Chickpeas, the primary ingredient in hummus dips, are a vegetable that have been cultivated in the Middle East for thousands of years. No one knows exactly where hummus has originated, but it has become popular all over the world, even in the United States. If you’re one of the 15 million Americans who eats hummus regularly, you already know that it’s tasty. But did you know that it’s also a healthy addition to your diet? Here are some facts about hummus nutrition:
- Hummus Calories are Better Calories
Hummus has somewhere between 25 and 40 calories per tablespoon, but not all calories are created equal. Hummus has no saturated fats and no cholesterol—in fact, eating hummus has even been shown in some studies to lower cholesterol. So even though swapping hummus out for your other snacks may or may not save you on calories, it’s probably still a health improvement.
- Hummus Can Control Overeating
Hummus is rich in protein, meaning that it can help to balance blood sugar levels and reduce cravings that might lead to unwise snacking. The glycemic index of hummus is around 12.
To make hummus even more filling, choose to dip with foods high in fiber. Though potato chips taste great with hummus for an occasional treat, dipping with carrots and celery can make hummus into a filling lunch or afternoon snack that will keep you satisfied all the way until dinner time.
- Hummus Spreads are Flavorful Substitutes
Whether you like spicy hummus dip, roasted garlic hummus dip, roasted red pepper hummus dip or one of the many other flavors offered in nearly any grocery store, there’s a hummus to appeal to every palate. This is particularly good news because you’re not actually limited to dipping when it comes to hummus—all these tasty spreads are easily substituted for less healthful options in recipes.
The simplest way to get started is by using hummus on your sandwiches, instead of mayo. You’ll add extra flavor, as well as cutting calories and adding protein. After that, you can start looking up easy recipes with hummus (if you’ve got picky eaters, hummus pizza is sure to be a hit).
There are so many different types of hummus—what’s your favorite? Did you know these facts about hummus nutrition? Let us know in the comments.