On the ketogenic diet, you have to be a bit more discerning about what you eat than on other diets.

While hummus is a popular and filling accompaniment to meals and snacks, it’s comprised of garbanzo beans, which is a food that’s frowned upon on the keto diet.

The carb content in hummus can also be a source of concern.

The good news is hummus can be keto-friendly, particularly if you can find viable substitutes for the dip or the carbs used for dipping.

Read on to learn about its origins, its healthy attributes, and how keto dieters can find options that suit them and won’t push them out of ketosis.

What Is Hummus Made Of?

Hummus is a thick paste or spread made from:

  • Ground chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Garlic

It originates from the Middle East and often complements dishes like pita bread or crackers.

It is thought to be a healthier dip option than ranch or mayonnaise and can also be used on sandwiches as well as paired with meats and vegetables.

The origins of hummus go as far back as 13th century Egypt. There have actually been debates about whether it originated in the Middle East, Greece, Israel, or even India, with all four countries wanting to get credit.

On a “typical diet” (i.e. non-keto), hummus is typically considered healthy because it’s high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein.

It is a strong source of plant-based protein, and therefore a great food source for vegetarians and vegans who need protein from non-animal sources.

Hummus has also been known to contain a few key ingredients that have been proven to reduce inflammation, such as virgin olive oil [1] and sesame seeds [2].

Related: How The Keto Diet Can Reduce Inflammation

Even though hummus has oils that make it look unhealthy, it actually has been considered a helpful weight loss aid.

In one study,

A sample of hummus consumers had lower risks for obesity, BMI, and a lower weight circumference than non-consumers.

There was also a lower likelihood of glucose levels elevating quickly. Thirdly, hummus has been known to help with satiety and boosting metabolism, due to the fiber and protein found in it [3].

Additionally,

Hummus can be helpful for those who struggle with food allergies and intolerances.

Hummus is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and even nut-free, making it great for those who suffer from celiac disease, nut allergies, and lactose allergies.

However, those who struggle with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) should avoid it because it can trigger pertinent sensitivities.

Hummus on The Keto Diet

The carbohydrate content in hummus may seem concerning for those with keto…

Some brands can even have as much as 40 grams of carbohydrates per serving. As you may already be aware, it’s advised to consume less than 50 grams of carbs per day while going keto.

Even if a hummus label says it has few carbohydrates, it’s easy to lose control of portion size and consume more carbs than you should. Additionally, the bread or crackers that accompany hummus should be avoided for keto dieters.

Consuming hummus on the keto diet is feasible if you follow some precautions.

First, if you’re at a grocery store and come across hummus you might want to buy, the first thing to do is check its carbohydrate content.

Secondly, use vegetables for dipping rather than bread or pita. It’s a healthier, keto-friendly option that will allow you to get more nutrients.

Thirdly, you can also make keto-friendly hummus types yourself (or look for them in stores). The following are some examples of keto hummuses:

Types of Keto Hummus

1. Cauliflower hummus

Swap out the chickpeas for cauliflower.

Cauliflower hummus, in addition to being low carb – is dairy, gluten, and nut-free, and is good for vegan and vegetarian diets.

You have to bake it and smother it with cumin and tahini (the sesame seed paste found in ‘regular’ hummus).

After baking, blend the cauliflower until it’s chunky and add seasonings like crush garlic, paprika, salt, etc. Serve it in a bowl, add some olive oil, and another seasoning like coriander.

2. Avocado hummus

You already know that avocados are a good source of healthy fats for keto, so it makes sense that they could be a keto-friendly chickpea substitute.

Avocado hummus doesn’t require much time to cook. All you have to do is blend the avocado ‘meat’ with seasonings in a blender. Taste test them and chill them until it’s time to eat. Instead of using chips, use cucumber or vegetable chips instead.

3. Almond hummus

Like the avocado hummus, toss portioned raw almonds into a high-power blender and add the necessary seasonings. Blend it until smooth for 2-3 minutes until it’s smooth. Chill it until it’s time to eat.

Making the above hummuses are fairly easy and don’t require much time. But of course, there are also store-bought options such as:

  • Lantana Edamame
  • Lily’s Hummus
  • Gopal’s Raw Organic Sesame Tahini
  • Tahini by Roland

Many of these are vegetarian and vegan-friendly too. Make sure the ‘dippers’ you’re using are vegetable or low carb options.

Conclusion

Hummus is known to have a variety of healthy abilities.

From fighting inflammation, aiding in weight loss, stabilizing blood sugar, and even lowering heart disease risk.

It’s high in fiber and protein, and the olive oil in it can count toward a keto dieter’s required healthy fat intake. But the tasty spread can be frowned upon in keto for its carb content, so mind how much you eat!

Reading the ingredients, finding appropriate substitutes or making your own are valid solutions for incorporating hummus into your ketogenic diet.

More readings

Is Almond Butter Keto Friendly? 4 Key Benefits

Is Spaghetti Squash Keto Friendly?

Is Peanut Butter Keto Friendly?

Are Beans Keto Friendly? Carbs In Beans & What To Avoid

Is Almond Milk Keto Friendly? A Healthy Substitute for Milk on a Keto Diet

The Top 3 Best Tasting Keto-Friendly Fat Bomb Recipes

Are Crackers Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly? What To Avoid, Keto Alternatives, & More

References

[1] Santangelo C, Vari R, Scazzocchio B, De Sanctis P, Giovannini C, D’Archivio M, Masella R.
Anti-inflammatory Activity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols: Which Role in the Prevention and Treatment of Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases? Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(1):36-50.

[2] Khadem Haghighian M, Alipoor B, Malek Mahdavi A, Eftekhar Sadat B, Asghari Jafarabadi M, Moghaddam A. Effects of sesame seed supplementation on inflammatory factors and oxidative stress biomarkers in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Acta Med Iran. 2015;53(4):207-13.

[3] O’Neil, Carol and others. “Chickpeas and Hummus are Associated with Better Nutrient Intake…” Journal of Nutrition & Food, http://www.omicsonline.org, January 14, 2014.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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