This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Putting together your weight loss diet can be confusing with all the food options. What about chickpeas, are they good for weight loss?
Chickpeas are a gluten-free kind of legume. It is a popular plant-based protein source that can be used in many dishes from salads to falafel.
Like most legumes, chickpeas can be a great weight loss food depending on your previous diet. Find out the exact nutrition info of chickpeas and what the best preparation methods are for weight loss.
Micronutrients in chickpeas
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in chickpeas.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of boiled chickpeas provides you with approximately (1):
- Manganese: 52% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Folate: 43% of the DV
- Copper: 18% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
- Iron: 16% of the DV
- Magnesium: 12% of the DV
- Zinc: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
- Calcium: 5% of the DV
- Selenium: 5% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. That’s a great amount of vitamins and minerals compared to a lot of whole foods.
Chickpeas also contain antioxidants that may benefit your health.
Fiber in chickpeas for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Chickpeas contain around 7.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a very big amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in chickpeas you can greatly reduce the time you spend craving for food.
Protein in chickpeas for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Boiled chickpeas contain about 8.9 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams (2).
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day which is very good for weight loss. Protein calories also take your body more calories to process than calories from carbs and fats.
The amount of protein in chickpeas is good for a plant-based source of protein. Compared to certain other whole foods the amount of protein in chickpeas is a nice addition.
Do chickpeas help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in chickpeas.
Chickpeas contain around 164 calories per 100 grams. 112 these calories come from the carbohydrates (27.4 g per 100 grams of which 7.6 g fiber).
You might be able to fit in a small amount of chickpeas in a low carb diet like the keto diet but in general they are rather carb-heavy.
The amount of calories in chickpeas is not that much. That being said, fruits and vegetables are usually lower in calories than chickpeas.
Even with that in mind chickpeas are still a low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber and protein content and provide you with important vitamins and minerals.
Depending on your current diet chickpeas can help you lose weight by helping you feel a lot fuller without adding that many calories to your diet. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods that may interfere with your weight loss.
What you compare chickpeas with is key of course. If you still struggle with overeating calories there are other food options that can benefit your weight loss more than chickpeas.
One study that pooled together the results from multiple other studies found that eating pulses, types of legumes that include chickpeas, led to an increase in weight loss (3).
Another study found that chickpeas were more filling than the same calorie amount in white bread (4).
Lastly one study found that a chickpea supplemented diet helped reduce hunger and the consumption of processed snack foods (5).
Is it OK to eat chickpeas every day?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Most people will benefit from eating chickpeas every day. You will probably feel fuller because of the fiber and protein. The vitamins and minerals in chickpeas may benefit your health and how you feel.
You can implement them throughout the day, as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Different ways to eat chickpeas
So eating chickpeas in their boiled form can have a place and time in a successful weight loss journey. On the other hand there are different ways you can eat chickpeas. Some people think these are all equally good for weight loss but that’s not the case.
Find out which chickpea preparation methods are better than others.
In general you want to avoid any flours when trying to lose weight. They are often high in calories without being very filling.
This is the same for chickpea flour. It is a lot higher in calories per 100 grams, 387 calories vs the 164 calories per 100 grams in boiled chickpeas (6). In this chickpea flour example the silver lining is that the amount of fiber and protein is also higher per 100 grams.
Even with that in mind you probably want to avoid chickpea flour when you are trying to lose weight.
A popular recipe to add more chickpeas to your diet is chickpea soup. A chickpea soup recipe comes down to combining chickpeas, other vegetables like carrots and onions, some spices, and some salt.
Most vegetables are great for weight loss. There is also nothing wrong with some spices in regards to weight loss. And water is also very helpful for losing weight. It helps you feel fuller and increases the amount of calories you burn.
All in all this makes chickpea soup rather good for weight loss. By eating more of this it becomes harder to overeat on calories and for most people, this is enough to help them lose weight.
One of the first ways to prepare that may come to your mind are chickpea chips. These are basically chickpea flour, water, and some oil baked in the oven.
This makes chickpea chips a high-calorie snack that doesn’t really fill you up. Not something you are looking for if weight loss is your goal.
Hummus is a kind of dip and spread. The main ingredients are usually chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sesame seeds. These then get blended together to make hummus.
If you stick to the main ingredients hummus is rather healthy and good for losing weight.
There are also recipes with ingredients that are not so good for weight loss. The same goes for store-bought hummus.
Falafel is a deep-fried patty or ball. The main ingredient of the patty or ball is usually grounded chickpeas.
In general you want to stay away from deep-fried foods when you are trying to lose weight. By frying a food you are adding a lot of unhealthy calories.
The same goes for falafel. If you want to lose weight you might want to stay away from this food.
The best way to eat chickpeas for weight loss
The best way to eat chickpeas for weight loss is by eating them in their boiled form or as an ingredient in a healthy dish like soup and hummus.
Like with most foods you can have some and still lose weight but in general you want to stay away from chickpea flour, chickpea chips and falafel.