7 Best Healthy Hummus Brands to Buy, According to Dietitians

Read on to find out which supermarket hummus is healthiest and which may ruin your beach bod.

 Hummus is everywhere. The creamy chickpea dip, which originated in the Middle East, has quickly become one of the most popular food items around, and it’s easy to see why. The savory spread is traditionally made from cooked chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice along with flavors like garlic or roasted red peppers. Hummus makes a great addition to a sandwich or wrap, (who needs high-calorie mayonnaise?) acts as a great dip for veggies or crackers when you’re in the mood for an easy and healthy snack, and can even be used to top a salad or enhance a salad dressing.

What’s more? In addition to its convenience and versatility, hummus’ nutrition profile is nothing to scoff at. In its purest form (ie. without any additives, artificial ingredients, or extra sodium), hummus is a good source of iron, protein, and fiber, while also being low in carbs.

“Two tablespoons of hummus provide a decent source of protein (2 grams), fiber (~2 grams), iron (2-4% of the daily value), and is rich in many other vitamins/minerals,” explains registered dietitian Jim White, RD, ACSM, and owner of Jim White Fitness Nutrition Studios. “It is a plant protein and therefore low-calorie (about 60-70 calories per serving), low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol, which are often high in animal protein sources.”

In other words, hummus is basically a weight loss dream. In fact, a 2010 study in the journal Advances in Nutrition linked a higher intake of legumes like chickpeas to lower body weight and improved satiety.

However, as is common when food becomes trendy, there are now dozens of hummus varieties to choose from and not all of them deserve a place in your diet. With that in mind, we’ve consulted with a team of registered dietitians and nutrition experts to find out how they distinguish the best store-bought hummus brands of the bunch from the worst.

How do you choose the best hummus?

When choosing the “best” hummus around, there are multiple factors to consider. “In general, you want to keep an eye out for the sodium content and the fiber content of whatever hummus brand you are choosing,” says registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who serves on the advisory board for Fitter Living. Try to choose a hummus that has the least amount of sodium and the highest amount of fiber.

Scroll down for specific factors to keep an eye on:

  • Sodium: When it comes to sodium, less is more. “Many hummus products are considered ‘low sodium’ foods, in that they have less than 140 milligrams sodium per serving. That’s great!” says Miller. “If you’re deciding between two versions of hummus, opt for the one that is lower in sodium.”
  • Fiber: The satiating nutrient, which is found in chickpeas, is part of what makes hummus such healthy food. When buying hummus, look for one that contains fiber and consider eating it with another high-fiber food. “Most Americans do not consume the recommended fiber intake for adults (25 grams fiber per day for women; 38 grams fiber per day for men). If you pair hummus with vegetables or whole-grain, healthy crackers, you can have a great, high fiber snack or meal,” Miller notes.
  • Iron: The mineral, which improves muscle strength and concentration, also boosts immunity. Though it’s not found in all hummus varieties, look for ones with added nutrients such as this.
  • Simple ingredient lists: Since hummus is basically chickpeas, tahini, and spices, there’s no need for a long ingredient list, especially when that list includes things you can’t even pronounce. “The simpler the ingredient list, the better, so be sure to avoid any brand that has unnecessary additives or extra oils,” says registered dietitian Amanda Baker Lemein, MS, RD, LDN. “Ideally, look for heart-healthy oils like olive or avocado oil.”

Here are the best hummus brands to buy

Keep reading to find out the 7 best store-bought hummuses our pros recommend!

1. Hope Original Recipe Hummus

hope humus

“Selecting a product that most closely fits the Dietary Guidelines is a great place to start,” says White, who is a fan of this brand and its many varieties. “An ideal product will provide more protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and less sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.” Indeed, Hope is a great source of protein and fiber while boasting no sugar, very little saturated fat, and only a reasonable amount of sodium.

2. Ithaca Classic Hummus

ithaca classic hummus

For the same reasons listed above, White is also a fan of Ithaca Hummus and its many flavors. “Generally, the more ingredients you can pronounce, the less processing the product has undergone,” he adds. “It will likely include more ‘whole food’ ingredients.” Considering this hummus contains only chickpeas, water, tahini, cold-pressed lemon juice, organic sunflower oil, vinegar, salt, fresh garlic, cumin, and crushed red pepper, it easily passes the ingredient test.

3. Yorgo’s Original Hummus

yorgo original hummus

“This is great because it has only 60 milligrams sodium per serving and 3 grams of fiber,” says Miller. “It’s the best of both worlds in terms of keeping the sodium down and upping the fiber compared to other options.”

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4. Cava Organic Traditional Hummus

cava hummus

Lemein, who cautioned against buying a hummus with too many ingredients and additives such as unhealthy oils, is a fan of this version. “One of my favorite brands is Cava, which actually doesn’t have any added oil at all,” she explains. “It just uses the oil from tahini instead and makes for a great product that is even lower in calories than some others.”

5. Sabra Classic Hummus

sabra classic hummus

“I grew up eating homemade hummus as my family is from the Middle East, so I would like to call myself an expert!” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH and bestselling author of The One One One Diet. “Either I make my own or buy Sabra. As a nutritionist, I recommend Sabra Organic Hummus to my clients. It is a great dip, or spread, and can even be used instead of salad dressing. I love Sabra! In addition to the many flavors and options, they also offer 2-ounce snackers which are perfect for on the go, and an organic variety if you prefer organic foods. Lower in sodium than other brands, Sabra Organic has 130 milligrams of sodium in each 2 tbsp. Serving.”

6. Abraham’s Hummos

abrahams hummos

“When choosing a quality hummus, I’m looking for no vegetable oils, which are linked to several diseases including cardiovascular health,” says Deidre Bloomquist, a functional nutritionist who works with Invigor Medical. “I’m also looking at sodium levels and any added ingredients such as sugar, potassium sorbate, and artificial ingredients.” Since Abraham’s is made without vegetable oils and other additives, it has earned Bloomquist’s seal of approval.

7. Hannah Hommus

hannah hummos
Hannah International Foods/ Facebook

“Hannah does not include vegetable oils, which are responsible for increasing inflammation in the body,” says Bloomquist. The brand is also low in calories and has two grams of fiber per serving. Stock up during your next bulk buy run. Hannah hummus is one of the 35 Cheap Costco Buys That Make the Membership Worth It.

Ingredients to avoid

Now that you know what to look for in a hummus, it’s also crucial that you know what ingredients to avoid when choosing a hummus.

  • Sodium: While some sodium in hummus is fine (and expected,) too much salt can have an adverse impact on your health. “A diet that is high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure and fluid buildup in our tissues,” says Miller, who suggests buying a hummus with 140 milligrams of sodium per serving or less. “Eating lots of sodium can make us retain water weight and look bloated. Sodium is present in processed foods, fast food, salt, many canned foods, and premade foods, condiments, and sauces. So, try to reduce consumption of sodium in the diet.”
  • Vegetable oils: Again, some oil in hummus is fine, but as with most things, not all oils are created equal. While olive oil has its benefits, canola oil in hummus is a red flag. “Canola oil is the big thing to look for when choosing a quality hummus,” says Bloomquist. “Traditionally hummus uses olive oil, but canola is often used since it’s a more cost-effective alternative. However, canola oil is well-known for its ability to cause health problems.”

Here are the worst hummus brands you can buy

Keep reading to find out the 3 store-bought hummus brands our pros suggest you stay away from.

1. Otria Hummus Veggie Dip

otria hummus veggie dip

“Ortia is one of the most unhealthy hummus brands available due to its high sodium levels—the Southwestern Spice flavor contains 150 milligrams per serving—and use of canola oil,” says Bloomquist.

2. Athenos Hummus

athenos hummus

“This hummus contains 170 milligrams of sodium and only has 1 gram of fiber per serving,” says Miller. “Overall, you may think that the difference between hummus brands is negligible, however, all Americans need to work on decreasing their overall intake of sodium and increasing their overall intake of fiber, so some hummus brands can help you do that better than others.” Speaking of increasing intake of fiber, how about stocking up on the 25 Best High-Fiber Snacks to Buy That Keep You Full?

3. Sabra Dark Chocolate Dessert Dip & Spread

sabra dark chocolate hummus

“I would caution the sweet hummus varieties,” says Lemein. “While these are definitely not bad, it is important to remember they are still a source of added sugar, so portion sizes are important.” This Sabra version, for example, boasts 6 grams of sugar per serving. Need help with your portions so you can indulge in this Sabra hummus without overdoing it? 

How Much Protein You Should Actually Eat in One Meal, According to Experts

We called on two health professionals to detail how much protein you should be eating per meal so you don’t overdo it.
protein sources

 

Protein is one of the four macronutrients that you need in your everyday diet in order to prevent infection and injury. Everyone’s protein intake looks different depending on various factors, including age and physical activity level. However, there’s one aspect that remains consistent, and that’s the amount that should be consumed in one sitting. Gabrielle Mancella, a registered dietitian at Orlando Health, and Cedrina Calder, MD, Preventive Medicine Doctor, and health and wellness expert explain exactly how much protein you should eat per meal so that you get an idea on how not to overdo it.

So, how much protein is too much for one meal? Here’s what the experts had to say.

How much protein should the average person consume per meal? In other words, how much protein is too much?

Both Calder and Mancella say that no more than 30 grams of protein per meal is ideal because excess protein will be excreted through urine.

“Excess protein consumption in roughly amounts greater than 30 grams per hour are not stored,” says Mancella. “Protein is never stored, and it is never meant to be used for immediate energy.”

By contrast, carbs and fat can be stored in the body for later use if eaten in excess. Have you ever heard of someone carbo-loading before a big race? The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. So when you’re engaging in intense physical activity, your body utilizes these glycogen stores so that you are able to withstand fatigue and finish the workout.

Protein works differently. Mancella explains that eating protein will not yield immediate energy like fat and carbs will, so the body redirects metabolic processes in order to create energy. The kidneys will then remove any excess protein in the blood. If excess protein is consumed regularly, the kidneys may become stressed. Calder says those with kidney disease may fare better avoiding eating a high protein diet.

“When we consume protein in excess, this adds more work for the kidneys to filter this through the body in order for protein to not build up within the protein,” says Mancella.

So eating a meal that contains more than 30 grams of protein is not only a waste, but it also can harm your kidneys long-term. Trying to eat a high protein diet could also put you at risk of weight gain as well, and not in muscle mass. There are four calories per gram of protein. It’s important to monitor how many calories are going in versus how much is burned through physical activity.

“With regard to fat gain, the human body will store any excess calories as fat,” says Calder. “In other words, if eating a high protein diet increases your daily caloric intake to the point where it is higher than the daily caloric output, you will gain fat as a result. The same is true for carbohydrates and fats.”

How much protein do I need a day? What if I am trying to build muscle mass?

“The Dietary Reference Intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound,” says Mancella. “Depending on one’s goals and current lean body mass whilst trying to build more lean body mass, protein needs vary. Typically, 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight is sufficient in combination with a balanced diet.”

Keep in mind the DRI is indicative of the minimum amount of protein you should aim to get in a day. So, a 140-pound person who is active would need a minimum of about 50 grams of protein per day per this suggestion. If that same person was trying to build muscle mass, their intake would hover around 95 grams of protein per day based on Mancella’s suggestion.

Aside from building muscle mass and promoting fat loss, Calder says that older individuals may benefit from higher protein intake if they are enduring illness or injury to speed up recovery. High physical activity levels could also require higher protein intake. Ultimately, the amount of protein you need each day varies from person to person and depends on several factors.

RELATED: The 7-day diet that melts your belly fat fast.

What types of protein should I eat?

Both Calder and Mancella agree the best protein comes from whole foods. Some examples of healthy protein sources include:

  • lean meat
  • fish
  • nuts and nut butters
  • seeds
  • non-processed soy products

The two health professionals also say that high-quality protein powders are a good way to supplement protein into your diet.

The best protein powder? One that’s plant-based and contains minimal preservatives and sweeteners. Plant-based protein powders can typically provide up to 20 grams of protein per serving. Blend one scoop of protein powder with oat milk, berries, and a handful of spinach for a vitamin-packed, protein-rich smoothie.

“The use of protein powders is an effective way to help supplement your diet to ensure that you are meeting your daily intake targets,” says Calder. “However, you should aim to get the majority of your daily protein from whole food sources.”

It’s important to keep in mind that consuming more than 30 grams of protein is too much for just one meal because anything above that number will go straight to the kidneys. In other words, you’re basically throwing your hard-earned cash down the toilet if you’re trying to ingest more than that within one hour because protein cannot be stored in the body for later use as carbs and fats can. So, instead of pairing a protein shake with a chicken breast at dinner, save the shake for after your workout or a few hours before. Spacing your protein consumption throughout the day is key to avoid having too much protein at one time!