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Dig Into Lentils’ Potential Blood Sugar Benefits

Replacing some of your rice or mashed potatoes with lentils could help reduce your blood sugar, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition. For the study, 24 healthy adults, ages 26 to 28, were assigned to eat either 50 grams of carbs from white rice alone, or 25 grams from white rice and 25 grams from large green, small green, or split red lentils. Then, researchers repeated the experiment with another group of 24 adults, using instant potatoes instead of white rice. Researchers measured the participants’ blood sugar and insulin levels two hours before and after the test meal and discovered that:

  • After-meal blood sugar levels were 20% lower in those who ate half lentils and half white rice than in those who ate white rice alone.
  • After-meal blood sugar levels were 35% lower in those who ate half lentils and half instant potatoes than in those who ate instant potatoes alone.

These findings demonstrate not all carbs are created equal—being picky about which ones you eat may help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, which can be especially important to prevent spikes that could lead to type 2 diabetes. And lentils aren’t the only good option when it comes to carbs: whole grains and purple potatoes may also have a healthier impact on blood glucose levels compared with refined foods like white rice and instant potatoes. Other foods found to help control blood sugar include barley fiber, olive oil, and broccoli. So, add lentils to your grocery list knowing you have the makings for a tasty dinner that’s also good for your health.

Source: Journal of Nutrition

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