Too Much of a Good Thing...Hummus

We love Hummus!  It's healthy and oh so yummy, but like any food...too much can wreak havoc on your diet.  Use these tips to help minimize the damage from your hummus addiction. 

There is one thing that Meg and I both share a deep and consuming affection for…HUMMUS!  We could easily open a fresh container of hummus in the afternoon, and by evening realize that we had consumed the entire container in one day!  We joke that our weight goes up and down, depending on the availability of hummus in our homes.  If that sounds crazy to you, keep moving, this blog post is not for you!  On the other hand, if there is a ring of familiarity, then we may be able to give you a few tips to help you get a couple of days out of that container of hummus. 

First let’s tackle why we should even care.  What’s so bad about hummus?  It’s healthy, right?  Absolutely, it’s really healthy, but just like any food that is eaten in excess, it can destroy a diet.  For some people, monitoring themselves to only having one serving at a time (2 Tbls) is really difficult.  There are generally about 700 to 800 calories in a container of hummus, add in the whole wheat pretzels I eat with them, and I am eating at least 1000 calories in one day just from hummus.  The average woman’s daily intake is 2,000 calories, which means 1/2 of an entire day’s calories on mindless snacking.  For those of us that love hummus and can plow through great qualities without a second thought, we needed to find some ways to lower those calories.  

Here are some ways to stretch the hummus without stretching your waistline.

Fat Free Hummus

Several companies make fat-free hummus, which are not as tasty as the full fat counterpart, but have far less calories.  An entire container of fat free hummus has 180 calories, compared to 700.  If you can eat the fat free hummus by itself, that great!  I mixed the fat free hummus with my favorite hummus at a 2 to 1 ratio (two parts fat free, one part regular hummus).  

This accomplishes two important things.  One, it forces me to dip out a serving of hummus, instead of sitting down with the container.  I found when I did this, it really helped me with portion control because I rarely went back for more.  The second benefit is that it cuts the overall calorie count in half, taking 10 ounces from 700 calories down to 350 calories.  

Greek Yogurt And Hummus

Mixing plain zero fat greek yogurt with your favorite hummus will not only lower the calorie count, but it will add some extra protein too.  Adding some protein will help keep you feeling full longer and also helps to stabilize blood sugars.  Trying different brands will make a difference in taste and consistency.  Fage greek yogurt is very thick, whereas Chobani’s tends to have a consistency and taste more similar to sour cream.  Find which brand you like best and what ratio works best for your tastes.

Look for Hummus with Less Fat

Some hummus has larger quantities of fat from sources like olives and olive oils, which make the overall calories for the container higher.  There are also varieties made with different beans which also contain less fat and calories.  Eat Well Embrace Life make a variety of different types of hummus made from beans other than chickpeas.  Their Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Hummus has only 40 calories per serving.

Make Your Own Tahini Free Hummus

Tahini, made from sesame seeds and olive oil, is an ingredient that has multiple health benefits, but it is very calorically dense because it is primarily fat.  Making your own hummus and removing or lowering the amount of the tahini and olive oil, will lower the overall calorie count.  Another option would be to blend some plain chickpeas or great northern beans and keep them in the refrigerator so that it is readily available to mix into your favorite ready-made hummus.  This would help dilute the calorie count as well.   

Enjoy The Health Benefits

The health benefits from hummus are many.  It provides fiber and helps regulate blood sugar, and it has been linked to decreased cardiovascular risks as well as containing a unique supply of antioxidants.  As with any healthy food, moderation is the key.  

Enjoy your hummus addiction without regret!