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Patterns of Legume Purchases and Consumption in the United States

October 12, 2021
Frontiers in Nutrition

Richard D. Semba, Nihaal Rahman, Shutong Du, Rebecca Ramsing, Valerie Sullivan, Elizabeth Nussbaumer, David Love and Martin W. Bloem

Legumes are an inexpensive, healthy source of protein, fiber, and micronutrients, have low greenhouse gas and water footprints, and enrich soil through nitrogen fixation. Although higher legume consumption is recommended under US dietary guidelines, legumes currently comprise only a minor part of the US diet.

The specific aims of this study were to characterize: (1) the types of legumes that are most commonly purchased by US consumers, (2) legume purchases by state and region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) of the US, (3) legume purchases by season, and (4) adults with a high vs. low dietary consumption of legumes. To answer these aims, we analyzed two independent sources of data, grocery market and other retail scanner data and dietary intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2017–2018.