replacing refined carbs with carbs from lentils lowers blood sugar

The only confusion in the world of popular nutrition as big as the bad fat confusion is the bad carb confusion. There are saturated fats and unsaturated fats, and there are refined carbs and unrefined carbs. Does the kind of carb you eat make a difference?

It makes a huge difference.

Healthy people were given either white rice or instant potato supplying 50g of carbs or 25g of one of those carbs mixed with green or red lentils supplying the other 25g of carbs. The carbs from white rice and instant potato are refined carbs, the lentils supplied the unrefined carbs.

When people ate the lentils, their rise in blood sugar after eating was lower than when they ate the white rice or the instant potato. Insulin decreased in the lentil group compared to the instant potato but not when compared to the white rice.  And the difference was significant: blood sugar levels were 20% lower in the lentil group than in the white rice group ad 35% lower than in the instant potato group.

But, it’s bigger than that. Remember that the lentil group was still getting half their carbs from refined carbohydrates. Improvements in blood sugar would probably have been even better if they were completely cutting out refined carbs and getting all of their carbohydrates from lentils.

This study adds to the evidence both that unrefined carbs are healthy while processed refined carbs aren’t and that lentils are a beneficial food for blood sugar and diabetes.


Journal of Nutrition 2018;148(4):535-541



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 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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