Need a new favorite hummus?

Hummus has conquered the dip aisle. It’s now a staple in one out of four homes. Annual sales top $725 million, up from just $5 million in the mid-1990s, according to the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.
Sabra Caramelized Onion with Smoked Paprika Hummus

“We just got home. We wanna eat, we wanna hang out. Can’t we squeeze an unofficial meal in there?” asks the TV ad for Sabra hummus (which is partly owned by PepsiCo). Solution: “Put out the Sabra and call everyone to the kitchen.”

With two out of three American adults either overweight or obese, it’s not clear that most of us need an extra meal.

But hummus—typically a blend of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seed butter), oil, garlic, and salt—can add a satisfying savory kick to your baby carrots, sliced red peppers, crisp cucumbers, and other raw veggies.

How much hummus is really in a serving

Just remember: a serving of hummus (usually 40 to 80 calories) is two level tablespoons.

Sabra’s single-serve containers hold twice that much (¼ cup), and they don’t look excessive. You can’t just dip ‘til you drop.

And don’t think that a serving of hummus is synonymous with a serving of chickpeas. Each two-tablespoon serving of hummus—any brand—has just 1 to 2 grams each of fiber and protein. A half-cup serving of chickpeas has about 6 grams of each.

Hummus brands we recommend

We gave “Best Bite” awards to the highlighted hummus dips because they contain no more than 130 milligrams of sodium and 1½ grams of saturated fat in two level tablespoons. (Lines with a “1” are averages.)

Luckily, when it comes to hummus, it’s not hard to meet those limits.Hummus chart

Three brands with Best Bites galore:Eat Well Embrace Life White Bean Hummus

  • Cedar’s. Nice and creamy. And every bit as tasty as Sabra.
  • Sabra. Reliably good flavor, in part because tahini—not oil or water—is usually the second ingredient. Sabra, Eat Well Embrace Life, and some other brands add (safe) potassium sorbate so their hummus doesn’t spoil quickly, a bonus if you’re just an occasional dipper.
  • Eat Well Embrace Life. Why stop with chickpeas? Eat Well offers hummus made from a base of lentils, black beans, edamame, or white beans. And bravo for its labels, which clearly state, for example, that its Beet Hummus is 30 percent beets and its Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus is 25 percent carrots.

 

NutritionAction.com doesn’t accept any paid advertising or corporate or government funding. Any products recommended by NutritionAction.com have been vetted by our staff of nutritionists and are not advertisements by the manufacturers.

 

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8 Replies to “Need a new favorite hummus?”

  1. Love hummus! And usually love your articles. But on this one, you fell into the same comparison trap you chide food labelers about!
    “And don’t think that a serving of hummus is synonymous with a serving of chickpeas. Each two-tablespoon serving of hummus—any brand—has just 1 to 2 grams each of fiber and protein. A half-cup serving of chickpeas has about 6 grams of each.”
    If you standardize the size of serving, then the amount of fibre and protein is identical in hummus and raw chickpeas.
    Tut, Tut. Tsk. Tsk.
    Own up!

    1. We were comparing a serving size of hummus (2 tablespoons) with a serving size of chickpeas (half cup). While a half cup of hummus does have about the same amount of protein as a half cup of chickpeas, it also has twice the calories because of the added oil and tahini.

  2. Thanks for a great article and list! Please note– there are GMO chickpeas out there and Saba is notoriously gung ho on GMO’s. It would be great if Nutrition Action would incorporate that in its lists in future.

  3. I was very disappointed in how you measured the hummus. To me if they don’t use olive oil it isn’t true hummus. I won’t buy any that doesn’t use olive oil and not the cheaper oils. Sabra doesn’t make the grade!

    1. Unfortunately, nearly all major brands of hummus we found and evaluated contain a blend of olive oil and soybean, sunflower, or canola oil, not 100% olive oil.

  4. Sabra has many issues that make it unacceptable: it is not GMO free, the oil isn’t olive oil, and politically it exploits Palestinian people and land in its production. A big NO for Sabra.

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