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Ask the Expert Archive

Are pulses – beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils – considered to be a vegetable as well as a meat alternative?

Q. Are pulses – beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils – considered to be a vegetable as well as a meat alternative? We recognize that pulses are a good source of protein and when paired with a cereal grain they provide a balanced source of protein. However pulses are plant material and they are rich in nutrients found in vegetables, including fibre and folate. The US MyPyramid considers pulses to be a part of both the vegetable and meat alternative subgroups. I don’t see them promoted as part of the More Matters program. Could they be promoted as a vegetable in ad campaigns?

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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