Legume consumption on the increase, GLNC study

Posted by Nicholas Nakos on 1st November 2017

A survey by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council of over 1,200 found that legume consumption is on the rise.

The consumption of beans, peas and lentils has risen four per cent since 2014, according to the survey.

After a 30 per cent decline in average daily serves of grain foods in 2014, this new study has shown this decline to have plateaued.

The Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) attributes this past down turn to the rise of paleo, low carb and gluten-free diets.

Dr Joanna McMillan, practicing dietician says an increase in legume consumption is a step in the right direction for Australians’ health.

“Research has shown that eating more whole grains and legumes is linked to a reduced risk of early death and chronic disease,” Dr McMillan said.

Could Australia’s changing population be driving an increase in legumes?

This new research showing a rise in legume consumption comes at a time when Australia’s migration trends have been changing.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, since 2006 the increased average annual growth rate of persons born in Pakistan migrating to Australia has increased 13.2 per cent per annum.

Migration from India has growth by 10.7 per cent per annum and 8.9 per cent per annum from Bangladesh.

In addition, Nepal has seen an increased average annual growth rate of 27.8 per cent per annum, from a lower base.

The diet of populations from these countries is influenced heavily by legumes and appears to coincide with GLNC’s findings on the recent upturn in legume consumption.

While the spokesperson for GLNC couldn’t confirm a correlation between legume consumption and ethnicity, a spokesperson said consumers are eating legumes in many different formats.

“Innovation within the category through roasted snacking legumes, an increase in South American & Asian migrants and an increased awareness of health benefits may be driving the increase,” GLNC said.

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