Yes, Green Peas Are a Healthy Choice

People know what we do for a living, so we get a lot of questions about healthy diets and lifestyles. It’s terrific: they ask a lot of questions that become topics for future blogs. They also ask us headscratchers that make us do research!

In a recent conversation, a friend of a person on the social media team said, “Well, as you know, green peas are bad for blood sugar.” That confused our team member. She asked why green peas were bad. The person replied that it’s common knowledge. Not to her! She asked the rest of the team, and today’s blog is all about taking a closer look at the nutrition of green peas.

While many think green peas are starchy vegetables like corn or potatoes, they are a legume closer to beans, chickpeas and lentils. They are high in carbs, but it’s mostly fiber. Additionally, they contain folate, manganese and vitamins A, K and K — all of which aid blood sugar and health.  

One cup of green peas contains 8.3 grams of fiber — 33 percent of your daily fiber recommendation. Fiber helps keep blood sugar levels stable and prevents blood sugar spikes. It also helps you feel full and can aid weight management. Peas are one of the best sources of plant protein. Protein also helps lower appetite and can slow the absorption of carbs. Eating protein and fiber together can help you eat fewer calories over the course of your day because you aren’t as hungry.

Green peas have a GI of 22. A GI below 55 is considered low. Additionally, adding a healthy fat to them as they cook can lower their GI. A 100-gram serving of peas has 14 grams of carbs, five grams of fiber and 80 calories. The carbs to fiber ratio is excellent, and they are low in calories, making them a great choice as a side dish. As with all foods, it’s important to pay attention to serving size.

To call them bad for blood sugar simply isn’t true. Their sweet taste has gotten them a bad reputation! A diet rich in vegetables that are rich in protein and fiber aids healthy blood sugar. So ignore the “common knowledge.” Everyone’s blood sugar needs are different, but unless your doctor or a nutritionist has told you not to eat them, there is no reason you should avoid green peas.  

Banner image: Artie Kostenko via Unsplash

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