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Is Hummus keto?

Hummus is a beloved staple snack for most health-conscious people all over the world. Because it is versatile, savory, and can taste fantastic with just about anything, it makes a strong case as a substitute for pretzel bites or queso for that matter. 

You may wonder, what happens if you are on a ketogenic diet, but just can’t keep your hands off hummus? 

Let's find out in this article whether you can snack on hummus while on keto.

Exploring the origins of Hummus 

Hummus has origins in Western Asia and Egypt, where it has been traditionally prepared from cooked and battered chickpeas; however, other legumes are also used. 

Back in the thirteenth century, it was prepared and served as a room-temperature dish, primarily containing chickpeas, herbs, spices, vinegar, and oil. The first hummus recipe was published in an Arabic cookbook from the 13th-century.

Today, hummus is an incredibly popular food that has captured the hearts of most people. Today, the ever-flavourful hummus is flaunted as a superfood, especially in the health-conscious communities, where it is used as a staple dip.

Most of the hummus you’ll find in the markets uses the traditional Middle Eastern recipes; that said, you can try mixing it with different foods and flavors such as:

  • Tahini (mashed sesame seeds)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Basil 
  • Rosemary herb
  • Chillies and peppers

Is hummus keto-friendly?

The key ingredient of hummus is chickpeas, coming under the umbrella of the legume family. 

Legumes, which also include other beans, are not advised for the ketogenic diet. Despite being excellent sources of plant-based protein, they are abundant in carbs (making it a less desirable option for keto-dieters) and low in fat.

The keto diet applies restrictions on the number of carbs consumed. Depending on your weight, your carb consumption may be restricted from 20g to 50g of carbs per day. 

Carb-amount in hummus

A 2-tablespoon, which is approximately a 30-grams serving of plain hummus has the following nutritional constituents.

  • Calories: 78
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Total carbs: 6 grams
  • Fibre: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 4 grams

The serving size of the hummus is approximately the size of a golf ball, smaller than your typical serving. Despite these small amounts, it contains a solid 4 grams of total carbohydrates. Most flavors, such as herbs, species, peppers, and garlic do not alter the carb amount or the number of other nutrients.  

What do food experts suggest about hummus?

Let’s ascertain whether hummus, the beloved snack amongst dieters is keto-friendly or not?

As we clarified earlier, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the major ingredient of hummus. According to the US Department of Agriculture, a cup of garbanzo beans comprises 45 grams of carbohydrates. When chickpeas or other beans are transformed into hummus, the total carb content is about 49 grams.

A spokesperson for the Chicago-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Robert Foroutan, suggests that a meager amount of hummus can potentially fit into your diet. 

However, the downside is that it will not make it gratifying. Foroutan further suggests that the recommended source of carbs can be instead obtained from dark-leafy vegetables such as spinach and other veg like broccoli and asparagus.

Lower carb alternatives to hummus

While a small serving or two of traditional hummus should be fine on a keto diet, you’d still want a low-carb alternative to your regimen, especially if you are longing for a dip. Here are a few options to consider as low-carb alternatives to hummus:

  • Black soybean hummus. Hummus made from black soybeans is very high in fibre, which helps keep the net carb amount in check. Black soybean hummus contains about 2 grams of net carbs per 3-tablespoon or a 30-gram serving.
  • Baba ganoush. Baba Ganoush is a Mediterranean dip and spread, but instead of chickpeas or legumes, it is made from eggplants, and the other ingredients are very much similar. In a 3-tablespoon serving of the baba ganoush recipe, we have approximately 3 grams of net carbohydrates.
  • No Bean Hummus. This is where my no bean hummus comes into play. Hand on heart…it tastes identical to the real thing…. I’ve just snuck in a raw zucchini and almonds for creaminess. Find the recipe here.

The bottom line

While the high number of carbs found in most commercial versions of hummus may not fit the bill for the most ketogenic dieters, it's still conceivable to enjoy your favorite dips without breaking away from the ketosis process. 

Choosing to prepare your own hummus with low-carb, legume-free ingredients - the DIY cauliflower and avocado hummus with olive oil, for example -  is perfect for keto-dieters.

As for traditional hummus, you can still enjoy the delicious, savoury hummus if you're following the keto diet consistently. You can relish your hummus on your carb backloading days, or if consume it either before or after a workout.

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