Five legumes including chick pea (Cicer arietinum Linn), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan Linn. Huth.), black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris Linn), mung bean (Phaseolus areus Roxb) and white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris Linn) were cooked and tested for blood glucose response among healthy human volunteers. The blood glucose response to all legumes was significantly lower compared to bread. The glycaemic response to chick pea was significantly lower (P < or = 0.01) than that to black bean, pigeon pea and mung bean. The glycaemic index of chick pea (13.87 +/- 3.0) was significantly lower than those of black bean (27.91 +/- 4.0), pigeon pea (30.99 +/- 4.1) and mung bean (44.38 +/- 5.8) (P < 0.01) but was not different from that of white bean (19.48 +/- 4.9). The differences in the glycaemic responses among the legumes could be due to the differences in amount and kind of dietary fibre, amylose content and the presence of antinutrients. Legumes could therefore be added to the list of foods for diabetics and hyperlipidaemics and continuous consumption in larger amounts should be recommended to the general Filipino population.
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