Hummus: Is it Healthy?

Find out if hummus is really a healthy choice.
FoodNetwork_Hummus_H

FoodNetwork_Hummus_H

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

There’s been a lot of talk about hummus in the news lately following a recent recall of the popular spread. Assuming we take contamination off the table, is hummus a healthy choice?
Yes?

A basic hummus recipe includes chickpeas and tahini (ground sesame seed paste) seasoned with various flavorings and blended smooth with oil. A two-tablespoon serving of plain hummus contains 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein. The sodium content typically ranges from 120 to 180 milligrams per serving, depending on the brand. Served with fresh veggie sticks, a whole-grain pita or crackers, hummus can make a healthy and satisfying snack. It can also be used as a sandwich spread and makes a flavorful addition to burgers and soups.

No?

The health benefits of hummus can take a sharp turn downhill if you aren’t mindful of the portions and accouterments. For example, your snack of half a cup of hummus served with two servings (about 18 pieces) of seasoned pita chips adds up to 540 calories and more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium — about 35 percent of the daily recommendation.

The Verdict

There are plenty of reasons to love hummus; just keep the dippers healthy and the portions modest.

Recipes to Try:

entwine, May 2011

Photo by: Yunhee Kim ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Yunhee Kim, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

GUY_F_ROASTED_RED_BELL_PEPPER_HUMMUS_H.jpg

GUY_F_ROASTED_RED_BELL_PEPPER_HUMMUS_H.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

KO_FN_07HummusSliders1_007.tif

KO_FN_07HummusSliders1_007.tif

Food stylist: Stephana Bottom

Photo by: Kana Okada ©2010, Kana Okada

Kana Okada, 2010, Kana Okada

KO_FN_06HummusSoup1_030.tif

KO_FN_06HummusSoup1_030.tif

Food stylist: Stephana Bottom

Photo by: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2010

Kana Okada, Kana Okada 2010

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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