Source: Medical News Today
By Megan Ware RDN LD Reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN
Last updated Fri 23 February 2018
Tahini is a butter made from hulled, ground, and toasted sesame seeds. It is commonly used in North African, Greek, Iranian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisine.
It is a major ingredient in hummus and baba ghanoush, a dip similar to hummus, made with eggplant rather than chickpeas.
Tahini seems to contain large amounts of fat. However, only 2 of the 16 g found in a 2-tbsp serving are saturated. The rest are mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, known to be beneficial to the heart and overall health.
Sesame seeds also contain more phytosterols than all other nuts and seeds. These are important for their cholesterol-lowering and cancer-blocking effects.
There are many other nutrients in sesame seeds, but it is difficult for the body to absorb them due to their hard outer layer, or hull. Consuming sesame seeds in the paste form of tahini allows the body to absorb the nutrients they provide more efficiently.