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Is Tahini Keto Friendly

Is Tahini Keto Friendly? How many carbs are in tahini? Can you eat tahini on a keto diet? What are some examples of keto friendly recipes you can make with tahini? In this post I’ll give you the answers!

photo of tahini in a bowl with text that says is tahini keto friendly?

Short Answer: Yes tahini is keto friendly because it’s high in fat and low in carbs. Tahini isn’t carb free so you have to limit your tahini intake if you’re on a keto diet. 1/4 cup of tahini has 7 grams of net carbs. You can use tahini to make keto friendly spicy green sauce and tahini cookies.

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Table of Contents

How Much Tahini Can You Really Eat On Keto?

On average you’re allowed to eat up to 50 grams of net carbs a day on a keto diet. So realistically you can have about half a cup of

What is Tahini?

Tahini is a paste made from hulled sesame seeds that have been toasted and blended into a paste. The paste is often served by itself as a dip or is used as an ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush and more. This versatile nut paste was developed in the Middle East and was commonly used in North African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean indigenous diets.

Does Tahini Have Carbs?

Yes tahini has carbs. On the bright side tahini is pretty low in carbs since it’s made from sesame seeds. See the section below to see how many net carbs each popular portion size of tahini has.

How Many Net Carbs Does Tahini Have?

Here are a few net carb amounts for popular serving sizes of tahini

  • 1 teaspoon of tahini has .56 grams of net carbs
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini has 1.78 grams of net carbs
  • 1/4 cup of tahini has 7.11 grams of net carbs
  • 1 oz of tahini has 3.41 grams of net carbs

Is Sesame Allowed in Keto?

Yes sesame is allowed on keto. Sesame seeds themselves are keto friendly because they’re high in fat and low in carbs and protein. Most people don’t just eat sesame seeds though. They eat sesame seeds in another form like tahini or sesame seed oil. Both tahini and sesame seed oil can be enjoyed in low quantities on a keto diet.

Is Tahini Paste Fattening?

Tahini paste has a lot of fat in it but it isn’t fattening. Since tahini is a clean food with lots of healthy fats, eating tahini as apart of a keto diet can help you loose weight. Although it is high in calories so if you over eat tahini it can lead to weight gain.

Eating tahini as an ingredient in salad dressing, wraps, hummus (which is not keto friendly) is a great way to enjoy tahini without over doing it.

How is Tahini Made?

Tahini consists of only one ingredient (sesame seeds) and it’s easy to make! First the sesame seeds are toasted in a skillet. Once they turn golden they’re transferred to a food processor where the seeds are processed into a paste that has a similar consistency to peanut butter. This paste is then stored in a container.

Nutrition Facts for Tahini

One tablespoon (15 grams) has:

  • Calories: 89.
  • Protein: 3 grams.
  • Carbs: 3 grams.
  • Fat: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 2 grams.
  • Copper: 27% of your daily value.
  • Selenium: 9% of your daily value.
  • Phosphorus: 9% of your daily value.

Is Hummus Allowed on Keto?

No, hummus is not keto friendly. Even though tahini is keto friendly the main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas. Chickpeas are high in carbohydrates. Half of a cup of hummus has only 8 grams of net carbohydrates (10 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of dietary fiber). So if you limited your consumption of hummus to about one cup it would be keto friendly.

Is Tahini Gluten Free?

YES, Tahini Is Gluten Free! Isn’t that great news? We should shout it from the rooftops. 

To understand why tahini is gluten free we should look at what tahini is and the ingredients it’s made from. By definition tahini is: A smooth paste made from ground sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are gluten free since they’re in the nut family and don’t contain wheat of any kind. Hooray! That means if you’re on a gluten free diet you can enjoy tahini and foods that contain it.

Is Tahini Healthy?

Yes, tahini is very healthy. There are no processed ingredients in tahini and it’s made from sesame seeds which have plenty of health benefits.

Some of the health benefits of sesame seeds include the following:

  • Source of heart healthy fat and protein which can help lower cholesterol
  • Has vitamins like B and minerals and phytonutrients
  • Sesame seeds have antioxidants.
  • They may help regulate blood sugar
  • Combat pain from inflammatory illnesses like arthritis

Overall I would say that tahini paste is even healthier than plain sesame seeds. Tahini provides all of the health benefits of sesame seeds with the added bonus that it’s easier to digest. Since tahini is blended it’s easier for the body to break it down and absorb the nutrients.

Any form of mastication or blending is a form of predigestion. This process does some of the mechanical digestive work for your body to make it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients. Generally speaking, seeds and nuts are hard to break down because they have little water and fiber.

Keto Friendly Recipes That Use Tahini

If you’re on a keto diet here are a few recipes that use tahini that you can try!

  • Almond Tahini Cookies
  • Spicy Green Tahini Sauce
  • Shrimp Skewers with Green Tahini Sauce

Vegan Tahini Cookies

These Vegan Tahini Cookies are all about texture.  Between the buttery tahinisesame seeds, and almond crumbles they are simply bursting with crunch!  They’re Lightly sweetened with honey or agave.

vegan tahini cookies on a plate
Vegan Tahini Cookies
These little cookies are keto, gluten free, and no baking required!
Check out this recipe
vegan tahini cookies on a plate

Spicy Green Tahini Sauce (vegan)

Green Tahini Sauce – Creamy Zesty and Bright! This simple sauce takes only a few minutes to whip up and goes with everything! It’s perfect for salads, falafel, power bowls and dip – it’s sure to become a family favorite! The best part is that there is NO COOKING REQUIRED!

pin for spicy green tahini sauce
Spicy Green Tahini Sauce
Creamy Zesty and Bright! This simple sauce takes only a few minutes to whip up and goes with everything.
Check out this recipe
green tahini sauce on a spoon

15 Minute Shrimp Skewers with Spicy Green Tahini Sauce

Some of the best dinners are the quickest. These Baked Shrimp Skewers with Vegan Aji Verde Sauce is just as satisfying as it is fast! You’ll have it on the table in 15 minutes or less! These shrimp skewers are soy free, gluten free, plant based and clean.

is tahini keto friendly, Is Tahini Keto Friendly
Oven Baked Shrimp Kabobs with Vegan Aji Verde Sauce
These Baked Shrimp Skewers with Vegan Aji Verde Sauce is just as satisfying as it is fast! You’ll have it on the table in 15 minutes or less! These shrimp skewers are soy free, gluten free, plant based and clean
Check out this recipe
oven baked shrimp kabobs with spicy green tahini sauce on a grill pan from above

Will Sesame Oil Kick Me Out of Ketosis?

No, sesame oil will not kick you out of ketosis because it’s pure fat. Oil made from sesame seeds has zero carbs in it. One tablespoon of sesame oil has

  • Calories: 120.
  • Protein: 0 grams.
  • Fat: 14 grams.
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams.
  • Fiber: 0 grams.
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Since sesame oil has zero carbs, it will not provide your body with any carbohydrates it could use for energy. So assuming you’re in ketosis already, eating sesame oil will still require you to burn ketones for energy instead of glycogen.

How to Make Keto Friendly Tahini At Home

I think it’s easier to just buy tahini at the store. But if you live far away from health stores or your local Target, K-Mart, Kroger or Costco doesn’t have tahini in stock you could always make it yourself with some sesame seeds and a food processor.

Ingredients Equipment and Instructions to Make Keto Tahini At Home

ingredients to make homemade gluten free tahini


  1. Olive Oil
  2. Sesame Seeds 
  3. Salt 


  1. Food Processor 
  2. Offset Spatula 
  3. Skillet 

How to Make Homemade Gluten Free Tahini

  1. Toast sesame seeds in a wide skillet over low heat until they turn golden brown. Stir them often to avoid burning. You can skip this step if you’re in a rush or want your tahini to be raw.
  2. Add the sesame seeds to a food processor. Pulse until the sesame seeds are ground into crumbs. Then add half of the olive oil and blend until smooth. Stop after a minute and scrape down the sides of the food processor with an offset spatula
  3. Repeat until the tahini is smooth. Season with sea salt to your preference.
sesame seeds blending in food processor to make gluten free tahini
pour tahini into bowl and season with salt and pepper for how o make homemade gluten free tahini

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