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Is Hummus Keto-Friendly?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/13/2017

Hummus is an incredibly healthy and delicious savory dish that’s extremely popular. You won’t have difficulties finding a variety of hummus in health food stores and supermarkets. 


You may be concerned that hummus is high in carbs and unsuitable for a ketogenic diet. No need to worry! Hummus is low-carb, keto-friendly, and on our Healthy Keto® food list.

Classic hummus

What is hummus?


Hummus is a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines and is typically served as a creamy dip, savory spread, or added to various recipes as a condiment. 


Hummus is made by pureeing chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and garlic in a food processor until silky and creamy. Traditional hummus is typically topped with smoked paprika and served with raw or roasted veggies. 


While traditional hummus remains the most popular choice, there are now many different varieties, including roasted cauliflower hummus, black soybean hummus, and even hummus made from macadamia nuts. 



Is hummus safe on keto?


There is a common misconception that hummus isn’t a keto-friendly dip. 


While chickpeas contain some carbs, they also are rich in fiber resulting in an overall low net-carb count.


The high amounts of healthy fats in olive oil and tahini also buffer the impact of carbs on your blood sugar and insulin levels.


Hummus is a great dip, but it’s best to avoid eating too much in one sitting and measure your serving sizes to keep track of your daily net carbs. A typical portion size of two tablespoons of hummus contains only around four grams of net carbs, which won’t kick you out of ketosis. 


Check out the video below to learn more about the health benefits of hummus and why you can enjoy hummus as part of your keto diet.

Hummus nutritional facts 


A serving size of two tablespoons of hummus contains:


  • 78 calories

  • 5 g total fat

  • 2 g protein

  • 6 g total carbs

    • 2 g fiber

    • 4 g net carbs


It’s essential to read labels to avoid hummus that contains added sugars, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients. Or even better, opt for homemade hummus.


Homemade hummus is incredibly easy to make. All you need is a high-speed blender to combine all ingredients to your desired consistency. Check out this tutorial on how to make hummus!


To keep your hummus dip keto-friendly, avoid eating it with high-carb pita bread, crackers, or bread. Instead, enjoy your hummus with celery, carrots, roasted cauliflower, and bell peppers.


Hummus is versatile, and you can create your own low-carb keto hummus. Include greek yogurt or nut butter to add healthy fats and flavor, spice it up with this delicious Keto Roasted Jalapeño Hummus Recipe, or try using black soybeans instead of chickpeas.

Variety of keto hummus

Health benefits of hummus


Hummus isn't just delicious. It's also exceptionally healthy. Each ingredient in traditional hummus has profound benefits for your health. 


Research confirms that hummus is a health-promoting food linked to a healthy weight, balanced insulin levels, reduced cardiovascular disease and cancer risk, and improved gastrointestinal health.


Let’s take a look at the health-promoting properties of hummus.


Chickpeas 

Chickpeas are highly nutritious. They are a rich source of fiber, plant protein, B vitamins, and essential minerals, including molybdenum, manganese, copper, and iron. 


Chickpeas support healthy blood sugar balance and according to research can improve insulin resistance linked to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The combination of insoluble fiber, healthy fats, and protein in hummus promotes slower digestion and avoids blood sugar spikes.


In addition, manganese and molybdenum in chickpeas enhance your cells' sensitivity to insulin. Insulin sensitivity determines how effectively your body can regulate blood sugar balance. 


Healthy blood sugar levels and balanced insulin reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.


Hummus is a great choice to help your liver detoxify and eliminate heavy metals, including lead and cadmium. Heavy metal accumulation in the body can result in chronic inflammation, brain fog, and lack of energy.


Chickpeas are rich in molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps your body break down and excrete toxins, drugs, and heavy metals.

Traditional hummus ingredients

Olive oil 

Olive oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils with many health benefits. It’s a rich source of heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory fats, including oleic acid.


Oleic acid is a potent health-promoting fatty acid that supports cardiovascular health and balanced cholesterol levels. It lowers oxidative stress and inflammation, which is directly linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. 


Tahini

Tahini is a sesame paste rich in polyunsaturated fats and phytochemicals, which support healthy blood sugar levels. Research suggests eating tahini regularly can improve insulin resistance and lowers your risk of diabetes


Tahini is a rich source of methionine, an essential amino acid that regulates metabolic function, supports your immune system, and promotes gallbladder and digestive health. 


Lemon juice

Lemon juice gives hummus its delightful tangy flavor and acts as a natural preservative. 


If you are prone to kidney stones, lemon juice is an excellent choice for you. This study found that regular lemon juice consumption prevents the formation of kidney stones. It’s believed that the citric acid in lemon juice can form soluble salts that break down and prevent kidney stones.   


Garlic 

According to research, garlic is one of the most potent antimicrobial foods on the planet. Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur-containing compound that protects you from microbial infections, including parasites, bacteria, and yeasts such as candida.


Garlic also promotes liver health, balanced cholesterol levels, and healthy blood pressure.


Sea salt 

Traditional hummus is typically seasoned with mineral-rich sea salt.


While regular table salt provides two minerals, sea salt can contain as many as 94 minerals and trace elements. Adding sea salt to your diet is an excellent choice to promote healthy nutrient levels and support your overall health and well-being.  

Hummus with fresh vegetables

Key takeaways


Hummus is an exceptionally nutritious food with many health benefits. It’s rich in healthy fats and fiber and contains high amounts of nutrients, including molybdenum and B vitamins.  


It works excellent as a dip, spread, or condiment. Making homemade hummus is easy and lets you create a variety of your favorite hummus flavors.


Hummus is a low-carb, keto-friendly dish packed with nutrients, and adding moderate amounts of hummus to your keto plan won’t kick you out of ketosis.  



FAQ


1. What is hummus made with?

Traditional hummus is a puree made by processing chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tahini, and sea salt in a high-speed blender. It’s typically topped with smoked paprika and served as a dip or spread. 

 

2. Is hummus low-carb?

How many carbs hummus contains depends on the type of hummus you choose. However, most homemade hummus recipes are low in carbs and contain around two net carbs per tablespoon. 


If you prefer store-bought hummus, it’s important to read labels to avoid added sugars, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients. 


3. Can I have hummus on keto?

Yes, hummus is a keto-approved food. Traditional hummus is low in net carbs and a rich source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein.  


4. What does hummus taste like?

Hummus has a rich and creamy texture with a slightly nutty flavor and a hint of tartness from the lemon juice.


5. Is hummus good for weight loss?

Hummus is an excellent food for a healthy waistline. Chickpeas are rich in insoluble fiber, a type of dietary fiber well known for its weight-loss-promoting properties. Insoluble fiber increases satiety and reduces the release of hormones triggering hunger and cravings. 


6. Is it okay to eat hummus every day?

Eating hummus daily is a great choice to promote optimal nutrition and support your health. Hummus does contain small amounts of net carbs, so it’s best to measure your serving sizes to keep track of your daily net carbs if you follow a low-carb diet plan.

 

A typical serving size of two tablespoons of traditional hummus contains around four net carbs.  


7. What can I eat hummus with on keto?

You can eat hummus with any of your favorite keto-friendly foods. Celery, cauliflower florets, carrots, and bell peppers are great options if you enjoy hummus as a dip.


Try this delicious keto vegan hummus sandwich to incorporate more hummus into your keto diet. Hummus also works great as a topping for chicken and makes a delightful salad dressing.


8. Is store-bought hummus keto-friendly?

That depends on the type of hummus you choose. Traditional hummus is typically low-carb and keto-friendly. However, some varieties can contain added sugars, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients. It's important to check the label to choose low-carb hummus made with traditional ingredients.

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