May 01, 2018

Is All Hummus Equal? 


Olive OilThe short answer is NO!  You always hear how great hummus is for you and it is, mostly.  Don’t be fooled by marketing tricks, look at the ingredients.  Traditional hummus is chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, and tahini.  These ingredients have health benefits and are a great addition to any diet.    


Hummus is Good for You 


  1. Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans): Like all legumes, chickpeas are packed with protein, full of fiber, and loaded with nutrients.  Chickpeas are recommended for: weight management, diabetics, heart health, and other ailments.  
  2. Olive Oil: You get olive oil from pressing olives and collecting the oil. Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, protects against inflammation, promotes regularity, and more.  There are many health benefits credited to olive oil.    
  3. Garlic:  Garlic acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antioxidant, and antiviral.  Also, studies suggest that consuming garlic reduces the risk of heart disease and some cancers. 
  4. Lemon Juice:  Lemon juice is used for its alkalizing properties, vitamin C, aiding digestion, preventing kidney stones, and more.  If you look for a home cure for everything from a cold to clearing up acne, you will find lemon juice recommended. 
  5. Sea Salt:  Sea salt gives (in my opinion) a better flavor to hummus.  The trace minerals and elements in sea salt add to the taste.  While salt is often thought to be unhealthy, the reality is that it is all about moderation.  The nutritional value and sodium by weight are comparable, according to the Mayo Clinic.  The only real difference is that table salt is processed, eliminating minerals, and some have additives to prevent clumping. 
  6. Tahini:  Tahini is sesame seeds ground to a paste.  Sesame seeds have trace minerals, healthy fatty acids, and vitamin E.  Benefits associated with sesame seeds: a lowered risk of insulin resistance, heart disease, and cancer.


 Store-Bought Hummus is Bad for You


  1. Preservatives:  Sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and other preservatives are added to keep the hummus fresh.  My recommendation: if you do not know what it is, don't buy it.  These chemicals are (in my opinion) unnecessary and can have negative impacts on the body, including headaches and digestive problems.
  2. Flavors:  Is it real or a flavor?  When you look at the label, does it list real ingredients or flavors?  Is it garlic or garlic flavor?  Store-bought hummus often contains added flavors, instead of added ingredients.  I want real garlic added to my hummus, not garlic flavor!
  3. Salt:  Too much sodium?  Salt is not bad; however, too much salt is unhealthy.
  4. Oil:  Traditional hummus contains olive oil.  Look at the label, what kind of oil is in the hummus? Olive oil mixed with soybean or vegetable oil loses flavor and nutritional benefits.  Many of these mixed oils are not only poor quality; they are bad for you.
  5. Cost:  Some store brands use fillers and sub-quality ingredients to keep the cost down! Often this issue is that the quality hummus is expensive.  Quality DIY hummus is easy, delicious, inexpensive, and healthy.  



Store-Bought vs. DIY Hummus


The verdict is no; not all hummus is equal.  Hummus, like cheese, can be the real deal or not.  If it comes in a can, is it cheese?  Similarly, the question is: if it's store-bought, is it hummus?       





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