Pulse Industry

Producing Data for Health Claims about the Benefits of Eating Lentils and Peas

Diseases like diabetes and coronary heart disease pose significant and increasing public health concerns in Canada. Despite consistent evidence that pulse-based foods help prevent and/or manage diabetes and cardiovascular disease, consumption of pulses in Canada remains very low. The Canadian pulse industry and the Government of Canada are funding this study to generate scientific evidence for regulatory review and approval of a pulse-based health claim regarding blood glucose level reduction. Once approved, food processors will be able to incorporate health claim information on product labels to help consumers with food selection decisions. Study results will also be shared with public health practitioners providing dietary guidance to Canadian consumers for weight loss and blood glucose management.


Continuing the work completed in the first Pulse Science Cluster, researchers are studying lentil and yellow pea varieties that are sold in supermarkets and therefore commonly consumed by Canadians. Lentils and yellow peas with slowly digestible starch will be included in different foods (soup, bread, muffin, and chili) and the foods with the best sensory evaluations will be used for determining their ability to reduce blood glucose and promote satiety. The pulses will undergo detailed characterization re: nutritional composition, chemical characteristics, and microstructure and will be compared to meals containing rice or potato.


Theme: Human Health Outcomes
Project Title: Blood glucose attenuation and satiety levels in humans following consumption of whole lentil and yellow pea and their food products; effects of processing and starch fractions
Funding partners: Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada
Research Team: Dr. Dan Ramdath – AAFC Guelph Food Research Centre; Dr. Alison Duncan, University of Guelph; Drs. Heather Blewett, Rong Cao, Qiang Liu, and Susan Tosh – AAFC various locations; Dr. Michel Aliani – University of Manitoba


Links to more information:

  • Project Abstract
  • SPG PulseResearch magazine – Volume 1, page 19 article titled: “Staking a Health Claim. Research on pulses, satiety and blood glucose levels aims to help secure health claims for pulses in Canada.”
  • SPG PulsePoint magazine – October 2015, page 10-11 article titled: “Effects of Canadian-grown Lentils on Blood Sugar Levels in Healthy Adults.”


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