Is Hummus Keto?

A keto-friendly, low-carb dip may be a more satisfying choice.

Changing how you eat may feel difficult as you create a new lineup of go-to snacks and meals—especially if you're trying a keto diet. After all, on a keto diet, only 5% to 10% of your daily calories are from carbohydrates. In that case, you may find ways to increase your fat intake and cut back on carbohydrates.

One go-to snack—hummus and vegetables—is a favorite for many people, but is it keto-friendly? Well, not exactly, Robin Foroutan, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Health. The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, which are a source of carbohydrates.

Although it's possible to include hummus in a keto diet in small amounts, keto hummus alternatives can offer a similar flavor and texture. Here's what you need to know about eating hummus in a keto-friendly way.

How Much Hummus Can You Have on a Keto Diet?

Garbanzo beans are a great source of fiber and plant protein. But for a keto diet, garbanzo beans are high in carbohydrates.

According to the Department of Agriculture, one cup of garbanzo beans contains 45 grams of carbohydrates. And when those beans are made into hummus, that number goes up to 49.5 grams of carbohydrates. That's way more carbohydrates than you'll want in one sitting (and probably even in one day) on the keto diet.

Also, one tablespoon of hummus only has about three grams of carbohydrates, but that may not be worth it. 

"While you could fit in a small amount of hummus, it wouldn't make it satisfying," said Foroutan. Instead, consider getting your carbohydrates from green, non-starchy vegetables, suggested Foroutan.

Keep in mind: If you're considering the keto diet but unsure if it's right for you, consider chatting with a healthcare provider or dietitian, suggested Foroutan. 

"There are certainly cases where keto can be really helpful, but for most people, it's not necessary," said Foroutan.

Keto Hummus Alternatives

If you love hummus but want to eat keto, don't worry. You don't have to give it up completely. Simply go for a low-carb variation, said Foroutan.

Keto Dips and Spreads

The other main ingredient of hummus (besides chickpeas) is tahini. Not only is that sesame-based product keto-friendly, but it's also high in calcium and fat, explained Foroutan. And while you can't have hummus made of tahini alone, make sure you look for or make a batch made with other low-carb ingredients. 

Also, if you're trying a keto diet, think about trying some alternative dips, such as guacamole, chimichurri, or roast eggplant dip.

You may be able to buy a prepackaged keto-friendly dip, such as Lilly's keto hummus made with cauliflower. Or you could blend avocado or roasted or steamed cauliflower with tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.

Spreads that include herbs and spices, like parsley, oregano, turmeric, or garlic, add flavor and healthy antioxidants, suggested Foroutan.

Non-Starchy Vegetables

If you are enjoying your hummus or keto hummus as a dip, you'll also want to think about the carbohydrates of the foods you'll be dipping. Try incorporating non-starchy vegetables, such as:

  • Leafy greens
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli

 Or you could use keto-friendly snacks, like seed crackers or cheese chips.

A Quick Review

It's possible to eat small amounts of hummus on a keto diet with careful planning. Still, keto-friendly dips and spreads may be more satisfying. You could opt for a keto hummus that replaces cauliflower or avocado for the chickpeas to keep the carbohydrates lower and pair it with non-starchy vegetables.

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  1. Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; June 11, 2022.

  2. Department of Agriculture. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt.

  3. Department of Agriculture. Hummus, home prepared.

  4. National Library of Medicine. Counting carbohydrates.

  5. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Healthful eating with diabetes.

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