Inverse association of legume consumption and dyslipidemia: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program

J Clin Lipidol. 2014 Nov-Dec;8(6):584-593. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2014.08.006. Epub 2014 Aug 23.


Background: Dietary intervention for improving serum lipids emphasizes on dietary fiber, plant protein, and flavonoids. This study was performed to examine whether regular legume consumption could alter serum lipids level and prevalence of dyslipidemia.

Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was performed among 9660 randomly selected Iranian adults in 3 districts in the central part of Iran, using data collected in the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program in 2007. Dietary behavior including frequency of legume consumption was assessed by 48-item food frequency questionnaire. Fasting serum lipids were measured by standard enzymatic methods. We applied analysis covariance test to compare adjusted mean of serum lipids across legume consumption quartile and logistic regression test was used to determine odds ratio 95% confidence interval of dyslipidemia based on legume consumption in unadjusted and 4-adjusted models.

Results: Adjusted mean triglyceride significantly reduced and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) enhanced by increasing legume consumption (P = .04). The frequency of legume consumption associated with occurrence of all kinds of dyslipidemia except for hypercholesterolemia, especially for those who had consumed legume more than 1 time per day in adjusted models (hypertriglyceridemia: 0.82 [0.68-0.98]; high low-density lipoprotein [LDL-C]: 0.76 [0.60-0.97], and low HDL-C: 0.81 [0.71-0.92]).

Conclusion: We found an inverse dose-response association between the frequency of legume consumption and the risk of hypertriglyceridemia, high LDL-C, and low HDL-C. Therefore it is suggested that increasing legume intake may be an important part of a dietary approach for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Beans; Cardiovascular disease; Diet; Legume; Serum lipids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyslipidemias / diet therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Eating
  • Fabaceae*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Preparations
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Plant Preparations
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol