Beans as the major starch source in a diabetic’s diet have the potential to make a huge positive impact on their long-term health. Beans are nutritionally superior to whole grains and should be the preferred starch source for diabetics. – I have taught this for years and often call my dietary recommendations for diabetics “the greens and beans diet” (learn more in my book The End of Diabetes).
A study published by Dr. David Jenkins’ research group (Jenkins originally developed the concept of the glycemic index) confirmed the advantages of beans over whole grains, especially for diabetics.1
One-hundred twenty-one type 2 diabetics were split into two groups and fed two different diets for a period of three months. One group had a “low-glycemic index legume diet,” which emphasized beans and other legumes, and the other group had a “high wheat fiber diet,” which emphasized whole wheat foods and other whole grains. The bean group was instructed to consume one cup/day of beans, lentils, or other legumes. The grain group was instructed to consume an equivalent amount of a cooked whole grain or whole wheat bread, pasta or cereal daily.
The table below summarizes the changes that occurred over the three-month period in each group, and whether the improvement in the bean group was significantly greater than that in the grain group: