Researchers found that replacing rice, potatoes, and other starchy side dishes with lentils can significantly lower blood sugar levels.
The study, which was carried out by a team of researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada, looked at the blood sugar readings of 24 healthy adults after eating four different dishes: white rice only; half white rice and half large green lentils; half white rice and half small green lentils; and half white rice and half split red lentils.
Before the participants ate, the research team measured their blood sugar levels. The team measured the participants’ blood sugar levels again two hours after they had their meals. The team did the same with white potatoes, using the same combination of lentils as with the rice.
The research team explained that the legumes were combined together with the starches in order to have a better observation of how people tend to eat them. The results were similar for each of the three types of lentils.
The results of the study revealed that replacing half a serving of rice with lentils led to a 20 percent decline in blood sugar level. Meanwhile, substituting half a serving of potatoes with lentils resulted in a 35 percent reduction in blood sugar.
Lentils are a nutrient-dense food that can slow down digestion and help regulate sugars in the bloodstream. A slower digestion means that there will be no spike in blood sugar levels. Thus, eating more lentils can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.