Why lupin is Australia's wonder food

24 January, 2013

Something simple like changing the toast you eat can improve your heart health, says La Trobe University nutritionist Dr Regina Belski.

With Australia’s recent Healthy Weight Week, Dr Regina Belski is highlighting the benefits of adding lupin grain to the diet.

"Lupin flour contains 40–45 per cent protein, 25–30 per cent fibre, and negligible sugar and starch," Dr Belski said.

"It has an acute effect on satiation and satiety, which plays a role in weight management.

"Research has shown this to have significant effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors, specifically those relating to high blood pressure and insulin sensitivity."

Cardiovascular diseases have been identified as the leading cause of death and disability in the world by the World Health Organisation (2011). A significant proportion of the diseases are considered preventable.

Dr Belski recommends breads, pastas and biscuits that are made with flour from the lupin grain can be a beneficial alternative to more commercially available products.

"Over eighty per cent of the world’s lupin crops are produced in Australia, but currently most of it is only used for stock feed," Dr Belski said.

"At the moment lupin enriched products are only commercially available in Western Australia, but you can easily get lupin flour from health food stores."

The La Trobe University Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition are currently in discussions with industry to try and undertake further research into the health benefits of lupin, with the hope of increasing the commercial availability of lupin-based products in Victoria.