Dietary pulses, more commonly known as "legumes", are generally recognized as healthy
components of the diet. Canada's Food Guide encourages consumptions of meat alternatives,
such as beans "more often"; and the dietary guidelines for Americans both recommend
consumption of 3 cups of legumes per week. However, there still remain insufficient
information on the usefulness of these foods in protecting heart health. To improve
evidence-based guidance for non-oil-seed pulse recommendations, the investigators propose to
conduct a systematic review of clinical studies to assess the effect of eating pulses in
exchange for other foods on measures of heart disease risk and blood sugar control in humans.
The systematic review process allows the combining of the results from many small studies in
order to arrive at a pooled estimate, similar to a weighted average, of the true effect. The
investigators will be able to explore whether eating pulses has different effects between men
and women, in different age groups, in people with high or normal sugar or blood fat levels,
and whether or not the effect of pulses depends on how much/often they are eaten. The
findings of this proposed knowledge synthesis will help improve the health of Canadians
through informing recommendations for the general public, as well as those at risk of heart
disease and diabetes.