For the most part, your diet is more about how much you eat versus what you eat. Taragh Bracken is not telling you this to give you an open invitation to eat your caloric limit in chocolate bars and soda all day. Anyone who knows even a little about nutrition knows eating healthy is just as important as portion control. Therefore, she has provided us with some simple rules to nutrition and we are going for share them with you.
For those of us who are over the age of forty, we have all seen the food pyramid. Quite often this was introduced to us at a young age and we were told, “in order to have a healthy life, you must incorporate all of these foods on a daily basis.” While the food pyramid does have its facts, many of the things on the list, or rather the amounts, have later been proven to be inaccurate. In addition, when they listed “protein” most of us took that to mean meat. As more studies have been done on the foods that we eat, we have found that protein exists in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis anyhow. The point is to find the healthier sources of the food listed on the food pyramid. Taragh Bracken showed us that protein can be found in the following places.
1. Seitan – Better know as wheat gluten, this dietary staple in the vegetarian and vegan community can be used to provide an abundance of protein. To make it you simply wash all the starch out of a wheat flour dough and use it as you would any meat.
2. Tofu, tempeh, and edamame – All of these start out from soybeans and all provide copious amounts of protein. Tofu and tempeh are made by pressing the soybeans in a process that is very similar to making cheese. Edamame is made from undeveloped soybeans and must be steamed or boiled prior to eating.
3. Lentils – At 18g of protein per cooked cup, this is a high yield return on investment. Taragh would also like to point out that it contains about 50% of your dietary requirements of fiber.
4. Chickpeas and most bean varieties – Also known as the Garbanzo bean, chickpeas contain approximately 15 grams per cup of cooked beans. Just like most beans, the chickpea can provide the body with many medical advantages including lower cholesterol and reducing belly fat.
5. Green peas – The bane of every 5-year-old child, are we right? However, these little green dots pack in 9 grams of protein per cup. That is a lot of protein in those small little packages. Now all you have to do is get your kids to eat them.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet to live a long life. Remember to look for ways to substitute the food pyramid as Taragh Bracken has shown us. The food pyramid is not the end all be all of nutrition, but it is helpful to use it as a guideline to better health.