I have been trying to eat healthier. Years of working in kitchens and treating my body like an amusement park finally caught up with me and I realized that I’d reached a new high (or low depending on how you look at it) when I stepped on the scale recently. I have a young child now, and thanks to my wife’s consistent “reminders”, and my ballooning waste line, I have realized that I need to take better care of myself. The hard part is, I know I eat poorly, I have a degree in Dietetics for goodness sakes. The thing is, knowing you should do better, and doing better are two very different things.
Carbohydrates in our diet help provide satiety, they give you that full feeling we love and help provide energy for your body and daily activities
One of the many ways I’m working to stem my weight problem is by transitioning to lower glycemic index carbohydrates or carbs that allow me to feel fuller longer. Carbohydrates in our diet help provide satiety, they give you that full feeling we love and help provide energy for your body and daily activities. The problem is if we include too many carbohydrates in our diet the excess will be converted to our body’s storage form, which is fat. There is a much more in-depth explanation of the mechanism, but suffice it to say, too many carbs equal an ample waste line unless you exercise to help offset the intake. Beyond simply eating fewer carbohydrates, you can also substitute different starches in your diet to stay fuller longer. This is because starches/sugars act in different ways as we digest them.
Think about a kid eating pixie sticks versus a kid eating a bowl of brown rice. The pixie stick kid gets a jolt of energy and turns into a human hummingbird, brown rice kid eats his meal, feels full, and doesn’t turn into a Tasmanian devil. This is the glycemic index at work.
At it’s most basic, the glycemic index is a measure of how much a carbohydrate/starch raises your blood sugar. The more refined the carb, the higher it is on the glycemic index, which means a bigger blood sugar spike and eventual crash, the less refined the carb the lower it is on the glycemic index, meaning your blood sugar remains more constant and you crash less. In terms of dieting, this means you’ll feel fuller longer and you won’t experience the ups and downs of refined sugars. You also give your body the ability to use the food you are eating for energy rather than storing the excess sugars in your blood as fat.
This means when you eat hummus, your blood sugar doesn’t spike and your body doesn’t store all that excess blood sugar as fat.
Hummus is pretty low on the glycemic index. Beans are composed of super long-chain starches that take a while for your body to break down and digest. This means when you eat hummus, your blood sugar doesn’t spike and your body doesn’t store all that excess blood sugar as fat. Chickpeas have a glycemic index of 28, while white rice has a glycemic index of 79, brown rice has a glycemic index of 68. Hummus also contains larger amounts of protein and fat than grains or rice do, helping me keep my macros in line. This is why instead of rice/grain bowls, I’ve been making hummus bowls, also they are absolutely delicious
All you need for a hummus bowl is some veggies, 4 oz of a great protein, plant-based or animal-based it doesn’t matter, and an awesome hummus. Luckily I’ve got that last part handled.
The key to a great hummus at home, especially if you are using a canned chickpea product, is to use more liquid than you think you need to ensure a smooth, fluffy hummus, and then use a ton of tahini to thicken it. This is a much more traditional style of hummus than the store-bought versions you’ll find. This rich, tahini driven spread is fluffy and almost dissolves on your palate as you reach for a bit more. One bite of this hummus and you’ll kick your favorite store bought brand to the curb!
Check out the recipe below for the absolute best hummus I’ve ever had.
What are your favorite hummus bowl combinations? Let me know in the comments and I’ll give them try!