Review| Volume 40, ISSUE 4, P355-363, August 2016

The Role of Pulses in the Dietary Management of Diabetes

  • Dan Ramdath
    Address for correspondence: Dan Ramdath, PhD, Guelph Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 93 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario N1G 5C9, Canada.
    Guelph Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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  • Simone Renwick
    Guelph Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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  • Alison M. Duncan
    Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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      Pulses are highly nutritious foods that are included as part of Canada's Food Guide to promote healthful eating, and they have established health benefits that can contribute to the dietary management of diabetes. A review of studies that have examined the effects of pulse consumption on health outcomes, integral to the management of diabetes, provides credible evidence for improvements in glycemic control, reduction of blood lipids and regulation of body weight. Results from acute feeding trials suggest that postprandial blood glucose response is significantly attenuated by a single pulse serving of between three-quarters and 1 cup. At lower doses, pulses attenuate postprandial blood glucose response more than similar amounts of starchy foods. Long-term pulse consumption of 5 cups per week appears to result consistently in improvements in glycemic control. There is high-quality evidence that supports a role for pulse consumption in the reduction of risk for cardiovascular disease; this provides a sound rationale for the regular incorporation of pulses at about two-thirds of a cup daily in the management of hyperlipidemia in persons with type 2 diabetes. Pulse consumption can contribute to improving satiety, reducing food intake and regulating body weight, which can reduce obesity risk and, in turn, improve diabetes management. Collectively, available evidence provides very good support for a role of regular pulse consumption in the prevention and management of diabetes.


      Les légumineuses sont des aliments à haute valeur nutritive qui font partie du Guide alimentaire canadien visant à promouvoir la saine alimentation et ont des bienfaits établis sur la santé qui peuvent contribuer à la prise en charge nutritionnelle du diabète. Une revue d'études qui portaient sur les effets de la consommation de légumineuses sur les résultats cliniques, partie intégrante de la prise en charge du diabète, fournit des données probantes crédibles sur les améliorations de la régulation de la glycémie, la réduction des lipides dans le sang et la régulation du poids corporel. Les résultats provenant d'essais à court terme sur l'alimentation suggèrent que la réponse glycémique postprandiale est significativement atténuée par une seule portion de légumineuses de 3/4 à 1 tasse. À de plus petites portions, les légumineuses atténuent la réponse glycémique postprandiale plus que des quantités similaires de féculents. La consommation à long terme de 5 tasses de légumineuses par semaine semble invariablement entraîner des améliorations dans la régulation de la glycémie. Il existe des données probantes de qualité supérieure qui appuient le rôle de la consommation de légumineuses dans la réduction du risque de maladies cardiovasculaires. Ceci donne une raison valable à l'incorporation régulière d'environ 2/3 à 1 tasse de légumineuses par jour lors de la prise en charge de l'hyperlipidémie chez les personnes atteintes du diabète de type 2. La consommation de légumineuses peut contribuer à l'augmentation de la satiété, la réduction de l'apport alimentaire et la régulation du poids corporel, lesquelles peuvent réduire le risque d'obésité et, en contrepartie, améliorer la prise en charge du diabète. Collectivement, les données probantes disponibles apportent un très bon soutien au rôle de la consommation régulière de légumineuses dans la prévention et la prise en charge du diabète.


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