When I look back over how I’ve raised my kids there are a few serious ‘what tha…’ moments – like the time I thought shopping with a child in rollerskates was doable…I mean she loved those rollerskates and she was amazingly agile and good…just not quite good enough to hold onto that 1L Biodynamic Yoghurt sufficiently…who knew?!  Dietary wise, I can look back and be critical in hindsight about different details, the contents of our fridge and pantry have morphed over the years with my changing knowledge (money & time!) but there are a few things I can confidently say – ‘Nailed it’, accompanied by a fist pump!  We’re all meat eaters, not carnivores by any stretch of the imagination but we do partake, however the kids and I were just reflecting the other day on the absolute constancy of legumes in our life. (I know you want CCTV footage of our dinner time chats now don’t you 😉 )  There would rarely be a day in our house without them…several times!

Now I sound like I’m showing off but trust me it’s not that impressive or exotic – it goes a little something like this:  soup,(split red lentils or cannellini),  bolognaise & lasagne (1:4 brown lentils with the meat), nachos for school lunches (kidney beans 4:1 with mince), falafel & hummus (chick peas) & tofu (my kids love this stuff for snacks often & for mains at least once a week).

Ok now everyone relax,  I don’t make our own almond milk, grow our own vegetables or ferment stuff…see…it’s swings & roundabouts 😉

Clearly we’re not a FODMAPS family and I am eternally grateful for this but also wonder if it’s because they’ve ‘eaten’ these from day dot…from the womb. One of their favourite snacks as toddlers were just organic kidney beans…call DOCS someone! LOL…so with my increasing passion for lowering the acid load of our diets and treating our kidneys kindly, a healthy daily dose of vegetable protein is a giant tick but then there’s the gut goodness and of course blood sugar bonuses.  This recent review from Medscape has got me thinking once again about the smallest changes we can ask our clients to make that can have the biggest impact

A recent randomised crossover trial, published in the Journal of Nutrition, has given us even more reason to love these little guys. When lentils or beans replaced a portion of simple carbs (potato or white rice) in a meal, the postprandial blood glucose response was significantly lower in the young, healthy participants. The blood sugar spike after eating was a whopping 35% lower when 50g of potato was replaced with lentils. There was also a positive effect on plasma insulin levels.

Well….the simple (and cheap!) things in life are often the best! It seems a fairly ‘common sense’ approach given the GI ratings of these foods but most of our clients areJUST NOT DOING THIS!.  Pulses generally have a GI in the 20’s somewhere versus potato which has a GI value of 85+.Another potential contributor to these positive findings could be the high concentration of Inositol found in pulses (Inositol has many talents, including improving Insulin Resistance, lowering blood pressure and blood triglycerides, amongst many others)….hmmm…food for thought! Regardless of the mechanism, adding lentils to one’s daily diet is an easy, affordable, patient-friendly (legume intolerant people excepted) method of maintaining healthy blood glucose and insulin levels – vital in so many commonly seen conditions. Want more ?? Read more on the study at Medscape online : Replace Carbs with Lentils to Blunt Glucose Spike after Meals or you can listen to a little UU30 that is a timely reminder of the fabulousness of farty fibre!!

Check out this presentation on fabulous fibre (of which pulses are heros!)- this is Rachel at her warmest and funniest reminding us that fibre is a critical component to good nutrition and is often overlooked, partly due to the popularity of paleolithic and no-grain diets. This Update in Under 30 file goes through some of the important functions of fibre and fibre diversity.