Green beans, the miracle food of your festive meals?
- On average, a holiday meal has at least 2,000 calories in France.
- According to a British study published in 2014, the British consume on average 6,000 calories per Christmas meal.
Foie gras, salmon, yule log… the festive meals are particularly rich. To regain balance, it may be interesting to focus on certain foods. For example, the American Heart Association advises to bet on green beans to compensate a little “abundance of foods high in fat and calories”.
Preparing Green Beans for a Healthy Holiday Option
“If they are not prepared with ingredients that are too high in calories, you can eat a large volume of them”says Maya Vadiveloo, professor of nutrition at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston (United States). She recommends cooking them in heart-healthy oils, such as olive oil or any non-tropical vegetable oil, rather than in lard. You can also opt for steam cooking, then add vegetable oil. On the other hand, she advises against cooking in boiling water, because it makes the green beans lose a lot of nutrients and a lot of taste. If you have planned a recipe with heavy cream, the specialist suggests replacing it with Greek yogurt or low-fat milk. Finally, for those who want a little cheese on top, she suggests sprinkling cheese instead of pouring it. The seasoning must also be adapted: it is important not to salt them too much, because salt is a factor in increasing blood pressure. “Use other seasonings, council Maya Vadiveloo. I like eating them Szechuan style with cayenne pepper or dipping raw green beans in hummus.”
The ideal is to consume fresh green beans, but they are no longer in season at this time of year, so it is possible to opt for the frozen version. This helps retain as many minerals and vitamins as possible. “That said, if you have canned green beans available to you and you have to choose between that and a non-vegetable, I would encourage you to choose the canned variety.”says this specialist.
Why are green beans good for health?
One of the main benefits of green beans this holiday season is their ability to fill us up. If they are cooked healthily, and they are present in sufficient quantity on the plate, they allow you to quickly reach satiety. “They are relatively inexpensivealso believes the American specialist. Green beans are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables their color“This green vegetable also helps reduce inflammation and contains vitamin B9 and potassium, which help regulate blood pressure.”Green beans are also a source of protein and fiber, which helps lower cholesterol“, she continues.
End-of-year celebrations: it’s all about balance
During this time, food choices should be guided by one idea: balance, she adds. “If there’s stuff you really like, if it’s something your aunt brought to the table and you really crave it, go ahead and take it.“, she advises.”But balance it with healthier things on the side and only take a littleIn any case, resuming good habits after the end of the year celebrations should allow you to eliminate excesses.
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