Swap meat: Pennington Biomedical Research Center talks healthier alternatives for 2020
Research consistently shows that decreasing the amount of meat and increasing the amount of plant foods we eat leads to better health outcomes, including lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, many of us find the recommendation to eat less meat difficult to apply to our diets.
The PREMO study at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center aims to find out if substituting some of the meat in our diet with either potatoes or beans can improve blood sugar and fat levels. Instead of asking study participants to completely cut out meat at meals, the PREMO study replaces some of the meat in each meal with either potatoes or beans. As part of the study, participants receive all of their meals for eight weeks, returning each week to PBRC to pick up more food and meet with a registered dietitian.
This month, we are showcasing three recipes that study participants receive as part of the PREMO study diet. All three recipes contain meat or seafood supplemented with either beans or potatoes. Beans and potatoes (eaten with the skin) both contain important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium and dietary fiber.
Two of the recipes include potatoes that have been cooked and cooled. Cooking and cooling potatoes overnight can increase the amount of resistant starch they contain. This type of starch is digested more slowly and doesn’t affect blood sugar as much as the starch in potatoes eaten immediately after being cooked for the first time. Resistant starch is also a prebiotic, meaning it is beneficial to the “good” bacteria that live in our large intestines.
Interested in participating in a PBRC study? Visit the center’s website for details on current clinical trials. In the meantime, try out a few recipes from the PREMO diet at home.
Renee Puyau is a registered dietitian and the director of the Metabolic Kitchen at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Find more recipes at pbrc.edu/kitchen.
SOUTHWEST SHRIMP AND BLACK BEAN SKILLET (pictured above)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1 medium tomato, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup canned tomatoes with green chilies (about half of an 11-oz. can)
¼ cup salsa
1 cup canned, drained black beans
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Optional: Sour cream and fresh cilantro for serving
Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute per side or until cooked through. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil to skillet and add onions and bell pepper. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until vegetables are beginning to soften, then add tomatoes. Cook together for 4 more minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to pan, and sauté ingredients together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomatoes with green chilies, salsa, black beans, and cooked shrimp. Sauté ingredients together for 2 to 3 more minutes or until heated through. Top with cheese before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition info per serving: 260 calories | 13g fat | 4g saturated fat | 17g carbohydrate | 6g fiber | 20g protein
POTATO & BEEF CAJUN BURGER