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Surprising truth about Peas
We are what we eat – making it important for all of us to understand the nitty gritty of what we eat. Take for instance the peas. The majority of people tend to believe that peas are just another source of protein. It comes as a shocker to them when they realize that peas are actually classified as starchy vegetables with the highest amounts of carbs.
Surprised? They are in the same category as beets, carrots, corn, all types of potatoes, plantains, and corn among numerous others. If you are on a low-carb diet, you must already be wondering whether to eliminate peas from your present diet. Before making this important decision, one important detail must be established; how many carbs in peas ? Secondly, is the carbohydrate found in peas safe?
How many carbs in peas
For starters, we must appreciate that there are different types of peas, and each has varying amounts of carbs. This is a very good starting point in the determination of how many carbs are present in peas.
The most popular types of peas are:
- Sugar snap peas – they have an edible pod, are very sweet and may be consumed raw or cooked. The pods are typically plump and quite rounded. They are a cross breed of snow peas and garden peas. As such, they carry the characteristics of both varieties of peas.
- Snow peas – This type of peas has flat pods that are sweet and edible. They are very tiny and may be eaten raw or cooked.
- Garden peas/ green peas – being the traditional type of peas, they are the most popular. Since the pod is inedible, the peas are removed from the pods before being cooked.
Let’s now consider each of these types of peas, and determine how many carbs each contain.
How many carbs in snap peas
While peas have been in the food market since time immemorial, snap peas are a fairly new type that was discovered in 1979 – according to the Department of Public Instruction in Wisconsin.(1)
The fibers present in its pods follow in one direction, as opposed to what happens in garden peas. This explains why the pods of snap peas are edible. Crunchy and sweet, this variety of peas make an excellent vegetable side dish or snack. They offer numerous other benefits such as low calories, an incredible source of fiber, potassium, iron and vitamin C. (2)
Snap peas contain healthy carbs. The most preferred source of energy by the body is carbs. Apparently, carbs are expected to supply approximately 45% to 65% of your calories. To determine the amount of carbohydrates present in snap peas and snow peas, look at the following figures:
- 1/2 cup of raw, chopped pea pods contains 2.5g of effective net carbs, 1g of fiber and 21g calories
- 1/2 cup of cooked pea pods contains 3g of effective carbs, 2g of fiber and 32 calories
- ¼ lb of raw pea pods contains 6g of carbs, 3g of fiber, and 47 calories
Fiber is one type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the body (3). The fiber present in foods such as snap peas helps in the prevention of constipation. Including this type of fiber in your diet can significantly help to minimize the risks of heart disease. The daily fiber requirements differ from one person to another depending on age and gender. Generally, women require 21-25g and men 30-38g daily.
The following information of how many carbs in peas represents both snow peas and sugar snap peas. Since snap peas is a hybrid of garden peas and snow peas, it seems to share more nutritional qualities with snow peas, compared to garden peas. The total carbs found in snow peas and snap peas have been considered from a perspective different from the figures provided above.
Fresh snow peas/snap peas
– 10 pods of peas contains 1.67 g of net carbs, 0.9 g of fiber and 1.36 g of sugar
– 100 g contains 495 g of net carbs, 2.6 g of fiber and 4.0 g of sugar
Frozen snow peas or snap peas
– 1/2 cup contains 2.98 g net carbs, 2.2 g fiber, and 5.18 g sugar
– 100 g contains 4.10 g net carbs, 3.1 g fiber and 7.20 g of sugar
Snow peas pod
– One cup contains 3.16 g of net carbs, 1.6 g of fiber and 2.52 g of sugar
– 100 g contains 4.95 g of net carbs, 2.6 g fiber and 4.0 g sugar
How many carbs in green peas
Green peas, also known us garden peas are sweet and delicious. They are among the traditionally cultivated vegetables loved for their succulent highly nutritious green seeds. It is believed that peas originated from North-West India in the plains of Sub-Himalaya. (4)
In modern times, this versatile legume forms one of the primary commercial crops in the temperate and semi-tropical regions of the world. The botanical name for pea plant is herbaceous vine belonging to the Fabaceae family in the Pisum genus.
Pisum Sativa is the plant’s scientific name. Other names that are commonly used to refer to green peas include sweet peas, Pease and English peas and so on. Green peas are high in fiber – an essential element in ensuring regular bowel movements.
Look at the following compositions of carbohydrates for green peas.
Fresh green peas
– One cup contains 13.57 g of net carbs, 7.4 g of fiber and 8.22 g sugar
– 100 g contains 9.36 g net carbs, 5.1 g fiber and 5.67 g sugar
Frozen green peas
– 1/2 cup of froze green peas contains 6.87 g net carbs, 3.0 g fiber and 3.87 g of sugar
– 100g contains 9.51g net carbs, 4.2g fiber and 5.38g sugar
When raw, cooked and tinned, garden peas contain varying amounts of carbohydrates. Raw garden peas contain 14.45g net carbs, 5.1g fiber and 19.55g sugar – per 100grams. While cooked, garden peas contain 8.27g net carbs, 6g fiber and 14.27g sugar. Finally, tinned garden peas have 2.7g net carbs, 5.75g fiber and 18.45g sugar.
Are pea’s carbs bad for you ?
The increasing popularity of low-carb diets such as Atkins has put carbohydrates in a bad light (5). Weight watchers particularly despise carbohydrates because they have been made to believe that they are fattening. One thing is for sure, though; carbs are not exactly bad for you.
As mentioned earlier, the body places utmost preference on the energy provided by carbohydrates. The only difference is that some carbohydrates are better than others. The carbs present in peas make a healthy choice because they are high in fiber, mineral content and vitamins.
Peas have a low glycemic index ranking. The glycemic index usually ranks foods according to how they affect levels of blood sugar in the body. Foods with low rankings such as whole-grain bread, rolled oats, and starchy vegetables digest extremely slowly. This, in turn, leads to a low rise in the blood sugar levels. (6)
On the other hand, foods with high rankings such as doughnuts, French fries, and white rice usually digest quickly, and consequently leading to a rapid rise in blood sugar. It is, therefore, safe to say that one can rely on peas for a steady and consistent release of energy to the body.
How many carbs in peas ? They include effective carbs (net), fiber and sugar.