Terminology Matters: Advancing Science to Define an Optimal Pulse Intake

Diane C. Mitchell, Alison Webster, Becky Garrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Confusion around the terms “legumes” and “pulses” has been a long-standing problem among consumers, health professionals, and researchers in the United States. The Food and Agri-cultural Organization defines pulses as legumes that are harvested solely as dry grain and include beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. For the first time ever, the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognized and used the terminology “pulses.” Correct terminology usage is important to build a solid research foundation that is specific to pulses, primarily because of their unique nutritional attributes that impact health differently than other legumes. Future widespread conformity and standardized use of a definition and categorization system around pulses versus legumes in research would allow for an improved interpretation of science and a better understanding of current research gaps. Clarity around these gaps could enhance and improve dietary recommenda-tions, including the ability to refine our current understanding of the optimal daily or weekly intake of pulses at which health benefits are maximized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number655
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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