Increasing legume consumption may be an important part of dietary interventions to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to a US population-based study.
Researchers collected data on 9632 men and women free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) who had participated in the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study (NHEFS).
Consumption of legumes was estimated using a three-month food-frequency questionnaire. Over an average of 19 years, there were 3680 cases of CVD, including 1802 cases of coronary heart disease (CHD).
Compared with eating legumes less than once a week, those who ate legumes four or more times a week had significant decreases in CVD and CHD risk (Arch Intern Med, 2001; 161: 2573-8).