Hummus On A Raw Food Diet: Is It Healthy? Are Chickpeas Raw?

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Hummus On A Raw Food Diet: Is It Healthy? Are Chickpeas Raw?

by Felicity
(Sydney, Australia)

Felicity's Question:

I make my own hummus and really like it.

Apart from the olive oil, the other ingredients appear to be OK as part of a raw food diet.

I'm not sure about the chickpeas though as I couldn't find any mention of them on your site. Are they legumes?

Is hummus OK to eat on the raw-food diet?

Thanks for your site. It's great!

Andrew's Answer:

Hi Felicity.

Hummus, as traditionally made, is not something I'd consider a great addition to a raw food diet.


Although recipes vary, most contain chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini, olive oil (or another vegetable oil), lemon juice, salt, and garlic. The whole recipe or some of the ingredients are generally cooked.

Let's dissect these elements.

1) When your food is cooked, it has been damaged nutritionally and you also open the door to the creation of disease-causing compounds. Learn more about how cooking damages food here.

2) Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are indeed legumes. Legumes, often simply called beans, are a food group renowned for causing digestive disturbances, most commonly expressed in the form of gas.

They're notable for their high levels of both carbohydrates and protein, and we tend to digest them poorly because carbs and protein require digestive mediums which cancel each other out in the stomach. The gas we experience is the purification that occurs in our intestines because of this conflict.

In addition, garbanzo beans are generally cooked as part of this recipe. Some have proposed sprouting the legumes, but the underlying digestive challenges remain.

Learn more about food combining here.

3) Tahini is fine provided you're smart about its use and keep your fat intake low.

4) Olive oil (or any other sort of vegetable oil), is definitely not healthy. It is the major contributor to the fat content of this high-fat dish, which, depending on how it's made, is often swimming in oil. USDA estimates place home-made and commercial hummus at between 43 and 48 percent fat respectively.

These high levels of fat, if eaten regularly will cause all sorts of blood sugar problems.

5) Table salt (as opposed to natural saline) is not healthy.

6) Garlic is not healthy.

7) Lemon juice is fine.

Alternative Recipes?

I know that some have experimented with using healthier ingredients to make a sort of hummus. Some have suggested cucumbers for the base, for instance. The suitability of these recipes would of course vary by ingredients and preparation method.

Following Up:

Bummed that hummus isn't a great option? Make amazing raw dressings and sauces from healthy raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Learn how to eat a raw food diet that can change your life and satisfy your palate.

Figure out what foods are healthy and harmful.

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