10 Reasons To Include Chili In Your Diet!

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Okay, I know this post title sounds a little weird but that I hope by now to have your attention, eh?  I am currently writing a simple meal plan post that will be coming soon and as I was writing it I realized I LOVE CHILI!  Not only do I love chili because it tastes awesome but because of so many other reasons that I will share with you today!   We may be out of soup season but let’s face it, soup is an awesome staple in any diet! Let’s begin!

 

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1) Benefits Weight Loss:  That is right! There are many studies showing that if you consume soup before a meal, you can decrease your calorie intake by 200 calories! 

2) Full of Nutrients: The nutrition profile is fantastic as chili is full of beneficial nutrients including iron, vitamin C, magnesium and many others including the next two on the list: protein and fiber! If you see my recipe below I add even more nutrients by using a secret ingredient  that I will talk about in reason #7 Make it Skinny.

3) Good Source of Protein: Yay for protein, one of the other reasons why chili may help shave off the weight. Protein-rich foods will help you feeling fuller longer and therefore keep you from nibbling on all the junk! In my recipe I use real, 100% beef because it is also a great source of iron.  You don’t have use ground chicken or turkey, in fact, I would recommend not using ground chicken or turkey because it does not contain near as much iron as beef!  Beef is one of the best sources of iron.  Check out Beef’s Big 10. Iron is a crucial nutrient that does many important processes for our bodies including providing oxygen to our blood cells.  There are times when I get a little tired and think about my diet and realize, wow my protein/iron consumption is a little low let’s have a good steak or some hamburger!  Okay, maybe only a dietitian would say this but you get the point and by the way I end up feeling better after a dose of some iron-rich foods! So don’t fret and go for the beef in this recipe.  Psst . . .plus those beans in the recipe are also a good source of iron, too!

4) Good Source of Fiber:  This is something that many of us are lacking! The majority of American only consume about 10 to 12 grams of fiber a day, that is about half (or less) of the recommended amount of 25 to 30 grams of fiber!  Pile on those chili beans, right?  Plus, legumes are loaded with many other beneficial nutrients!

5) Make it Skinny! Here’s my little secret in making this recipe even more nutrient-dense – add chopped mushrooms to your ground beef!  Cost-effective and  bumps up the nutrition profile! Don’t worry, your family won’t even realize they are eating mushrooms in their beef because you don’t even see the mushrooms or taste them!  Mushrooms are good sources of riboflavin, niacin, selenium, vitamin D and many other nutrients. Some studies have even found mushroom to even decrease tumors! Check out my pictures below! Can you tell the difference? 

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6) Easy To Make: Open up some cans and/or a container, brown some ground beef and viola you are done!  So super simple!  Make this meal ahead for weeks to come . . .including my next point!

7) Freezes Awesome! Make this recipe ahead and you will be set for a month!  I always find myself going for the bag of chips or something not-so-good-for-you when I have not planned or prepared a wholesome healthy meal.  A little planning and prepping will deter any junk food craving! Defrost some chili or heat some up out of the frig and satisfy any 911 emergency hunger pang!  TIP:  Freeze chili in single-serve freezer bags and defrost each week! 

8) Versatile: Add any leftover chili to your favorites, baked potato or homemade fries.  This may seem naughty but in the right proportions it can be a hearty and healthy meal! 

9) Abides to Any Dietary Guidelines: My chili recipe can follow any special dietary considerations including reduced sodium, diabetic-friendly and if you buy the right ingredients gluten-free. Make sure each ingredients follows your dietary needs.

10) Cheater-Friendly! I know chili may not sound like the healthiest meal but if you make it with the right ingredients you have a winner, enjoy your savory heart-warming chili!

My Simple Skinny Chili  (Serving size: 6)

Ingredients

1/2 lb 90% lean ground beef

8-oz mushroom, chopped

3 cup tomato juice (may use low-sodium version)

1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes (may use chili-ready or one of my favorite olive oil & garlic)

1 (15-oz) can chili beans

1 – 2 tbsp. chili powder

Preparations

In a skillet pan, brown ground beef.  Place mushrooms in a food processor and chop to the size similar of rice.  Add the ground mushrooms to the browned beef.  In a pot, add juice, tomatoes, beans and ground beef/mushroom mixture.  Add desired amount of seasoning.  Simmer for at least 25 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (using NO low-sodium products): 181 calories, 16g carbohydrates; 5 g fat, 15 g protein, 566mg sodium; 6 g sugar

IF YOU USE LOW SODIUM JUICE: Nutrition Facts: 181 calories; 16 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat; 15 g protein; 314mg sodium; 6 g sugar             

Try finding a canned or boxed soup with the awesome nutrition profile like from above!  Can’t beat this recipe!

BTW:  My kiddos eat this chili up!  Hooray for this kid-friendly recipe at my house!

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