Lentils are round pulses or legumes that comes in many colours and sizes. They are edible seeds that grow in a pod – other types of pulses include beans and peas. Lentils contain the third highest amount of protein of any pulse so they are a perfect choice for people following a high protein diet, watching their weight, and trying to reverse symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The inexpensive and highly nutritious food can be stored anywhere and has been a staple food in many cultures across the globe.
Even though they do contain carbohydrates, eating lentils won’t cause a sharp rises to blood glucose levels compared to other carbohydrate-containing foods.
Lentils will slow down the process of breaking down carbohydrates into glucose in the blood, making them a perfect choice for type 2 diabetics hoping to reverse their symptoms.
Other benefits of the lentils:
They count towards your five a day
Three tablespoons of pulses count as one serving of fruit and vegetables. However they do only count as one portion regardless of the amount or type you eat.
They are a source of protein
Lentils are a good source of protein which is essential for building and replacing muscle. Lentils are a great source of protein for vegetarians and a useful way of getting protein into the diet.
Good source of fibre
Lentils have a high level of soluble fibre in them which is essential to keeping the digestive system healthy. They help to lower cholesterol levels which keeps the heart healthy. Research has shown people with good fibre intake have lower rates of the condition of heart disease.
They keep you feeling fuller for longer
The fibre and protein in lentils makes them a very filling food. This helps in lowering calorie intake as those who eat them are less prone to snacking.
They are low in fat
Lentils are low in fat which helps the heart and also weight management, as fat contains more energy gram for gram compared to carbohydrate, protein and alcohol.
There are many ways of preparing lentils and many different and delicious recipes including:
- Squash and lentil salad
- Roasted broccoli, lentils and tahini yogurt
- Spiced mushroom and lentil hotpot
- Red lentil and chorizo soup
Tips to help reverse type 2 diabetes:
- Fill at least half your plate with leafy green vegetables or salas
- Avoid having cakes, biscuits or ice cream
- Avoid low-fat foods
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices
- Avoid breakfast cereals
- Avoid sweetened yogurt
- Avoid carbohydrate-based meals
- When eating carbohydrates go for wholegrain bread, rice or pasta instead of white bread, rice or pasta
- Choose dark chocolate
- Use peanut butter rather than jam or marmalade
A diet rich in legumes will help regulate blood sugar and improve your glycemic control. Two factors that are imperative for type 2 diabetics hoping to reverse their symptoms.