You might know this smooth and creamy dip as a Middle Eastern food staple. It’s the perfect side dish to round out a meal of grilled chicken kabobs and grilled veggies such as bell pepper and onion, or an ideal snack centerpiece. But is hummus good for weight loss?
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what is and isn’t good for weight loss. So, I went through phases where I added hummus to my diet, and then phases where I took it out because I heard or read somewhere that it wasn’t good.
The thing is, there’s a lot of evidence that hummus is actually great for weight loss! It can add a little variety to your salad and veggie intake and has so many ingredients that actually do check off a lot of the optimal weight loss foods requirements.
In this post, I’ll answer the question “is hummus good for weight loss?” including
- What the various ingredients in hummus can do to turn up the heat on fat cells
- How eating hummus can reduce inflammation and debloat you
- How much hummus to have in one day for maximum weight loss
- My recommendations for healthy hummus snack ideas and what dippables to use
Is hummus good for weight loss?
Hummus is a chickpea-based dip that also has lots of other healthy ingredients to compliment the fiber-rich legume.
It’s made up of cooked or canned chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, tahini (which is ground sesame seeds) lemon juice, and spices such as cumin or coriander.
Are chickpeas good for weight loss?
Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans. They’re high in fiber, which makes getting enough fiber per day easy and delicious.
In a 100 gram or 3.5 oz serving of chickpeas (about a quarter to a half a cup), you’ll get 6 grams of fiber. That’s 25% of your recommended daily fiber goal!
Chickpeas and other legumes are well known as earning the “slow-burning carb” stamp of approval for weight loss from Tim Ferris.
In fact, I personally lost 40 pounds of fat by eating slow carbs as my carb source. So, I can attest to their wonders for weight loss!
Here are some reasons why. Legumes like chickpeas contain insoluble fiber that bulks up in the digestive tract and cleans everything out, including your colon.
It also feeds healthy gut bacteria, which leads to a healthier weight and immune system.
They’re also a powerful source of plant-based protein (9.6g per 100 gram or 3.5 oz serving) and anti-inflammatory.
What is hummus?
To answer the question, “Is hummus good for weight loss?” we have to look at what hummus is made of.
The main ingredients are chickpeas and olive oil. Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats, which raise good cholesterol. It’s also found to be as highly anti-inflammatory as some anti-inflammatory meds.
Tahini is another main hummus ingredient, which is anti-inflammatory. In fact, the anti-inflammatory compounds in tahini reduce specific inflammatory markers that are high in arthritic patients.
Garlic is another staple hummus add-in. Read more about the proven health benefits of garlic for fewer sick days and a healthy weight here.
Lastly, lemon juice, cumin and/or coriander are added for a little extra zing and flavor boost. Both cumin seeds for weight loss and coriander burn fat and help you to debloat. Lemon is another of nature’s debloating wonders.
Cumin really differentiates the flavor of hummus and makes it pop. When you bring hummus with cumin to a potluck or BBQ, people will LOVE it. They’ll scoop another spoonful onto their plate and ask, “Who made this?!”
A 100-gram (3.5-ounces) or ½ cup of hummus = 166 calories, 7.9g protein, 9.6g fat, 14.3g carbs, fiber 6g
Remember when assessing is hummus good for weight loss, these carbs are complex carbs, and break down slowly. Also, the fiber content balances out the carb content to promote weight loss.
You can enjoy about ½ cup per day to help you lose weight.
Ways to eat more hummus for weight loss
- Use hummus as a dip for veggies such as red pepper slices, cucumber, green beans, or carrots.
However, if you’re just trying to change habits and find healthier alternatives, carrots ARE a good way to be healthier than before (like when you ate the empty carbs of chips and ranch dip).
Hummus and veggies (even carrots) are a good alternative to chips and dip or guacamole. Have it as an afternoon snack or bring it with you as an appetizer to events so you make sure you have something healthy to eat that others enjoy also.
- Use hummus as your salad dressing
Traditional salad dressings are usually packed with sugars and extra calories that basically undo the good of eating a salad. Is hummus good for weight loss? Yes! It even gives you extra points here, rather than taking away from them.
- Have as a side to dip grilled or baked meat and veggies
This can transform a good meal into a great one! I particularly like to have hummus for my leftover meats and veggies as lunch the next day. It really dresses up leftovers.
Easy hummus recipe (Extra smooth & creamy)
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.
Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended. Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.
Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.
Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.