Data from 3,349 participants in the PREDIMED Study who were free of diabetes at baseline but at high cardiovascular risk, has found that those who consumed higher amounts of saturated fatty acids and animal fat had a twofold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes over 4.5 years than those with a lower intake of saturated and animal fat. 266 participants developed diabetes during the period.
They also found that those who had a higher intake of legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas) had a 35% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those eating the least amount. The main benefit came from lentils, with chickpeas running second. Those with a higher intake consumed at least 28.75 grams/day (equivalent to 3.35 servings/week).
There was also a positive benefit when half a serving per day of foods rich in protein or carbohydrates (such as eggs, bread, rice and baked potato) was replaced with a similar amount of legumes.
Legumes are rich in B vitamins, with beneficial minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. They have long been thought to protect against type 2 diabetes.
Guasch-Ferré, M. et al. 2017. Total and subtypes of dietary fat intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study. Total and subtypes of dietary fat intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study Am J Clin Nutr 2017 105: 3 723-735; First published online February 15, 2017. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.142034
Becerra-Tomás N, Díaz-López A, Rosique-Esteban N, Ros E, Buil-Cosiales P, Corella D, Estruch R, Fitó M, Serra-Majem Ll, Arós F, Lamuela-Raventós R.M, Fiol M, Santos-Lozano J.M, Diez-Espino J, Portoles O, Salas-Salvadó J, PREDIMED study investigators. "Legume consumption is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes incidence in adults: a prospective assessment from the PREDIMED study". Clinical Nutrition (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2017.03.015.