According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 73.5 million adults in the United States have high LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and less than half of those adults are getting treatment. High LDL cholesterol more than doubles the risk of heart disease when compared to individuals with ideal levels. A balanced eating pattern including pulses (dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas) may help lower cholesterol.

Not sure what “pulses” are? To simplify, pulses are crops that are harvested as dry edible seeds. They include dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

What Are the Benefits?

Not only are these pulses great for those on a budget, but are also considered part of both the vegetable and protein food groups.

Pulses are also a good source of fiber. According to the Department of Agriculture, many contain more fiber per cup than most other high-fiber foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts). What’s even better, these pulses contain a specific type known as soluble fiber. Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain some types of dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Americans on average only consume one-half cup per day. Most men need 2-3 cups each day, and most women need 1.5-2 cups each day. We’re here to help you add some pulses to your diet. Check out our cooking tips!

How Do You Cook Pulses?

From Scratch

Step 1: Soak

  • Traditional Method: Add 3 cups of cold water for each cup of dry pulses placed into a large pot. Soak for 8 hours in the refrigerator, then drain and rinse the beans. Note: Lentils and split peas do not need to be soaked.
  • Quick Method: Add 3 cups of hot water for each cup of dry pulses placed into a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for two minutes. Cover and let sit for one hour, then drain and rinse the beans.

Step 2: Cook

  • Simmer for 1-2 hours until tender. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to prevent foam or froth from forming.

Other tips:

  • Do not add anything else to water during the soaking and cooking processes. Salt and acidic ingredients like tomatoes, citrus juice, vinegar, wine, or mustard inhibit the absorption of water and stop the softening process.
  • Taste test after three-quarters of the cooking time has passed. Cooking times of beans vary based on the age of bean, pot size, and simmering temperature.

Canned Beans

Short on time? Pick up some canned beans. Look for reduced-sodium or no-salt-added varieties, or rinse regular canned beans to remove excess sodium. Use the Publix shelf tags to help choose the pulse that’s right for you.

Look for Better Choice shelf tags to help you select canned beans that with contain less sodium.

Look for organic canned beans. The USDA Organic icon will be on the shelf tag.


Our Publix Aprons chefs have created several delicious Better Choice recipes that feature pulses. Here are some of our newest favorites:

  • Pinto Bruschetta
  • Chickpea-Quinoa Patties with Cucumber Sauce



Which recipe will you whip up first?


[i] Recipes designated as “Better Choice” provide simple yet nutritious options for your family, based on guidelines from the USDA 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Sasha W.

Written by

Sasha W. began her career at Publix in 2007 as a cashier and has since gained experience in both Event Planning and Social Media – which is perfect, because the combination of those two interests are what drive the writing behind her favorite blog posts! A New England girl turned southern belle, Sasha loves taking her puppy on tropical adventures all throughout Florida. Describing herself as fifty percent manatee and fifty percent flamingo, Sasha hopes to bring fun and unique ideas to your future events!

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