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World Diabetes Day NOV 9 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Blog Post and Event

World Diabetes Day Provides a Good Opportunity to Remind Diabetics about the Benefits of Eating Pulses

Pulses including dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas are a good food choice for a diabetic diet because they have a low glycemic index and are rich in fibre, said Alberta Pulse’s Food and Nutrition Coordinator.

“In research studies where pulses were eaten on their own, fasting blood glucose levels were significantly lowered,” said Registered Dietitian Debra McLennan, Alberta Pulse’s Food and Nutrition Coordinator. “Including pulses as part of a balanced meal helps to increase the dietary fibre content and lower the glycemic index of the overall meal, which can help promote better blood glucose control for people with diabetes. November is an ideal time to remind diabetics about the many benefits of eating pulses because it is Diabetes Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day.”

Statistics from the Canadian Diabetes Association show that more than 20 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes and more than 20 Canadians are diagnosed with diabetes every hour. Created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization, World Diabetes Day is a global campaign dedicated to advocacy and increasing awareness of the realities of living and dealing with diabetes.

Nutrition plays an important role in the management of diabetes. Balancing when, what and how much you eat are key to blood glucose regulation, McLennan explained. Pulses like dry peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas and faba beans are also nutrient dense, low fat and high in protein.

McLennan added that including pulses can be as simple as adding a handful of drained and rinsed canned black beans or chickpeas to a salad or soup to get that extra punch of nutrition. Another easy dish is the Alberta Pulse recipe for Greek Lentil Salad that’s loaded with flavour and packs 6 g of protein and 3 g of fibre per serving. Looking for a hearty soup for the winter months? Try the Vegetarian Chili Chowder! With 210 calories, 9 g protein and 8 g of fibre per serving, this recipe is easy to make and another tasty way to include pulses in your diet.

Both of the recipes mentioned above are gluten-free and vegetarian. The recipes are available for reprinting with credit. The Alberta Pulse website offers these and many other recipes that feature chickpeas, beans, lentils and field peas in appetizers, soups, salads, main courses and desserts. Watch for new recipes to be unveiled during International Year of Pulses 2016!