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The American Pulse Association is spearheading an initiative to increase consumption of pulses (dry peas, lentils, chickpeas, and dry beans) in + through an orchestrated industry research and communications campaign. Supported by industry trade groups, consumer packaged goods companies, manufacturers, growers, processors, and distributors, the Coalition for the Advancement of Pulses (CAP) will fund new research regarding the health benefits of pulses and execute a coordinated policy and communications strategy to elevate pulse-positioning in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines). The goal is to double the current recommendations for weekly pulse consumption.




The overarching goal of CAP is to encourage the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase the Dietary Guidelines recommendation for pulses from 1.5 cups per week to 3 cups per week.


To achieve this bold goal, it will take a coordinated and strategic industry effort beginning now and continuing intensely through 2025. Other associated goals include:

Grow the research base regarding the health/nutritional benefits of pulses and work to increase consumer and health professional awareness about the benefits of pulses.

Maximize pulse promotion in the Dietary Guidelines, including usage of the word “pulses” and awareness and elevation of all pulse categories including beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

Encourage USDA and HHS to emphasize the benefits of “all forms” of pulses, such as canned products, dried products, and other finished foods (e.g., Hummus, frozen meals and sides, shelf-stable soups, pulse pastas, pulse milks, etc.).

Work to ensure that pulses are well-positioned in evolving discussions, including any recommendations around limiting ultra-processed foods and the development of new dietary patterns (e.g., low-carb dietary patterns).

Help to develop a long-term strategy for the future of pulses in the Dietary Guidelines and other Federal food policies.

  The Dietary Guidelines is a lengthy policy document that provides dietary advice to promote health and prevent disease in the United States. This powerful document is used extensively to guide what Americans eat and drink. The Dietary Guidelines:
  • Drives recommendations provided by healthcare providers and national public health groups such as the American Heart Association.
  • Is used to widely-disseminate nutrition education to consumers.
  • Informs recommendations advanced by the media.
  • Serves as the backbone to all Federal food and nutrition policies and programs.

Currently, pulses are recommended in lower amounts than nearly all other types of vegetables in the Dietary Guidelines. This means that compared to other vegetables, fewer pulses are required to be promoted and served in massive Federal programs, such as the National School Lunch Program.

The process to update the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines started on February 9, 2023, and presents an opportunity to educate about the research supporting the health benefits of pulses and to advocate for increases in the amount of pulses recommended to all Americans.