Monday, April 7, 2014

Eating Beans Helps Lower Bad Cholesterol

A bowl of bean salad

That old childhood ditty about "Beans, beans, beans, the musical fruit …" really does tell the truth in the verse about beans being good for the heart, new research suggests.

Eating a daily serving of cooked beans is linked with lower levels of "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, according to new review study from researchers in Canada.

"We found a 5 percent reduction in bad cholesterol with one serving of legumes a day over six weeks on average," said study co-author Vanessa Ha, a research coordinator at the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

One serving equals about three-quarters cup of cooked legumes.

"When we compared beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas, we found no difference in the cholesterol-lowering effects of different types of legumes," Ha said. [Heart of the Matter: 7 Things to Know About Your Ticker]

The researchers evaluated data collected from 26 clinical trials involving 1,037 men and women who were primarily middle-age. Some of the trials involved healthy adults, while others included participants who were at moderate risk for heart disease.

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