Hummus is soooooo popular.
But not the kind of popular that makes you kind of sick with jealousy, hoping that its popularity eventually meets its rightful comeuppance. It’s the kind of popular—the rarer kind—where it deserves its popularity.
Hummus is creamy and smooth. Hummus tastes great with basically anything—whole grain crackers, bread, vegetables, and so much more. Plus, you can even use hummus as a condiment inside sandwiches or as a plant protein topping for salads and grain bowls.
Yet, is hummus actually keto?
Because hummus comes from chickpeas, a legume, the answer comes down to portion size. The carbs within hummus can add up, especially when you consider the serving size you’d typically eat when having hummus as a snack or including it in your meal.
The good news is that hummus has fiber, so those carbs are complex carbs, and you can subtract the fiber count from the total carb count to get a reduced number of grams of net carbs. Net grams are the types of carbohydrate grams that matter in going towards your carbohydrate budget when on keto.
“In a tablespoon of hummus, there are commonly 2 to 3 grams of net carbs, so this could be a very appropriate snack on a low-carb veggie as a dip or on a lettuce wrap,” says Seattle-based registered dietitian nutritionist, Ginger Hultin, M.S., R.D.N., and author of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep.
“Hummus also contains protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat so it’s a balanced food that you could definitely include on a keto diet, depending on what else you’re eating on a given day,” Hultin says. So, you can surely benefit from the nutritional value of hummus, as long as you pair it with non-starchy veggies rather than crackers or bread.
This will let you enjoy more of that hummus while not going over your carb budget or setting unrealistic expectations of how many carbs you can limit yourself to for the rest of the day.
“I think there’s confusion around hummus being keto because it’s bean-based and you do need to limit beans on a keto diet, but pairing it with cucumber or celery slices will help you stay low carb,” she says. “Since it’s relatively low-carb, most people could probably have some everyday depending on what else they’re eating, but most likely, they’ll need to stick to 1 to 2 servings.”
To note—it depends completely on what else you’re eating in a day and what your individual carbohydrate bank is. Keep an eye on the labels to avoid added sugar, such as found in a caramelized product (for example, caramelized onion flavor). “Plain, garlic, or lemon hummus may be best,” she says.
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