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PLATINUM GROUP NEWS & VIEWS

Are these 6 trendy health foods worth the hype?

by Michael Murphy / January 13, 2015

 Hit the health-food section of your local supermarket lately and you've probably seen these trendy foods crop up and are wondering if they’re worth the hype. Here are some trendy-ish foods you should try (or not!)

Hit the health-food section of your local supermarket lately and you've probably seen these trendy foods crop up and are wondering if they’re worth the hype. Here are some trendy-ish foods you should try (or not!)

1. Medjool dates: It’s great that dates are high in fiber and potassium but they’re 70% sugar by weight, so treat these as a treat. Dates contain more calories in a smaller volume than fresh fruit because a large amount of water has been removed. Eating just two small dates, which average about 1 to 2 inches long, gives you 133 calories. Be mindful of your portion size because it's easy to overeat these sweet fruits, which may lead to weight gain over time.

However, they are a fat-free food, making them a good alternative to high-fat desserts when trying to limit your daily fat intake. As with most fruits, dates are not a good source of protein with less than 1 gram per serving.

If you’re good with portion control or are carb loading for a marathon, they are totally worth the hype.

2. Spelt flour: Ground spelt, a grain existing since biblical times, has become a trendy wheat flour alternative. Spelt flour contains less gluten which can be challenging to bakers: baked goods from spelt flour have a harder time achieving heights because gluten gives baked goods their structure.

Spelt has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Use spelt flour as a substitute for wheat or white flour when baking bread. Because spelt flour contains gluten, you are less likely to compromise the texture of baked goods. Compared to wheat flour, spelt flour is richer in many nutrients, such as protein and minerals.

Nutrition-wise, spelt flour is similar to 100% whole wheat flour, making it somewhat worth the hype if you’re looking to vary your baking routine.

3. Nutritional yeast: These dried yellow flakes resemble fish food but don’t let that fool you! Nutritional yeast is made from purified cane or beet molasses and gives a savory, almost cheesy taste to your dishes. It’s high in protein and full of B-vitamins making it useful for vegans who tend to have a harder time getting enough vitamin B12.

Despite its distinctly unappetizing name and unappealing appearance, nutritional yeast flakes may be one of the best additions to your diet in terms of nutrition and taste. It has a nutty, cheesy flavor and provides a wealth of vitamins, minerals and protein that almost anyone — from paleo enthusiasts to vegans — can enjoy.

Don't confuse nutritional yeast with baker's yeast, which is still active and could grow inside your stomach, depriving you of nutrients, or with brewer's yeast, which is inactive but distinctly bitter. Purchase nutritional yeast at almost any health food store, usually in bulk.

Each 1/4 cup provides 45 calories and 6 grams of protein, so try it on popcorn or mixed into scrambled eggs, soups, stews and sandwich spread. For vegans (or really anyone looking to get some extra protein and B-vitamins), this powdery gold is worth the hype!

4. Pea protein powder: The protein powder market, long dominated by milk-based proteins like whey and casein, are now heralding plant-based options like pea protein. On the upside, pea protein powder is a good alternative for vegans and people with milk-protein allergies. The downside? It doesn’t contain all 9 essential amino acids so it should be complemented with rice protein. If you’re vegan or just want to consume more plant-based protein, pea protein is worth the hype since it’s nutritionally similar to whey protein isolate (see below).

Protein Powder (1 scoop approx. 30 g)

Calories Fat (g) Total Carbs (g) Protein (g)

Pea Protein Isolate

120 2 1 24

Whey Protein Isolate

110 0.5 <1 25

5. Hemp milk: Hemp milk is made from ground hemp seeds blended with water and is fortified with vitamins A, C, D, B12, and B2. Hemp milk nutrition is luxurious with essential fatty acids, digestible protein (ranking second to the previously better known soy-protein), magnesium, phytosterols, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine, and vitamin E.

Its nutritious value is quite wholesome, making you feel full before you think about another meal, and thus, is great for visceral fat reduction and for people, whose exercise regime seems to dwindle and are desperate to lose weight. Also, it is beneficial for toddlers and also for women suffering from cellulite.


6. Ghee: Ghee, or clarified butter, is made by warming butter and separating the fat from the milk proteins, whey and casein, making it generally safe for those with dairy allergies. Ghee also happens to be more heat-stable compared to it’s brother butter, allowing you to use it for high-heat searing and deep frying without an offensive burnt taste. If we’re basing it’s hype-worthiness on nutrition alone though, this is another–eh–somewhat worth the hype.

Ghee does contain more short- and medium-chain fatty acids than regular butter (which are not associated with cardiovascular problems in the same way as long-chain ones are), but tablespoon for tablespoon, ghee provides the same amount of fat and calories as traditional butter (112 calories and nearly 13 grams of fat) so it’s best to use it in moderation.

Have you tried any of these trendy foods? Let us know in the comments!
 

Platinum Group is a full service human capital management (HCM) resource that allows businesses to manage their payroll, benefits compliance, track time and attendance and other various human resources functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and eliminates redundancies with the platform, iSolved. For more information about Platinum Group or to schedule a demo of iSolved please visit our website.

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Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Michael is the founder of Platinum Group. His passion is in helping businesses to simplify their employee management and accounting processes.