Peas, according to MayoClinic.com, are full of dietary fiber along with the vitamins and proteins needed for a healthy diet. Green peas contain about 67 calories per cooked cup, and have 11.3 grams of carbohydrates, 5.2 grams of protein and less than 0.5 grams of fat. Peas are an ideal food to promote weight loss, either as a filler for higher calorie foods or as a stand-alone source of fiber and vitamins.
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Increase Volume, Decrease Calories
Use peas as a filler vegetable to pump up the volume in other dishes. Because peas are low in calories but high in dietary fiber and protein, they make good fillers for more fattening dishes. For example, rather than having a pasta dish with just meat, pasta and sauce, add half a cup of peas per serving. They will make you feel full faster, and you'll eat the same volume of food with fewer calories.
Keep dried peas handy for snacks. Health food stores such as Whole Foods now stock a variety of freeze-dried vegetables. Dried peas can be carried in your purse or glove compartment, or kept in your office drawer for a quick snack when you might otherwise run to a vending machine or stop at a convenience store. Having dried peas as a between-meals snack will keep your blood sugar levels even so you don't feel too hungry at your next meal, and will provide you with extra fiber as well. Wasabi peas--peas dried and then coated in dried, crunchy wasabi for a spicy taste--make a good snack, too, but check the calorie counts in certain brands.
Add cold peas to a salad. Either thawed frozen peas or raw green peas directly from the shell make tasty additions to any salad. Their density can help you feel fuller faster, and the added flavor perks up the salad. Because of their protein density, the addition of peas to your salad can also help you feel fuller longer.
Make a hearty, thick soup. Dried split peas soaked overnight, drained, then cooked with a little bit of chicken bouillon, lean bits of ham and spices, can make a delicious, hearty but low-calorie autumn or winter meal. Add rosemary, carrots and onions for an additional nutrients and flavor.
Make peas the main dish. Get snap peas, spray them with a bit of nonfat butter-flavored cooking spray, and roast them in the oven. Add caramelized onions or cooked shallots and some crumbled turkey bacon, and you'll have a low-calorie main dish. For another option, mix brown rice cooked in chicken broth with peas, mint leaves, and feta cheese for a refreshing main dish.