You’ve heard it a million times in real life as well as the long-perpetuated cliché: Eat your peas. You’d think the Holy Grail were filled with peas. And now that you’re all grown up and can make your own vegetable decisions (ALL RIGHT?), you may be told to steer clear. Why? For those who adhere to low-carb or paleo diets, peas are verboten and grouped into the starchy vegetable family.
While they’re not as energy-dense as potatoes or corn, peas fall into the same glycemic index category (a measure of how certain foods affect blood sugar) as squash, carrots, beets, eggplant, apples, bananas and chickpeas — all higher-starch produce.
Looking for the kind of satisfaction only peas can offer? Is your blue plate special incomplete without the ritual chasing of peas with your fork? Try substituting lower-sugar, higher-fiber veggies like green beans, edamame or Brussels sprouts. And remember: Even if you’re not on a diet, peas won’t be much of a vegetable component to a balanced meal if you cook them à la Paula Deen.