Like a lot of other vegetarians, I love hummus, and always thought it was a really good source of protein since it is made from chickpeas.
[However,] I just looked at the nutrition facts for a container of hummus I bought and see that each serving only has one gram of protein.
That doesn't seem right to me. Aren't chickpeas pretty high in protein?
-- Marcus (last name withheld)
I often hear people erroneously refer to hummus as a "protein-packed" spread.
Although it is a decent -- and delicious -- source of heart-healthy fats, it is no protein powerhouse.
You are right -- chickpeas deliver quite a bit of protein. A mere half cup of them adds six grams of protein to your meal.
How, then, do two tablespoons of hummus only add up to one gram?
Simple -- hummus is more than just mashed chickpeas. Garlic, lemon juice, tahini (sesame seed paste), salt, and olive oil round out traditional recipes.
Thus, two tablespoons of hummus contain approximately one tenth of a cup of actual chickpeas!
To get the six grams of protein in a half cup of chickpeas, you would need to eat approximately one cup of hummus.
If adding some protein to your day is a priority, you are better off adding half a cup of chickpeas to your salad (6 grams of protein, 143 calories) than using a cup of hummus as a dip (6 grams of protein, 410 calories).