A few years ago, only the healthiest eaters even knew what hummus was—much less ate it on a regular basis. Now, the stuff practically takes up an entire section at the supermarket (despite the fact that a quarter of Americans still don't know what hummus is). Here's why the dip's growing popularity is a good thing: People who regularly eat hummus tend to have smaller waists and healthier diets overall, a new study in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences found.
The researchers pulled data about chickpea and hummus consumption from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that hummus eaters—63 percent of whom are female—take in 52 percent more fiber, 13 percent more good-for-you polyunsaturated fats (despite an overall lower intake of fat), and 20 percent less sugar than non-consumers. Plus, people who eat the chickpea-based dip are healthier eaters overall, packing in more servings of fruit, dark green veggies, and whole grains per day.
Not surprisingly, this translates to benefits you can see: Hummus fans' waists are, on average, eight percent smaller than the waists of people who don't eat the dip, the study found. They also tend to weigh less, even though they take in no fewer calories overall.
MORE: 4 Easy Ways to Control Cravings
What makes hummus such a super food? It's loaded with slow-digesting carbs, belly-filling fiber, and protein to help you stay satisfied longer, the scientists say. In other words, it's pretty much the perfect snack.
If you're buying pre-made hummus, look for one made with olive oil instead of a cheap substitute. You should also be sure to watch your portion size; one serving is usually just two tablespoons, and the calories can add up fast, even though they're the good-for-you kind. Making your own? Rinse canned chickpeas before pulverizing them to reduce the sodium content of your dip, the researchers suggest.
MORE: 14 Signs You're Obsessed with Hummus
Copyright © www.020fl.com Lose Weight All Rights Reserved