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Diet rich in beans, lentils helps control diabetes

CHICAGO -- A diet rich in nuts, beans and lentils beat a high cereal-fiber diet in controlling symptoms of diabetes and heart disease, Canadian researchers said on Tuesday.

They said the study was aimed at settling the question of which diet could help diabetics gain better control over their disease, but it could be helpful for others as well. Dr. David Jenkins of St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto and colleagues studied 210 people with type 2 diabetes randomly selected to try one of two diets for six months. All were also treated with medications to control their blood sugar and had monthly blood tests.

People on the low-glycemic index diet ate an abundance of beans, peas, lentils, nuts and pasta. People in the high fiber group ate a largely “brown” diet: whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, potatoes with skins and whole wheat bread, crackers and cereals. At the end of the six months, people on the low-glycemic diet lost slightly more weight, had significantly better control of their blood sugar and had higher levels of high density lipoprotein or HDL, the so-called good cholesterol.

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