Despite its high-calorie content, a tbsp of tahini a day supports weight loss. Eating more than 2 tablespoons of tahini a day could be fattening, though.
How many calories are in tahini?
Tahini is high in calories. It has 595 calories per 100g. Just 1 tbsp contains about 90 calories! Therefore, we shouldn’t eat too much. People who want to lose weight better limit their daily tahini intake to 1-2 tbsp.
Most calories of tahini come from fat. 1 tbsp contains 8 grams of fat. Consuming too much fat is bad for weight loss.
Tahini has a great nutritional value
A tablespoon of tahini is good for weight loss, as it has great nutritional value. It’s packed with compounds that are involved in energy metabolism. For instance, tahini is a good dietary source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and selenium!
Most noteworthy, tahini promotes satiety, due to its high fiber and protein content.
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Moreover, tahini is keto-friendly. 1 tbsp has only 0.07 grams of sugar. So, tahini has a pretty low glycemic index. People with diabetes can eat tahini as well.
Benefits for weight loss
Tahini is a good source of many minerals and compounds that promote weight loss. In fact, it’s the best spread for weight loss. Tahini is more beneficial than peanut butter or cow’s butter.
First, tahini is a great dietary source of plant-based iron. 1 tbsp provides more than 7% of the Daily Value.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder worldwide.
In fact, iron deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of obesity. Lack of iron may cause low energy levels, inactivity and fatigue. Therefore, overweight people may have a hard time getting active, which is vital for losing weight![3,4]
As only a few plant-based foods are high in iron, people who follow a plant-based diet, like vegetarians or vegans, would benefit from the regular consumption of tahini.
Zinc deficiency is another common nutritional deficiency. Many studies have shown that increased zinc intake can help you lose more body weight if you follow a low-calorie diet. Adequate amounts of zinc seem to reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, and appetite in overweight people. Therefore, zinc is important for reducing body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference.
Tahini is a great plant-based source of zinc. A tablespoon provides more than 6% of the DV.
Above all, tahini and sesame seeds are excellent dietary sources of phosphorus. Adequate daily phosphorus intake is important for maintaining a lean body. Low phosphorus levels have been associated with increased body weight!
Furthermore, adequate amounts of phosphorus can decrease appetite in overweight people. Also, eating foods high in phosphorus may decrease body weight, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI). So, scientists believe that phosphorus can be a key agent for the prevention of obesity. Moreover, eating foods high in phosphorus may help you lose more weight. Most noteworthy, phosphorus may help lose dangerous belly fat.
Just 1 tbsp of tahini provides 16% of the DV!
Tahini is also a great dietary source of selenium. Just 1 tbsp of tahini contains 5.2 mcg of selenium or 9% of the DV.
According to a study with over 3,000 participants, people with high selenium concentrations have the lowest body mass index and percentage of body fat. On the contrary, low selenium levels are strongly associated with obesity.
If you want to lose weight, consume 2-4 Brazil nuts daily. They’re the best dietary source of selenium! Whole cereals are also good dietary sources of selenium.
Last, but not least, tahini is rich in antioxidants.
Consuming foods rich in antioxidants is good for neutralizing free radicals. High amounts of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress and inflammation, which are common causes of obesity.
Moreover, tahini is packed with healthy fats. A tablespoon contains approximately 3 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids and 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fats are beneficial for weight loss when consumed in moderation.
Among other benefits, they influence energy metabolism and the burning of body fat.
Researchers found that overweight people burn more body fat when they consume foods with monounsaturated fatty acids instead of foods high in saturated fats.
How much is too much?
Certainly, tahini can make you gain weight, as it’s pretty high in calories. You should limit your daily tahini intake to 1–2 tablespoons a day if you follow a sedentary life and want to lose weight.
Only active people, fitness enthusiasts, or athletes can consume more. In fact, tahini has many benefits for athletes. It can greatly improve athletic performance!
Is tahini fattening?
Furthermore, the way you incorporate tahini into your daily eating routine can play a crucial role in weight management.
While tahini is a nutritious food, consuming it in excess or pairing it with calorie-dense foods can contribute to weight gain.
Using tahini in recipes with high-calorie additions, such as sweeteners or large amounts of oil, can increase the overall calorie content of the dish.
Regularly snacking on tahini without considering portion sizes or overall calorie intake can lead to an excess of calories as well.
Relying heavily on tahini without incorporating a variety of other nutrient-dense foods may result in an unbalanced diet, potentially contributing to weight gain. We should eat tahini with plenty of other healthy foods.
Keep in mind that some commercially available tahini products may contain added sugars, preservatives, or unhealthy fats, contributing to an increase in calories and potential weight gain.
What’s the best time to eat tahini for weight loss?
There isn’t a specific “best” time to eat tahini for weight loss, as weight management is more about overall dietary patterns and calorie balance.
However, it’s a good idea to consume tahini at breakfast. Firstly, we can consume tahini on an empty stomach. It won’t spike blood sugar levels. Moreover, tahini provides steady levels of energy and keeps you full for hours.
Also, incorporating tahini into a balanced snack can help curb hunger between meals. Spread it on whole-grain toast or pair it with fruits or vegetables.
In addition, adding tahini to meals, like drizzling it over salads or using it as a dressing, can enhance flavor and satisfaction, potentially reducing the likelihood of overeating.
Moreover, including tahini in a post-workout meal or snack can contribute to muscle recovery with its protein, mineral, and antioxidant content.
Eat tahini with foods rich in protein
Tahini is a good vegan source of protein. A tablespoon contains approximately 2.5 grams. However, the protein in tahini isn’t complete. It lacks certain essential amino acids. Hence, we should consume tahini with other protein-packed foods.
Eating tahini with protein-rich foods can be beneficial for several reasons.
Above all, combining tahini which is high in fiber with protein-rich foods can increase the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal or snack. Meals high in protein and fiber prevent overeating.
Protein needs time to digest and it has the highest thermic effect among macronutrients. We burn between 20-30% of protein during digestion.
Furthermore, pairing tahini with protein contributes to a more balanced and complete nutrient profile in a meal. Combining healthy fats from tahini with protein can help stabilize blood sugar levels. This combination provides sustained energy and may prevent rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar.
Moreover, some nutrients, including certain vitamins and minerals, are better absorbed when consumed with both fats and proteins. Combining tahini with protein-rich foods may enhance the absorption of these nutrients.
Last, but not least, eating tahini with foods rich in protein is crucial for muscle recovery after physical activity. It helps build a lean body.
Examples of protein-rich foods to pair with tahini include:
- Lean meats: Chicken, turkey, fish.
- Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans.
- Dairy or vegan alternatives: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu.
- Eggs: Boiled, scrambled, or poached eggs.
How to eat tahini for weight loss?
You can only eat a slice of whole grain bread with a tbsp of tahini. More can be fattening.
Moreover, you can add tahini as a key ingredient to many food recipes, dips, and dressings. Here are 12 easy and quick tahini recipes that can be incorporated into a weight-loss diet:
- Tahini and Greek Yogurt Dip: Mix tahini with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and herbs like dill or parsley.
- Tahini and Baked Chicken: Marinate chicken breasts in a mixture of tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and herbs. Bake until cooked through.
- Tahini and Avocado Toast: Spread tahini on whole grain toast and top it with mashed avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Avocado supports weight loss as well.
- Tahini and Quinoa Bowl: Combine cooked quinoa, steamed vegetables, and a drizzle of tahini sauce for a balanced and satisfying meal.
- Tahini and Grilled Eggplant: Grill eggplant slices. Serve them with a drizzle of tahini sauce, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
- Tahini and Baked Falafel: Blend chickpeas, herbs, and spices to make falafel patties. Bake them in the oven. Serve with a side of tahini sauce.
- Tahini and Lentil Salad: Combine cooked lentils, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and parsley. Then dress it with a tahini-based dressing and lemon juice.
- Tahini and Stuffed Bell Peppers: Stuff bell peppers with a mixture of cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and tahini. Then bake until the peppers are tender.
- Tahini and Oat Energy Balls: Mix tahini, oats, dates, and a sprinkle of cinnamon to form small energy balls. They can be enjoyed as a healthy snack.
- Tahini and Fruit Smoothie: Blend tahini with frozen berries, banana, almond milk, and a dash of honey for a nutritious, rejuvenating, and filling smoothie.
- Tahini and Roasted Cauliflower: Coat cauliflower florets with a mixture of tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices like cumin and paprika. Roast until golden brown.
- Tahini and Vegetable Salad: Toss mixed vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce with a dressing made of tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.