a1 Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Departamento de Ciencia animal, A.A. 237 Palmira (Valle), Colombia
The present paper aims to study why and how health organizations recommend the consumption of pulses such as beans, chickpeas or lentils. Although it is recognized that frequent pulse consumption may reduce serum cholesterol levels and helps reduce risks of coronary heart disease and diabetes, these advantages are scarcely mentioned by health-promoting associations, i.e. vegetarians and organizations helping people to reduce the risks for chronic diseases. Pulses, especially common beans, are rather considered as whole grains that provide plenty of proteins, starch, dietary fibres, minerals and vitamins. Many organizations refer to the food guide pyramid to advise their members, and place beans either in the third part, together with meat, in the second one with fruits and vegetables, or in the bottom part with starchy foods. Whatever their place, they have acquired the status of staple food for anyone who wants to eat a healthy diet.