This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the options. What about hummus, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Hummus is a spread and dip that is commonly thought of as a Middle Eastern dish but nonetheless popular all around the world. Chickpeas are the main ingredient of this mixture.
There are many different ways to make hummus. Different recipes will have varying nutritional values.
If you make or buy a healthy kind of hummus, hummus can help you lose weight by helping you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet.
That being said, there are also better foods for weight loss. Find out the nutritional values of hummus, what foods are even better for weight loss, and what some of the most weight loss friendly things are to eat with hummus.
How do you make hummus?
The first thing you need to know about hummus is that there are many different recipes for it. That means that the exact nutritional values will vary slightly depending on your choice and ratio of ingredients.
The most common ingredients of hummus include mostly chickpeas, water, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt.
This make hummus usually a gluten-free food. If you buy hummus at the store it is smart to double-check the label.
The following ratio of ingredients comes close to the hummus nutritional values that will be used in this article (1):
- 1 (15 oz. = 425 grams) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 2 to 4 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
The details of some ingredients in hummus matter more than others when it comes to weight loss. Adding one tablespoon of olive oil to this portion of hummus would add 119 calories (2).
This comes down to about 20 calories extra per 100 grams. This is more than certain low-calorie vegetables contain per 100 grams!
Micronutrients in hummus
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in hummus.
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 this kind of hummus provides you with approximately (1):
- Manganese: 39% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Copper: 26% of the DV
- Folate: 21% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 18% of the DV
- Magnesium: 18% of the DV
- Sodium: 16% of the DV
- Iron: 14% of the DV
- Zinc: 12% of the DV
- Thiamin: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 7% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. That is a good amount of vitamins and minerals compared to a lot of whole foods.
Hummus alone will likely not be enough to hit your daily vitamin and mineral goals but it can help you a lot with that.
Fiber in hummus for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
This kind of hummus contains around 6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a 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 hummus you can greatly reduce the time you spend craving for food.
Protein in hummus for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
This kind of hummus contains about 7.9 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams (3).
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 hummus is good for a plant-based source of protein. Compared to certain other whole foods the amount of protein in hummus is a nice addition but likely not enough to reach your daily protein goals.
If you need a lot of protein in a small volume of food there are better substitutes like meat, fish, or eggs.
Does hummus help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in hummus.
This kind of hummus contains around 166 calories per 100 grams. 58.2 these calories come from the carbohydrates (14.3 g per 100 grams of which 6 g fiber).
You might be able to fit in some hummus in a low carb diet like the keto diet but there are better foods if you’re going the low carb route.
In general, the number of calories in hummus is not that high but also not that low. Fruits and vegetables are usually lower in calories than hummus.
Even with that in mind hummus is still a relatively 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 hummus 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 hummus with is key. If you still struggle with overeating calories there are less fattening food options that can benefit your weight loss more than hummus.
Is it bad to eat hummus 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.
Consuming enough micronutrients is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Hummus can help you a good amount with this but you will need other food as well.
That being said, if you use healthy ingredients for hummus, it can even be healthy to eat hummus every day.
A hummus serving is about 2-4 tablespoons which comes down to about 28.6-57.2 grams.
Whether this is the right serving size for you personally depends on the rest of your diet and lifestyle habits. You can start with that serving size and see if you still progress. If not, you will have to make changes to your current plan.
What to eat with hummus for weight loss
Most people don’t eat hummus by the tablespoon. This mixture is typically used as a dip or spread for other foods. Not all of these foods are great for weight loss.
Some great foods to eat with hummus for weight loss include raw vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, and so on.
Another good combination with hummus is cheese. You do have to exercise some portion control with this combination since cheese is not the lowest-calorie food.