If you like Hummus, then you are probably going to LOVE Tahini! But is Tahini keto?
We have always associated Tahini with the good-old Hummus, but this sesame paste (aka sesame butter) alone has a lot to offer!
Tahini is a common sight in Mediterranean cuisine. It is used as a primary ingredient for dips like Hummus and Baba Ghanoush.
Sesame butter also makes for a terrific salad dressing when paired with olive oil, lemon juice, and other seasonings!
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It looks almost like your favorite peanut butter but tastes nothing of that sort.
Tahini lovers enjoy its strong taste which might also feel bitter sometimes! (But if it’s extremely bitter, you may have got the expired stuff, mate!)
The sesame seeds are roasted and ground down resulting in a creamy rich Tahini. It has a very thick and smooth texture like most nut butter.
Due to its various health benefits, Tahini is a staple in many Arabic countries.
The Keto diet has just one focus: high fats and low carbs! That’s why it’s way better than calorie-restricted diets where you starve yourself to death! So is tahini keto approved?
In this article, we’ll find out how Tahini or Sesame Butter fits into the keto diet and how it can benefit you! I’ll also share a super-easy and beginner-friendly recipe in the end!
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Is Sesame Tahini Keto-Friendly?
Tahini is a keto-friendly condiment because it is loaded with healthy fats and proteins. One tablespoon of Sesame Tahini contains just 1g net carbs. (Source: WebMD)
Those white little sesame seeds might look tiny but they are definitely packing a lot of nutrition!
In fact, Tahini is an excellent source of protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, and vitamins B1 and B2!
Here’s how I love my Tahini on Keto: Throw in some fresh garlic, add a dash of lemon juice and water to turn it into a dip for veggies! It tastes super yummy with cauliflower!
You can also pair it with celery for a quick evening snack. Some people just prefer it as-is!
Sesame seeds are widely used for topping baked goods. I bet you have definitely noticed those tiny white poppings on a hamburger bun!
They are highly keto-friendly because of their high-fat low-carb nature.
Tahini Net Carbs
One tablespoon (15g) serving of Tahini has just 1g net carbs.
Since it’s a condiment, you are less likely to overeat it. That’s why Tahini is a highly keto-friendly nut butter!
It has a smooth texture similar to peanut butter but you can also use it as a sauce by adding some lemon juice and water.
A single tablespoon of Tahini adds a lot of essential fats and nutrients to your diet, at a cost of just 1g net carbs!
Its strong flavor provides variety to your keto meals.
Tahini Nutrition Facts
A single tablespoon (15g) serving contains:
- Calories: 90
- Protein: 3g
- Carbs: 3g
- Fat: 8g
- Fiber: 2g
- Copper: 27% of RDI
- Selenium: 9% of RDI
- Phosphorus: 9% of RDI
- Iron: 7% of RDI
- Zinc: 6% of RDI
- Calcium: 5% of RDI
Confused? Is it the first time you came across the word “RDI”?
Well, no need to worry! What else am I here for?
Have you ever wondered why some product labels provide nutrient details in terms of percentages instead of the exact amounts?
Those percentages refer to the RDI (or Reference Daily Intake).
RDI is the daily intake level of a nutrient that is enough to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals in every demographic in the United States.
I hope you are now better equipped to read nutrition labels on your visit to the supermarket!
Anyways, let’s get back to Tahini and Keto.
So far we have seen that Sesame seeds are highly rich in nutrition! They are also loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants known as lignans.
Tahini is purely made of roasted sesame seeds and a neutral-tasting oil.
It is rich in essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, fibers, and fats. All those benefits are definitely worth the 1g extra carbs per tablespoon!
Recommended: Is Sesame Oil Keto?
Sesame Butter Benefits on Keto
Tahini is almost a must-have in the Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.
Reason? (Hint: It’s not just the rich and creamy texture!)
Well, it is packed with a great ton of minerals and vitamins that make it super healthy on any diet!
I’m going to walk you through the various health benefits Tahini has to offer.
Fights Bad Bacteria
Since Tahini is rich in powerful antioxidants, it can help you fight off the bad bacteria and promote good health.
Sesame oil (also made from sesame seeds) is often used as a topical home remedy for foot wounds in diabetics.
A study found that sesame was highly effective (77%) as an anti-bacteria in drug-resistant samples.
Since it is rich in fats and antioxidants, Sesame oil was found to heal wounds in rats.
Most of these studies were conducted on animals and in a controlled environment. But they still reflect on the healing properties of Tahini on the keto diet.
Inflammation occurs when your body’s white blood cells and their elements protect you from external bacteria and viruses.
While short-term inflammation (aka acute) is a natural phenomenon during injuries, long-term inflammation (aka chronic) isn’t very good for your health.
In some autoimmune diseases, your body’s immune system triggers inflammation even when there is no threat.
Inflammation can cause uncomfortable symptoms like joint pain, fever, chills, fatigue, headache, etc.
Studies done on animals show that Sesame can greatly ease inflammation and pain in various diseases like lung disease.
It is also studied as a possible treatment for Asthma in animals, caused by airway inflammation.
While these studies are done with sesame seeds, they also apply to Tahini because it’s majorly made of these seeds!
Tahini is Loaded With Antioxidants
Tahini contains lignans, which are a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants help us fight free-radicals in our body, thereby preventing us from various diseases.
So what are free radicals?
Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules having an odd number of electrons. They are highly unstable and can react with other cells within your body.
They can prove to be destructive inside our bodies and damage tissues. These free radicals can also cause various diseases of heart, type 2 diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer.
Sesame butter is rich in lignan sesamin, which has shown amazing antioxidant properties in animal studies. It can also lower your cancer risk and protect your liver against free radicals.
Liver and Kidney Function
The liver and Kidney are highly essential organs that extract our waste and toxins from our bodies.
A study containing 46 type-2 diabetics was conducted to find out how Sesame can be beneficial to their health.
After consuming Sesame oil for 90 days, participants had improvements in kidney and liver functions, as compared with the controlled group.
In another study, Sesame seed extracts protected rat liver cells from a toxic substance called vanadium.
In a nutshell, Sesame and Tahini can greatly improve your liver and kidney performance on the keto diet.
ALSO Read: Chopt Creative Salad Low-Carb Options
Strengthens Nervous System
Certain compounds in Sesame can help promote brain health and protect your nerve cells.
Sesame can lower your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.
In fact, an Animal study suggests that it can also prevent the accumulation of beta amyloid plaques in your brain, which is linked with Alzheimer’s disease.
The antioxidants found in Sesame seeds can directly impact (for good!) your nervous system. It can pass through the blood-brain barrier and reach your brain directly.
However, these studies were performed with isolated extracts from Sesame and not the whole Tahini or Sesame seeds.
But they still reflect the potential brain health benefits to humans!
How to Make Keto Tahini at Home
While Tahini is already a low carb delicacy, my keto recipe has the least amount of carbs!
Tahini is a highly keto-friendly nut butter that can be a part of various low carb meals and savories.
In fact, it can also be used to whip up a batch of rich and creamy keto hummus!
Keto tahini is simply a two-ingredient affair. You just need sesame seeds and a neutral-tasting oil to get the deed done!
And you know what’s the best part? The whole batch of this Keto Tahini has just 2g of net carbs!
- 150g Sesame Seeds (hulled, no-kernel)
- 30g of neutral keto-friendly oil (such as High Oleic Sunflower Oil or High Oleic Safflower Oil)
- Roast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for around 3-4 minutes. Important: The “roasting time” time begins as soon as you turn the heat on and ends when you remove the seeds from the pan.
- Transfer to a separate dish to allow the seeds to cool down.
- Grind down the seeds into a fine powder. You may need to stop several times in between to scrape down the sides of your mixing jar.
- Slowly add the oil and keep blitzing till you reach the desired consistency.
These are the nutrition facts for the whole batch:
- Calories: 1200
- Fat: 114g
- Net Carbs: 2g
- Protein: 35g
Keto Tahini Recipe Tips
In my last few years on the keto diet, I’ve made this Keto Tahini more number of times than I can possibly remember!
Here are a few tips that’ll help you perfect the recipe:
- You can turn it into a sauce by adding some lemon juice and water for your desired consistency.
- Keep the roasting time under 4 minutes, or else you risk making a bitter Tahini.
- Adjust the oil quantity according to your desired consistency. If you want a thick paste, don’t add any oil!
- Keep your keto tahini refrigerated in a sealed container.
Tahini has quite a strong and distinctive taste which may not go well with everyone!
What if you could have a sweeter version of Tahini WITHOUT any extra carbs?
It’s much more simple than you think!
Simply replace the sesame seeds with the pumpkin seeds.
That’s it! No need to change any other part of the recipe. The pumpkin tahini will have the same texture and an almost same (but sweeter) taste!
Nutrition facts for Pumpkin Tahini:
- Calories: 1180
- Fat: 102g
- Protein: 55g
- Net Carbs: 2g
As for the nutrition, Pumpkin Tahini will have 20g more protein and all other macros would almost be the same.
Is Hummus Keto?
Tahini and Hummus are the two words that go hand-in-hand.
In fact, sesame butter is the major contributor to that rich taste we greatly love in Hummus!
So when talking about Tahini on keto, it makes sense to clear the air about Hummus as well!
What is Hummus
Hummus is a Mediterranean staple made using chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon, and other seasonings.
If the name sounds weird to you, let me tell you that in the Arabic language, “hummus” simply translates to chickpeas.
Hummus is usually eaten as a dip in the U.S. and other countries around the globe.
But the Mid-Eastern cuisine looks at Hummus just like we look at Mayonnaise! It’s a part of almost all of their recipes.
Is Hummus also Keto?
While Tahini is purely made from sesame seeds, Hummus has chickpeas (high-carb) as it’s primary ingredient!
We all know that Keto emphasizes low-carb and high-fat foods. An average person eats below 30g net carbs per day on keto.
Chickpeas come under the category of legumes, which are strictly frowned upon in the keto diet!
Legumes are high-carb and low-fat, which is completely opposite to the type of foods you should have on keto!
According to SELFNutritionData, one cup of store-bought hummus has 20g net carbs, which is not at all keto-friendly!
Consuming so many carbs in a single meal will surely kick you out of ketosis!
Is Tahini dressing keto?
Tahini or Sesame Butter is keto-friendly because a single tablespoon contains just 1g net carbs.
It offers a lot of health benefits on the keto diet. Tahini is rich in antioxidants, proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and other vitamins.
This nut butter can also help improve liver and kidney function, and also strengthen your nervous system!
Hummus, on the other hand, is NOT a keto-friendly spread as it is made using high-carb chickpeas.
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