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Hummus is a much-loved Middle Eastern dip typically made from chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, and lemon juice—just add some pita chips or veggie sticks, and you’ve got yourself a top-rated snack.
But many people who have switched to the ketogenic diet (“keto”) may wonder if their beloved hummus fits the bill for their new low-carb lifestyle.
In this article, we’ll give you the final word on whether or not hummus is keto-friendly—plus some options for lower-carb hummus alternatives if you’re one of the stricter keto dieters.
Is Hummus Keto-Friendly?
Hummus is typically made from just a handful of simple ingredients—chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, and sometimes garlic or other flavorings, like roasted red peppers or herbs.
While all of these ingredients are uber-healthy, chickpeas make up the base of any hummus recipe, and they are quite high in carbohydrates (albeit healthy, fiber-rich carbohydrates).
However, the typical serving size of hummus (2 tablespoons) doesn’t contain that many carbs— just 6 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of fiber, meaning there are 4 grams of net carbs in this golfball-sized serving.
Although the amounts can vary widely, most people on a keto diet aim to consume between 20 and 50 net carbs per day.
Therefore, a small serving of hummus can be considered keto-friendly—especially if paired with low-carb veggies like sliced cucumber, bell peppers, or celery sticks (sorry, friends, no pita bread this time!).
Can You Eat Hummus on the Keto Diet?
The short answer is: anything can be keto if you eat small enough amounts of it! Jokes aside, hummus can most definitely be a part of your keto diet plan, but serving sizes are imperative to follow here.
Rather than thinking of hummus as a dip, using it as a condiment can help you limit your portion size and convert it to “keto hummus” (without swapping in weird ingredients).
While it’s easy to shovel in immense quantities of any dip when it’s attached to chips (lookin’ at you, queso), adding a dollop of something to your meal in careful portions is a great way to make hummus a part of your keto diet without breaking your carbohydrate bank.
We’d recommend a maximum of 3-4 tablespoons of hummus per day, amounting to 6-8 grams of net carbs.
Low-Carb Hummus Alternatives
If you are more strict with your carb count on the keto diet—or if you’ve already met your limit today—you can try out these low-carb alternatives to hummus:
- Baba ganoush: Made of eggplant instead of chickpeas, baba ganoush is a Lebanese dip that has a similar texture to hummus and is also made with olive oil, lemon juice, seasonings, and tahini. Two tablespoons of baba ganoush typically contain 2 grams of net carbs, about half that of hummus.
- Black soybean hummus: Black soybeans have a nutty and creamy texture like chickpeas, making them a great hummus stand-in. Two tablespoons of black soybean hummus only have about 1.5 grams of net carbs.
- Lupini bean hummus: A darling in the keto world, lupini beans are high in fiber and low in total carbs. Lupini bean hummus has zero net carbs per 2-tablespoon serving—and you can purchase it in various flavors, including Garlic & Rosemary and Calabrian Pepper.
Homemade hummus: If you make your own homemade hummus in a food processor, you can control how many chickpeas you add to it. Although it might not be a classic hummus, you can lower the total carb count this way. Many people substitute roasted cauliflower for the lost chickpeas, which adds a similar creamy texture with fewer carbs.
Hummus Nutrition Facts
A serving size of hummus is typically just two tablespoons or about the size of a golf ball (sad, we know).
Each 2-tablespoon serving of hummus contains approximately:
- 70-80 calories
- 5 grams of fat
- 6 grams of total carbs
- 2 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of net carbs
- 2 grams of protein
- 7% of the Daily Value (DV) for copper and manganese
- 3% of the DV for magnesium
- 2% of the DV for folate, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, and iron
Is Hummus Healthy?
Yes, hummus can be a healthy addition to any diet plan—even keto. With a base of chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil, hummus has balanced ratios of the three macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein).
In addition to these macronutrients, hummus also contains some vitamins and minerals, including copper, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, thiamin, and folate.
Some of the main health benefits of hummus come from the chickpeas and olive oil, which are loaded with soluble fiber and monounsaturated fats, respectively.
Soluble fiber and monounsaturated fats are linked to better heart health, including lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
Chickpeas are packed with soluble fiber, which helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels, while olive oil contains monounsaturated fats that can improve heart health.
Olive oil is also rich in plant polyphenols, which act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress in the body and are thought to slow down the development of neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoporosis.
Similarly, tahini—a paste made of toasted and ground sesame seeds, a highly regarded health food in East Asia—is rich in a lignan antioxidant called sesamin.
Sesamin has been shown to fight inflammation and improve cardiovascular-related risk factors, including high blood pressure, body weight, and blood sugar.
Lastly, with its low sugar and net carb count, hummus has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Can I Eat Hummus on a Keto Diet?
Yes, you can eat hummus on a keto diet if you are mindful of your portion sizes. The quantity of hummus you consume will vary depending on your total or net carb goals for the day. A standard serving size of hummus is two tablespoons (about the size of a golf ball), which contains 4 grams of net carbs. If your total daily carb allotment is between 20-50 grams, a serving of hummus can easily fit your goals.
Is Hummus a Bad Carb?
No, hummus is not a “bad carb.” Hummus is low in sugar and high in fiber, making it a low-glycemic food that should not spike your blood sugar.
How Many Carbs Are in Hummus?
Two tablespoons of hummus typically contain 6 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of fiber, meaning there are 4 grams of net carbs per serving.
Is Hummus Good for You to Lose Weight?
Yes, hummus can be a great food to add to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight, as it contains an excellent balance of fiber-rich carbs, healthy fats, and plant protein. As with all foods, you’ll want to keep an eye on your portion size if you want to lose weight. A typical serving size of hummus is two tablespoons, but up to four tablespoons per day is still a healthy amount, providing about 140 calories and 8 grams of net carbs. However, dipping pita chips or pita bread in your hummus is likely not the right move for weight loss—instead, try using cucumber slices, bell peppers, carrot sticks, or low-carb chips like WILDE Protein Chips.
What Is Hummus Made Of?
Hummus is traditionally made of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Herbs, spices, and other flavorings are sometimes added, like garlic, basil, roasted red peppers, or chili.
Is Hummus Keto-Friendly?
In correct proportions, hummus can be considered keto-friendly. Two to four tablespoons of hummus contain just 4-6g of net carbs, making it a healthy addition to a keto diet.