According to a study published in the journal of clinical nutrition, the consumption of legumes is inversely associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In a prospective assessment of 3349 participants who had no type 2 DM at baseline and yearly follow-up, 266 new cases of type 2 DM occurred, with those who had the highest total legume and lentil consumption having the lowest risk and those with the lowest legume consumption having the highest risk. The study revealed that those with a higher intake of legumes were 35 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than their counterparts who consumed a smaller amount of legumes. Of all the legumes studied, lentils had the strongest association with a low risk of type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, the researchers found that replacing half a serving per day of legumes with an equivalent portion of protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods including bread, eggs, rice, or potatoes also correlated with a reduced risk of diabetes.
The authors conclude that “A frequent consumption of legumes, particularly lentils, in the context of a Mediterranean diet, may provide benefits on type 2 diabetes prevention in older adults at high cardiovascular risk.”
Nerea Becerra-Tomás et al. Legume consumption is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes incidence in adults: a prospective assessment from the PREDIMED study. Clinical Nutrition, March 2017