Eating one serving of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils each day can reduce your LDL cholesterol (aka “bad” cholesterol), which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Currently, most Americans eat less than half a serving of these foods each day. These items have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are foods that break down slowly and do not readily raise blood sugar levels) and tend to reduce or displace animal protein as well as "bad" fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal. A serving of beans, chickpeas or lentils is ¾ cup. Try adding these items to salads, dips or other meals!