New study shows eating beans may reduce cholesterol

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Consuming beans may help lower total cholesterol levels, according to new research from the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Philip Reeves, a chemist, and John Finley, a nutritionist, conducted the study at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Eighty volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 participated in the study, with half being healthy and the other half having at least two symptoms that lead to metabolic syndrome, which indicates a risk for cardiovascular disease. The symptoms included abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels, low H.D.L. cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

For 12 weeks, half of the group ate one-half cup of cooked dry pinto beans every day along with their regular diet. The other half ate a replacement serving of chicken soup instead of pinto beans. The study found all participants who ate pinto beans lowered their cholesterol during the study.

These findings agree with earlier studies that have found beans to have cholesterol-lowering effects.

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