Lentils can be truly called The Food Of Gods when it comes to loosing weight... Vegetable seeds that grow in pods, such as peas and lentils, are classified as legumes. Legumes, such as lentils, are full of fiber, low in fat and provide a minimal amount of calories per serving. Lentils are a beneficial part of a weight-loss diet, since the high fiber content of lentils can improve satiety and help keep you feeling full for hours. Before starting a new diet plan or making any changes to your diet, talk with your physician about your concerns. She can help make your diet plan a success. Calories and Fat You can add lentils to your diet plan without feeling guilty. Whether you are cutting back on calories, fat or both, lentils fit perfectly into your diet plan's requirements. A one-half-cup portion of cooked lentils contains about 115 calories, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. The same size serving of cooked lentils boiled in water has less than .5 grams of fat, making it a healthy low-fat food option.
Protein Lentils are rich in protein and are lower in fat and calories than animal proteins. A one-half-cup serving of lentils cooked in water offers about 9 grams of protein, which helps build lean muscle tissue. Although lentils have a high protein content, the protein is incomplete. This means that lentils do not provide all 20 of the essential amino acid proteins required by your body. In order to get all of the amino acids you need, eat other plant-based proteins, including beans, brown rice or black-eye peas, at some point during the day. You do not have to eat incomplete proteins together within the same meal.
Fiber Content High-fiber foods, including lentils, take longer for you to chew, which gives your body plenty of time to register that it is full so you are less likely to overeat. Fiber also sits in your gut for a while, making you feel full. You may notice feeling satisfied for hours after you eat lentils and have less of an urge to snack. Adding a one-half-cup serving of boiled lentils to your dinner plate packs nearly 8 grams of fiber into your diet, which contributes to the recommended daily intake of 21 to 38 grams.
Cooking Suggestions Boiling your lentils in water keeps them low in fat and calories, but you may find the taste dull and boring. Cook them in low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock to add more flavor. Lentils come in several varieties, but the most common are brown, green and red lentils. Brown lentils can become mushy when you cook them. Save them for soups or add them to your favorite stew. Green lentils have a rich nutty flavor and hold their shape after you cook them. Keep these types of lentils hot, season with turmeric and serve alongside a grilled chicken breast. You can also chill green lentils and toss them in your salad at lunch. Red lentils cook quickly and have a mild flavor. These lentils can lose their shape and color, so you should save them for Indian dahl recipes. You can also puree red lentils and add them to savory recipes, like meatloaf.
When it comes to diets, there’s no single miracle food that will make you lose weight. However, sticking with a regimen of nutrient-dense whole foods and avoiding empty-calorie processed food products will put you on the road to shedding unwanted pounds. A healthy eating plan to lose and manage your weight over the long term includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds and legumes such as lentils. Available in a rainbow of colors, lentils work well in soups, stews and salads.
Basic Nutrition Like most other beans and legumes, lentils are relatively low-calorie, making them a good choice for losing weight. A half-cup of cooked lentils contains just 115 calories and less than a gram of fat. That same serving of legumes offers almost 9 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get between 46 and 56 grams of protein a day, and 130 grams of carbohydrates. Lentils are also very low in sodium, with just 2 milligrams per 1/2 cup, so a serving won’t contribute to water retention or bloating.
Slow Carbs Lentils are low on the glycemic index, scoring a 28 on a scale of 100. The glycemic index measures how quickly your body digests carbohydrate-containing foods. Any food that ranks below 55 is considered low-glycemic, or a “slow carb.” Carbohydrates that digest more slowly, like lentils, release glucose into your blood in a steady stream instead of a quick spurt. This keeps your blood sugar levels on an even keel, which means you feel full longer and are less likely to binge on unhealthy foods when you’re trying to lose weight.
Soluble Fiber Eight grams of the carbohydrates in 1/2 cup of lentils are from soluble dietary fiber. Adults younger than 50 need between 25 and 38 grams of fiber daily, according to the IOM. The soluble fiber in lentils delays gastric emptying, keeping you feeling satiated for a longer time after you eat. If you are trying to lose weight, soluble fiber can help you avoid feeling hungry between meals and reaching for unhealthy snacks. It also adds some bulk to stools, supporting regular bowel movements.
Uses The most common lentils used in cooking are red, brown and green, which all have slightly different cooking times. Lentils figure prominently in Middle Eastern, North African and south Asian dishes, such as red lentil dal, a type of thick Indian stew. Dishes that incorporate brown lentils include soups and casseroles. Green lentils are good served cold in salads, mixed with chopped bell peppers and pieces of orange, or with scallions, parsley and a vinaigrette dressing. Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse says green lentils hold their shape better than brown in cold dishes.