Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans

 

Mortality

Bean consumption has been associated with reduced risk of mortality, although only limited data on this endpoint are available. The Food Habits in Later Life Study followed nearly 800 older men and women for 7 y, during which time 169 participants died (61). Among the 5 populations evaluated, mean legume intake ranged from ~85 g/d in Japan and Greece to a low of only 14 g/d in some segments of the Australian population. Of all of the food groups studied, legumes were the only foods associated with a reduced risk of mortality: the RR was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.85, 0.99) for every 20 g consumed. Dried beans were not assessed separately in this study, although other than in Japan, soybean intake would be negligible among the populations in this survey.

This study was published in 2014 and contains a wealth of information.  The online and PDF copies of the study are here.

Because populations in recent decades have adopted more Western-style diets, however, dried bean consumption has seen a decline. For example, between the 1960s and 1990s, dried bean intake decreased by 40% in India and by 24% in Mexico.

Bean consumption down, obesity up.  Hmmm……

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Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health

Abstract

Vegetarian diets have been associated with atherosclerosis protection, with healthier atherosclerosis risk profiles, as well as lower prevalence of, and mortality from, ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, there are few data concerning the possible cardiovascular effects of a vegan diet (with no meat, dairy or egg products). Vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians; this can be partially alleviated by taking dairy/egg products in lact-ovo-vegetarians. However, metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians in Australia, Germany, Italy and Austria, and in vegans (80%) in Hong Kong and India, where vegans rarely take vitamin B-12 fortified food or vitamin B-12 supplements. Similar deficiencies exist in northern Chinese rural communities consuming inadequate meat, egg or dairy products due to poverty or dietary habits. Vascular studies have demonstrated impaired arterial endothelial function and increased carotid intima-media thickness as atherosclerosis surrogates in such metabolic vitamin B-12 deficient populations, but not in lactovegetarians in China. Vitamin B-12 supplementation has a favourable impact on these vascular surrogates in Hong Kong vegans and in underprivileged communities in northern rural China. Regular monitoring of vitamin B-12 status is thus potentially beneficial for early detection and treatment of metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency in vegans, and possibly for prevention of atherosclerosis-related diseases.

Conclusions

Metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency is prevalent in vegetarians and, in particular, in vegans. Those subjects with normal or relatively high salt intake may be associated with unhealthy early vascular changes in function and structure, which have not been well documented in the past. In individuals with subnormal vitamin B-12 status, vitamin B-12 supplementation may significantly improve such vascular changes. Regular monitoring of vitamin B-12 profile may thus be beneficial for early detection and treatment of metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency, and possibly prevention of atherosclerosis-related diseases.

You can download a copy of the full study at this link.

It’s not easy to overcome confirmation bias.  So my research often takes me to studies and articles that challenge my firmest held beliefs.  This literature review study does confirm one of my longest held beliefs.  Some of the sickest people I see are the shoppers in health food stores.

Take some B-12.  Or as this study demonstrates get your B-12  from dairy, meat, and fish and shellfish.

 

Eat Yogurt

Higher intakes of yogurt were associated with a 30 percent reduction in risk of myocardial infarction among the Nurses’ Health Study women and a 19 percent reduction in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study men.

In both groups, participants consuming more than two servings a week of yogurt had an approximately 20 percent lower risks of major coronary heart disease or stroke during the follow-up period. When revascularization was added to the total cardiovascular disease outcome variable, the risk estimates were reduced for both men and women, but remained significant.

Higher yogurt intake in combination with an overall heart-healthy diet was associated with greater reductions in cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive men and women.

Read the source article here.

 

Consumption of ultra-processed foods and cancer risk: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort

Conclusions – In this large prospective study, a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a significant increase of greater than 10% in risks of overall and breast cancer. Further studies are needed to better understand the relative effect of the various dimensions of processing (nutritional composition, food additives, contact materials, and neoformed contaminants) in these associations.

We categorized all food and drink items of the NutriNet-Santé composition table into one of the four food groups in NOVA, a food classification system based on the extent and purpose of industrial food processing.94243 This study primarily focused on the “ultra-processed foods” NOVA group. This group includes mass produced packaged breads and buns; sweet or savory packaged snacks; industrialized confectionery and desserts; sodas and sweetened drinks; meat balls, poultry and fish nuggets, and other reconstituted meat products transformed with addition of preservatives other than salt (for example, nitrites); instant noodles and soups; frozen or shelf stable ready meals; and other food products made mostly or entirely from sugar, oils and fats, and other substances not commonly used in culinary preparations such as hydrogenated oils, modified starches, and protein isolates. Industrial processes notably include hydrogenation, hydrolysis, extruding, moulding, reshaping, and pre-processing by frying. Flavouring agents, colours, emulsifiers, humectants, non-sugar sweeteners, and other cosmetic additives are often added to these products to imitate sensorial properties of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product.

Read the BMJ study here.

The Effect of Animal Protein on the Kidneys

About one in eight of us now has chronic kidney disease—and most don’t even know it: About three-quarters of the millions of people affected are unaware that their kidneys are starting to fail. This is “particularly worrisome given that early identification provides an opportunity to slow the progression and alter the course of disease.”

Read Dr. Michael Greger’s entire article here.  You’ll find plenty of links to other educational articles on this topic.

Drink More Green Tea

Conclusion

This study suggests that the consumption of green tea ≥2 times/d is associated with a reduced risk of COPD in Korean populations.

Consuming Green Tea at Least Twice Each Day Is Associated with Reduced Odds of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease in Middle-Aged and Older Korean Adults

Drink more green tea.

Especially if you’re an older Korean.

Eat More Cashews

Conclusion

Cashew nut supplementation in Asian Indians with T2DM reduced systolic blood pressure and increased HDL cholesterol concentrations with no deleterious effects on body weight, glycemia, or other lipid variables. This study was registered at the clinical trial registry of India as CTRI/2017/07/009022.

Cashew Nut Consumption Increases HDL Cholesterol and Reduces Systolic Blood Pressure in Asian Indians with Type 2 Diabetes: A 12-Week Randomized Controlled Trial

This explains why cashews are my favorite nut.

I’m the guy who picks out all of the cashews in a bowl of mixed nuts.