Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about green peas, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Peas, which can be both green and yellow, are actually a type of legume, not a vegetable. You can eat peas raw on their own but they also make a great addition to a wide variety of recipes.
Like most legumes, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more peas. Find out just how good peas are and how you want to eat them for more weight loss.
Micronutrients in peas
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in 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 boiled green peas provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin A: 42% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin K: 30% of the DV
- Thiamin: 19% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Folate: 15% of the DV
- Manganese: 14% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 8% of the DV
- Iron: 8% of the DV
- Niacin: 7% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the DV
- Magnesium: 5% of the DV
- Copper: 5% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of other vitamins and minerals in peas is good compared to many other whole foods.
If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals peas can definitely help you a nice amount with a few of these goals.
Peas also contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in peas for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Boiled green peas contain around 5.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a very good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods. For most people more fiber is a good thing for weight loss.
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 peas you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a very good amount.
Do peas help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not peas deserve a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in peas.
Boiled green peas contain 78 calories per 100 grams. 57.9 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (14.3 g per 100 grams of which 5.5 g fiber).
You should be able to fit in some peas but in general they are not that suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in boiled green peas is higher than most vegetables but even with that in mind this number is low compared to many other foods. Compared to other legumes, peas are by far the lowest in calories.
Peas are a low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its large fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more peas, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like peas you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, peas are not a unique weight loss food. There are other foods that are just as good, or even better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating peas, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Peas are generally not fattening.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that peas contain relatively high amounts of vitamin K. This may interfere with certain blood-thinning medication (2). If you take this kind of medication you want to consult with your doctor before implementing large amounts of peas in your diet.
How to eat peas for weight loss
There is a wide variety of ways to eat peas. Some are better than others for weight loss. You can eat peas raw but most people like them more after some preparation.
The best way to eat peas for weight loss would be boiled on their own or as part of healthy recipes. Here are some examples of healthy recipes you can add peas to:
How good a recipe with peas is for weight loss depends mostly on the other ingredients. Another example of a decent dish for weight loss is hummus made with peas instead of chickpeas.