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Published July 23, 2012, 12:00 AM

Dry beans, peas and lentils

Dry beans, peas and lentils are packed with soluble fiber that soaks up cholesterol like a sponge and escorts it out of your body. Low in fat, legumes are loaded with protein and folate, a B vitamin that helps lower blood levels of homocysteine a type of amino acid linked to heart disease and stroke. Tulane University researchers found that people who ate legumes at least four times a week or more had a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease. (Bob Fila/Chicago Tribune/MCT)
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