Let’s Hear it For the Lentil


CHICAGO — Attendees at this week’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago are being asked to shove the windy-city classic deep-dish pizza aside, in favour of — who would have guessed it — Canadian lentils. Making their way into the diets of North Americans, the health benefits of Canadian-grown lentils as a nutritious, whole food ingredient is attracting attention at the expo.

“Lentils are an excellent whole food ingredient that is a part of a healthy and balanced diet,” says Dr. Kofi Agblor, director of Research at Saskatchewan Pulse Growers. Research has shown that lentils grown in Canada are high in fibre and protein as well as micronutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium and beta carotene. “In one serving of a half a cup of cooked lentils, consumers get 36 per cent of their daily recommended fibre intake and 38 per cent of their daily recommended protein intake.”

“These little seeds from a legume plant are packed with power and are a low cost, healthy food choice that are quick cooking,” explains Agblor. “They are low in fat and contain zero cholesterol or sodium, making them a heart-healthy food choice and an excellent source for weight management.”

Lentils, the edible seed of a legume or pulse plant, are grown mostly in Saskatchewan and contribute to sustainable food production, because they are nitrogen-fixing grain legumes that make their own nitrogen fertilizer through symbiosis with soil microorganisms.


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