Joanna Blythman seems beyond the hype at the biggest food trends of the year
1 Pasta stimulates you fat
As the carb-avoidance craze furies, many are dismayed to find pasta lumped with pappy white bread in the white and refined sin bin. Now, a concerted move is on to rehabilitate its nutritional reputation. Is it true that, as pasta company Barilla claims, its unique resistant starch structure stimulates it more slowly digested than the same amount of flour induced into bread? As long as you eat it al dente, white pasta can certainly have a glycaemic indicator comparable with buckwheat or brown rice so the argument that it devotes a steady release of energy that keeps you feeling fuller longer, is plausible. Its also a whole lot more appetising than a plateful of wholewheat spaghetti.
2 Dates are the new sugar
Thanks to the promotional efforts of clean-eating guru, we cant move these days without bumping into delicacies sweetened with dates. Are these sticky fruit any better than bad old sugar? If youre talking about baking, the answer is yes. Weight for weight, dried dates contain about 68% total sugars, as opposed to actual sugar, which is 100%. Dates are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, and have a relatively low glycaemic indicator: the fiber stops the sugar from causing an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Unlike straight sugar, dates are packed with useful micronutrients: iron, potassium, B vitamins and more. Dried dates do contain much more sugar than the sweetest fruit, but if youre eating them as a substitute for cakes and confectionery rather than fruit, theyre a good way to lower your sugar intake and gradually un-sweeten your palate.