Now that summer is here and socializing is slowly returning to normal, it’s time to shed our pandemic pounds. Seafood is a great option for getting back into shape because of the lean protein and low calories. Per calorie, seafood has one of the highest protein counts of any food. Plus, it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. More important than the protein source is the side dish to go along with it. Side dishes can make or break the overall effect that a meal has on the body.
We know from a plethora of research that high protein with lower calories is ideal for weight loss programs. It’s important not to drop calories too much or weight may come back on at some point. Rather, choosing foods that are high in lean protein, low in insulin spiking carbs, and low in inflammatory fats is ideal. Sustainability is the key with any nutrition program.
When it comes to seafood, there are an abundance of sides that are used to compliment the taste of a dish. This list is more about complimenting the health attributes for those looking to improve their health. The nutrition will help to rev up the metabolism after being in slug mode for many months.
There’s really no way to go wrong with some grilled vegetables. It certainly qualifies as one of the healthiest side dishes to any meal. Low in calories, high in nutrition, with adaptable flavors. Marinating vegetables with vinaigrette and spices adds great flavor to any seafood dish. Asparagus is another delicious option when marinated, topped with parmesan cheese, and grilled.
Try to purchase organic vegetables when possible and rinse them in vinegar or a salt solution to remove the pesticides. Pesticide and heavy metal buildup are some of the most prominent reasons that the glandular system and metabolism slow down. It may also be a good idea to minimize inflammatory causing nightshade vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant.
Although lentils aren’t usually a crowd favorite, it’s entirely possible to transform them into a pretty decent side dish. Lentils are incredibly healthy because of their balanced nutrient profile. They contain a very moderate amount of low glycemic carbohydrates that won’t spike insulin levels. This is a big key when trying to get healthier and lose weight.
In addition, organic lentils are one of the best sources of plant-based protein. They contain low calories and good dose of fiber. The key to making lentils taste good is after cooking in water, mix in some grass-fed butter, raisins, salt, and bake until the lentils are crispy.
Purple Potatoes & Purple Rice
For those that are potato and rice lovers, these side dishes are far healthier than their white counterparts. Purple rice and potatoes contain a powerful compound called anthocyanins. According to many studies, these compounds may be highly protective to the body. They may help fight against some of the most widespread diseases that we face today.
Furthermore, purple rice and purple potatoes contain a significantly lower glycemic index than white versions. The research on anthocyanins shows promise in areas like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arterial health, blood pressure, and much more! They are some of the most potent compounds in nature that most people don’t get nearly enough of.
There are a number of other healthy side dishes like coleslaw, mushrooms, kimchi, pickled veggies, hearts of palm, and so many more. Some of you may be wondering, what about corn? Unfortunately, corn had to be omitted from the list because it can spike insulin and contribute to weight gain. A nearly 25-year long study by Harvard researchers looked at the effects of different fruits and vegetables on weight.
From 1986-2010, more than 130,000 people were followed and surveyed. What researchers found was that certain types of starchy vegetables could spike insulin and contribute to weight gain. At the top of that list was none other than corn! Sorry corn lovers, but if you must, try to limit regular consumption and buy organic. Giving attention to side dishes can really make a massive difference in weight loss and overall health.