The green bean is a versatile vegetable that is both low in fat and high in dietary fiber. If you're trying to lose weight, adding green beans to your diet may provide essential nutrients without adding excess calories. Fortunately, green beans can be eaten raw, as well as used in healthy dishes like soups and side dishes. Understanding how to incorporate green beans into your weight loss plan can help you enjoy this low-calorie, low-fat vegetable.
Enjoy a healthy breakfast that includes an egg white omelette or a low-fat quiche that contains freshly blanched green beans. Eating a protein- and fiber-rich breakfast that includes green beans can help you feel fuller for longer so that you eat less. In addition, you're less likely to turn to convenience foods as snacks, because by eating breakfast, you're not ravenous by mid-morning.
Prepare single portion servings of your favorite low-fat dressing or dip in reusable storage containers and refrigerate. Wash single handfuls of green beans and remove the stems. Place each serving of beans in a plastic sandwich bag or container and store in the fridge. Bring a container or two of both the dressing or dip and the beans with you for a healthy snack at work or school. This is a low-fat, high-fiber way to feed your hunger without adding significant amounts of calories to your diet.
Add chopped or halved green beans to salads or entrees to add texture and flavor and reduce the number of calories in the meal. A 3/4 cup of fresh green beans contains just 20 calories. Using green beans to stretch foods like potato dishes and salads can significantly reduce the number of calories you eat while still feeling like you've eaten full portions.
Snack on fresh green beans after dinner, in lieu of dessert. For a sweet touch, dip the beans in a low-fat honey mustard dressing or dip. Eating green beans instead of a high fat, high calorie dessert is a good way to increase your fiber intake and keep you feeling satisfied. In addition, a serving or two of green beans with dressing or dip is significantly lower in calories than most desserts. For an added gourmet touch, sprinkle a tbsp of ground almonds over the green beans.
Check with your doctor before making significant dietary changes.