Healthy Diet

Use plant-based pro­teins in your diet reg­u­larly

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Legumes are great sources of pro­tein for those on a meat-free diet. Lately, one branch of the legume fam­ily has been in the in­ter­na­tional spot­light. ‘Pulses’ are legumes that are har­vested for their dried seeds, such as chick­peas (gar­banzo beans), lentils, and dried peas and beans. They’re such an im­por­tant pro­tein source that the United Na­tions de­clared 2016 the In­ter­na­tional year of the Pulses. When nu­tri­tion­ists talk about beans, most of them are pulses – kid­ney beans, navy beans, black beans, broad beans, lima beans, but­ter beans. By con­trast, legumes such as soy­beans, peanuts, peapods, and green beans don’t count as pulses.


Pulses are nu­tri­tional pow­er­houses, packed with pro­tein, fi­bre and other nu­tri­ents. Many pulses are good sources of iron, zinc, and fo­late. They don’t have un­healthy sat­u­rated fat. In their nat­u­ral state, most of these have a low glycemic in­dex, so they raise blood su­gar lev­els less than other types of car­bo­hy­drates. In ad­di­tion, pulses are in­ex­pen­sive, widely avail­able, and easy to pre­pare.


Food mak­ers are jump­ing onto the pulse trend with all kinds of prod­ucts – ev­ery­thing from pulse flours and pas­tas to pulse-based snacks (crack­ers, chips, roasted chick­peas and mixes

made with pulse flours. But just be­cause there are pulses in a prod­uct doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Some pulse-based snacks and bak­ing mixes in­clude only a small amount of pulses along with added sug­ars. How can you tell if it’s healthy? Look at the in­gre­di­ents list. See if the pulses are just fillers or are the bulk of the prod­uct, and whether the prod­uct is loaded with su­gar, sodium, and sat­u­rated fat.

Pulses on The Menu

To in­cor­po­rate pulse-based prod­ucts into your diet, con­sider start­ing with a pulse flour. Sub­sti­tute it in recipes where you’d nor­mally use white (re­fined) flour – for ex­am­ple, when you dredge chicken in flour be­fore sautéing it. Some peo­ple are big­ger fans of us­ing pulses in their nat­u­ral state. That can mean soak­ing dried beans or lentils overnight be­fore boil­ing or mi­cro wav­ing them, or us­ing canned beans. There’s no dif­fer­ence nu­tri­tion­ally be­tween dried and canned. If you use canned, go for low-sodium ver­sions, and rinse them be­fore us­ing to re­duce the sodium. En­joy pulses on their own as a side dish or as a base for veg­eta­bles. Sprin­kle pulses in sal­ads. Make pulse snacks: Puréed beans for a dip with fresh veg­eta­bles, or roasted chick­peas for a crunchy treat. For en­trees, try white bean soup, len­til chilli, pea soup, or chick­pea and bul­gur wheat salad. Have fun cre­at­ing, and en­joy the enor­mous ben­e­fits of the lit­tle seeds.

En­joy pulses on a their own as side dish or as a base for veg­eta­bles. in Sprin­kle pulses pulse sal­ads. Make snacks: Puréed with beans for a dip or fresh veg­eta­bles, roasted chick­peas treat. for a crunchy

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