Faith in Fitness: Who’s for hummus?

Rosie Korfant

Rosie Korfant

By ROSIE KORFANT
Parrish resident; Activities Coordinator JSA Medical Group, a Division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

Who’s for hummus?

Me! Me! Me! I am! I am! Me too! I can hear the echo of voices in days gone by when those of Middle Eastern heritage called  “more hummus, more hummus, and more hummus.”

Now that we of the Western culture are listening, we’re hearing things like: Hummus improves your bones, muscles, skin, blood health, helps lower cholesterol and helps lose weight (I’m for that one!).

Hummus helps balance your blood sugar level, helps prevent cancer and helps alleviate anemia.

It’s also a good substitute for unhealthy foods. Try thinning it with water and it becomes a yummy salad dressing or as a dip for raw veggies instead of ranch dressing or mayo.

Hummus is made of mashed chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and tahini — all of which have been proven to be loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It’s also gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free. So those suffering with related allergies are worry-free when indulging in hummus.

If you’re looking for a weight loss statistic (and who isn’t?), here’s a good one to know: Hummus contains four grams of protein per 100 grams. Add that to a boiled egg white, minus the yolk, and the protein is doubled, thereby acting as an appetite suppressant leading to weight loss. Reduce hunger and maintain muscle mass at the same time? That’s for me!

Folks who snack on hummus have a 53 percent less chance to be obese. Research from Louisiana State University also showed that survey participants’ waistlines were more than two inches smaller for hummus consumers. Even if I didn’t already love hummus, I’d be compelled to start indulging in it just because of those news tidbits.

Further, fiber from chickpeas helps keep your hunger satisfied and aids in digestion, too. It’s pretty much the perfect snack because it’s loaded with belly-filling fiber and slow-digesting carbs. The two grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon in hummus are healthy complex carbohydrates. Of course, we are cautioned to monitor the amount and choose wisely those foods we pair with hummus so we don’t double or triple the caloric intake. (In other words, there’s that unwelcome word again: “moderation”!)

Sources:
Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Louisiana State University
Ashley Balcerzak, Thinkstock
Joseph Hindy, Food and Drink Lifestyle
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

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