So you like hummus, but how much do you know about hummus calories? Hummus is a delicious Middle Eastern food made from chick peas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and various spices. It is typically eaten as a dip or a spread. Hummus is a nutritious and relatively low-calorie food, so it is a good snack or side dish if you're trying to lose weight. Five tablespoons (a typical serving size) of hummus contains about 135 calories.
Most of the calories in hummus come from two sources: the chick peas and oil. The other ingredients, like garlic, lemon juice, and spices, add very few calories to the dish. Despite their name, chick peas are a kind of bean, and the two main nutrients that your body absorbs from them are protein and fats. Overall, though, the chick peas provide more protein than calories to hummus.
Compared to the chick peas, the oil in the tahini and olive oil add many more calories to the hummus. Oils have a lot of fats in them, and in spite of many popular beliefs, not all fats are bad for you. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which make a thick, oily paste when pressed. Rich olive oil also contains a high amount of fats, and most of the calories in hummus come from these two oils. However, these fats are the kind that your body needs, and in moderate amounts are actually very healthy.
What most people don't consider, however, is the amount of calories in the foods that you eat with the hummus. Very few people eat hummus by itself. Instead, most people eat it with pita bread, crackers, or chips. These breads and crackers add a lot of calories themselves, so if you're counting calories make sure to account for the number of carbohydrates you're eating along with the hummus.
- To limit the amount of calories, try eating hummus with vegetables instead of bread or crackers. Hummus is delicious on just about any kind of veggie. Carrot sticks and celery are popular, and slices of bell pepper and cherry tomatoes are also delicious.
- As with all food choices, make sure to check the calorie count on the labels of commercially packaged hummus. While most hummus (especially homemade hummus) is fairly low calorie, some commercial brands may have more calories per serving than others.
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