By Claudia Wilson
In THE ONE-TWO PUNCH, there are foods designated as protein, carbohydrate, and fat. If you are a client in our office, we give you a handout outlining the various categories and the foods in each. Not every food fits neatly into a category. Some foods contain a mixture of nutrients. Such is the case with legumes. These are considered a MIXED food in THE ONE-TWO PUNCH because they contain a mixture of both carbohydrate and protein.
For example, a half cup of black beans contains 7-8 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrate. So lopsided a bit towards carbs. And while they contain about 15 grams fiber that contribute to fullness, they don’t have the staying power that fats provide like we find in nuts. We’re not going to totally put them in the carbohydrate category, however, we’re going to call them a MIXED food. Legumes contain both carbohydrate AND protein.
Here’s how a mixed food works in OTP. If you’re having hummus, one fist-size serving would contain a half-fist of protein and a half-fist of carb. That’s what I mean by mixed. My choice would be to have 2 fistfuls of hummus with fresh cut-up veggies. I’m already getting my carb. I’m already getting my protein. Having 2 fistfuls is like having a fist of each. If I have the hummus with pita bread or chips, my carb intake becomes lopsided and out of balance. If you’re having a small cup of lentil soup, it’s both protein and carbohydrate. If you add a piece of bread, that’s more carb. You’re going to be sustained longer and feel more satisfied if you also add some protein – perhaps some sort of cheese or meat.
I went through a food jag for a while of having a salad every day for lunch with a full can of beans (garbanzo, kidney, navy, or black). It was an easy and quick source of both protein and carbohydrate. Each can was about two fists, and it was like having a fist of protein and a fist of carbohydrate on each salad!!! I didn’t need the addition of any meat or bread; I was good to go! It was really convenient and all I had to do was add dressing (my fat condiment) to complete my meal.
What legumes do you love? Now that you know they’re a mixed food, what would you pair them with to keep the balance? We’d love to feature your favorite legume recipe with on social media. Please share!!!