The Benefits of Beans and Legumes for Heart Health

Research suggests that beans, peas and lentils can help lower your risk of heart disease.

February 21, 2022

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different kinds of lentils in wooden spoons

Beans, beans are good for your heart — and so are peas and lentils! Research suggests that that beans, peas and lentils can help lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and more. Legumes have become popular as a part of a plant-forward diet and have numerous health benefits including fiber, minerals and some protein. Here's what you need to know about legumes and heart health.

The Research on Legumes and Heart Health

The report, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, reviewed 26 studies to determine the relationship between eating legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) and the risk of heart disease. The data revealed that eating about 1 serving of legumes per day helped significantly lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. High LDL "bad" cholesterol levels are associated with higher risk for heart disease and generally come from eating foods high in saturated fat, but not all cholesterol is bad. Food like shrimp and eggs that are high in cholesterol but low in saturated fat can be part of a healthy diet.

Healthy Ways to Eat Legumes

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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