Substituting pulses for common proteins and grains improves American diet
A recently published study in Nutrients, an open-access peer-reviewed scientific journal, demonstrates that exchanging pulses for small amounts of typical protein sources and refined grains significantly improves the nutritional profile of the American diet. This new research adds to the extensive established body of evidence that showcases the multiple benefits of including pulses as part of a healthy diet.
Researchers modeled the nutritional impact of substituting servings of protein foods and/or refined grains with servings of pulses (e.g., dry peas, lentils, chickpeas, dry beans) while keeping calories consistent in the Healthy U.S.-Style Dietary Pattern identified in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Results showed an improved nutritional profile of the diet. Specifically, the addition of about ¼ cup of pulses per day in place of one ounce per day of common protein foods increases fiber, a nutrient of concern, and decreases cholesterol, each by more than 10%. Additionally, they found that substituting ½ cup of pulses daily in place of one ounce of refined grains daily also while keeping calories constant increases fiber, magnesium, copper, and potassium, a nutrient of concern, by more than 10%.
“Our results suggest that encouraging increased pulse consumption may be an effective strategy for improving nutrient intake and achieving a healthier dietary pattern,” states author Victor Fulgoni III, PhD, of Nutrition Impact, LLC. “Pulses (dry peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans) are excellent sources of fiber, folate and potassium and good sources of plant protein.”
Reference: New study shows swapping pulses for common proteins and grains improves American diet; Nutrients; DOI:10.3390/nu15204355