Facts About Lentils
- Major pulse crops grown in Canada include: lentils, dry peas, chickpeas, dry beans
- There are about 22,000 pulse farmers in Canada, including 6,500 active lentil farmers.
- Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of peas and lentils.
- The word “pulse” comes from the latin word ‘puls’, meaning thick soup.
- Pulses are edible seeds from the legume family. They are very high in protein and fibre, and low in fat. Other foods in the legume family like fresh beans and peas are not considered pulses – the term “pulse” only refers to the dried seed. Soybeans and peanuts are also not considered pulses because they have a much higher fat content, whereas pulses contain virtually none.
- Pulses are nitrogen-fixing crops that improve the environmental sustainability of cropping systems
- Pulses have a low glycemic index, which means they do not cause a fast rise in blood sugar after eating. Studies have shown that eating pulses is a good way to manage blood sugar levels which is particularly important for people with diabetes