in some cases constipation. It did seem to be a temporary thing though and most of the trials reported it had improved after a couple of weeks.

So if you are considering embarking on such a diet it might be an idea to start it in the summer when it’s easier to open the windows or “pop outside” for a minute.

The paper is available on the CMAJ website.