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Exploring Heart-Healthy Meat Alternatives: Mukimame
February 17, 2021
By: Abi Gottshall, MS, RDN, LD
The soybean is a type of legume, which is a plant in the Fabaceae family. Soy was initially cultivated in East Asia but is now grown in large amounts throughout the United States. The soybean can be utilized in a variety of food products, including soy milk, tofu, and tempeh. Soy is also used as a base for textured vegetable protein (meatless protein options often seen in stores). Edamame refers to the soybeans that remain contained within the pod. Shelled soybeans that are ready to eat are referred to as mukimame.
Half a cup of mukimame contains roughly 12 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, and 4.5 grams of fat, only 0.5 grams of which is saturated fat. The remainder of the fats in soybeans are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, including some alpha-linolenic acid, which is an Omega-3 fatty acid. Omega 3’s have the ability to lower chronic inflammation which is thought to contribute to the development of chronic diseases. One half-cup serving of soybeans provides roughly 8 grams of fiber, which can lower blood cholesterol levels and regulate gut health. Although soy contains some carbohydrates, it is a low glycemic index food, meaning it will not lead to a blood sugar spike, making it a good choice for those with diabetes. A bonus is mukimame can be purchased in the frozen foods section and is a quick and easy food to prepare.
Here are some ways to add mukimame to your diet:
• Add 1 cup mukimame to an entree salad in place of steak or chicken.
• Roast mukimame in the oven with some garlic powder, parmesan, black pepper, and a sprinkle of salt for a crunchy, high-protein snack.
• Add mukimame to a stirfry with vegetables of your choice such as broccoli, bell peppers, water chestnuts, and onions, with low-sodium soy sauce over brown rice.