This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the options available. One of these options is split peas, are they good for weight loss?
You get split peas from removing the outer layer of dried regular peas and splitting the result. Split peas are a legume that is gluten-free in their natural form. During packaging split peas can possibly come into contact with gluten so you want to look for brands that specifically mention gluten-free
Split peas are a great food for losing weight. They are nutrient-dense and help you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. There are even better weight loss foods but split peas are one of the better foods.
Micronutrients in split peas
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in split peas.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of cooked split peas provides you with approximately (1):
- Manganese: 20% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Folate: 16% of the DV
- Thiamin: 13% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 10% of the DV
- Magnesium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 9% of the DV
- Iron: 7% of the DV
- Zinc: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 6% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. These are nice amounts of vitamins and minerals compared with many other foods. Combining split peas with a nutrient-dense varied diet will help you avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Fiber in split peas for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Boiled split peas contain around 8.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s an extremely big amount of fiber per 100 grams and this is a good thing.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in split peas you can reduce the time you spend craving for food.
Protein in split peas for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Boiled split peas contain about 8.3 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams (2).
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day which is very good for weight loss. Protein calories also take your body more calories to process than calories from carbs and fats.
The amount of protein in split peas is not super big but again this means some extra weight loss friendly nutrients. It’s a nice bonus but you shouldn’t rely on this food for your protein needs.
Will split peas help you lose weight?
Let’s take a closer look at the macronutrients in split peas.
Boiled split peas contain around 118 calories per 100 grams. 85.8 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (21.1 g per 100 grams of which 8.3 g fiber).
You can even eat a certain amount of split peas on a low carb diet like for example the keto diet.
The amount of calories in split peas is medium-low compared to a lot of whole foods. Compared to other legumes, split peas are on the low side when it comes to calories. On top of that, split peas have a good amount of vitamins and minerals, fiber, and protein.
All of these things mean that eating more split peas will most likely help you lose weight. They benefit your weight loss by providing you with essential nutrients and helping you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. This makes it easier to avoid overeating on calories.
There are a few foods that are even better for weight loss but split peas are certainly one of the better foods.
Best time to eat split peas
You can eat split peas throughout the day without much difference.
The only exception is right before bed. Eating anything, including split peas, right before bed can decrease your sleep quality and duration. Sleep is very important for weight loss. For that reason you want to avoid eating anything 3-4 hours before you go to sleep.
Is it bad to eat split peas every day?
For most people eating split peas every day is not bad. On the contrary, they will provide you with many important nutrients.
People who often overeat calories might want to choose foods that are even more filling for less calories.
Different ways to consume split peas for weight loss
Like with almost all foods, you can eat split peas in many different ways. Some ways better than others for weight loss.
Find out what kinds of recipes there are to implement more split peas into your diet.
Cooked split peas
One of the most popular way to prepare split peas is just cooking them. Cooking split peas is fairly simple.
You put split peas into a pot with water. The ratio split peas : water is around 1:2. Bring the mix to a boil and let it simmer for about 25 minutes of cooking time.
You can combine cooked split peas with basically every other ingredient you can find. Vegetables, meat, fish, whole grains, other legumes, spices,… How good these combinations are for weight loss depends on your choice of ingredients.
Split peas soup
Another popular use for split peas is making a soup with them. A split pea soup recipe comes down to combining split peas, other vegetables like carrots and onions, often some ham, some spices, and some salt.
Most vegetables are great for weight loss. Ham can be a good addition your weight loss diet. There is also nothing wrong with some spices. And water is also very helpful for losing weight. It helps you feel fuller and increases the amount of calories you burn.
All in all this makes split peas soup rather good for weight loss. By eating more of this it becomes harder to overeat on calories and for most people this is enough to help them lose weight.
Split pea flour
In general you want to avoid any flours when trying to lose weight. They are often high in calories without being very filling.
This is the same for split pea flour. You want to avoid this food if you want to lose weight.