Are Pumpkin Seeds Keto?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Jennifer Olejarz

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If you are looking for something crunchy to sprinkle over your salad, you have probably thought about adding pumpkin seeds.  

However, you might be wondering if they are good to have on a keto diet. How many carbs do they have? Are they going to affect your ketosis?

Good news! Pumpkin seeds are keto-friendly, and they are an excellent source of healthy fats that can help reduce inflammation in your body. 

In this article, I will explore everything related to this food and the ketogenic diet. 

Shall we start?


What are pumpkin seeds?

They are the edible seeds that come from pumpkins or other types of squash. They can be white (like the ones you find when carving jack-o-lanterns), or green, also known as “pepitas.” 

The seeds are oval, flat, and often have a white husk. (If you’ve ever carved a jack-o-lantern, you’ve probably seen them.)  They can be eaten raw or roasted, with or without the husk. If you remove the husk, you get the seeds with a light green hue. 

Some types of pumpkins produce only the green seeds without the white shell. This green kind  is also known as “pepitas.” 

The seeds have a mild taste and texture. If they are roasted, they tend to be crunchy, but otherwise, they have a chewy texture. 

As for the taste, they have a nutty flavor (especially when roasted) and a somewhat sweet aftertaste. 

One advantage is that if you add some flavor, like herbs and spices, they pair nicely with any flavor of your choice. 


Pumpkin seeds nutrition facts 

So now let’s talk about the nutrition facts. How many carbs do they have? Are they high in nutrients? Let’s dig into it. 

  • Serving size: 1 oz (28 g)
  • Calories: 158
  • Fat: 13.9 g
  • Net carbs: 1.3 g
  • Total carbs: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 8.6 g 

As shown in the nutritional information above, they are low in carbs since 1 ounce only has 1.3 g of net carbs.

One benefit of this food is that they are very high in protein. One ounce of them provides you with more protein than one large egg. This is a great way to reach your protein intake, especially if you’re trying to eat a more plant-based diet.
Finally, they are high in healthy fats, magnesium, and antioxidants, all essential components of a healthy diet. 


Are you allowed to eat pumpkin seeds on keto?

Yes, you are allowed to eat them while on a ketogenic diet. 

They are low in carbs, making them a great option for those looking for a crunchy snack. 

That said, they are not carb-free, meaning you need to measure the portion size to ensure you stay within your daily budget. 

They can also provide you with magnesium, which can help you get a good night’s sleep in case of some trouble in that area.
Finally, this is a great way to increase your intake of plant-based protein without adding too many carbs. 


How many pumpkin seeds can you have on a keto diet? 

It depends mostly on your daily carb ceiling and calorie intake.

For those looking to have less than 25 grams of net carbs per day, you may want to limit yourself to 1 ounce per day. This way, you still have room to add other low-carb sources with different nutrients (veggies, nuts, and seeds). 

If you have a higher carb intake (50 g), you probably can have 2-3 ounces of them per day. A half cup (about 2.5 oz) has 3 grams of net carbs and 361 calories. 


What kind of pumpkin seeds can you have on keto?

Both the white and green kinds are good for keto. You can eat them in a variety of ways:

  • Raw. They are a great chewy snack for you to have. 
  • Roasted. For crunchy food, opt for them roasted. Hopefully, slightly salted to avoid adding too much sodium to your diet. 
  • Pumpkin seed butter. If you want to replace your regular peanut butter, this yummy spread can add some variety to your meals. You can play around with the flavors by adding a small amount of salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and olive or avocado oil.

When buying this food, check the label for additives and carbs.


What can you eat with pumpkin seeds?

Since they are low in carbs, you can eat them with all sorts of foods. Here is a list of ways to include them in a ketogenic diet:

  • Smoothies. Add them to your favorite smoothie to increase its fiber and healthy fat content. 
  • Greek yogurt. Have them along with some Greek yogurt and fruit to create a very tasty parfait to have as your breakfast. 
  • Salads. Sprinkle them on top of your salads to add some crunchy texture. 
  • Cereal. Add them to your favorite keto cereal for extra flavor and nutrients. 
  • Baking. You can also add them to your favorite baked goods (keto bread, cakes, and cookies) to increase their nutritional value.


Keto-friendly pumpkin seed alternatives

If you are not a big fan of this food, or if you want to have some variety in your meals, there are other keto-friendly options to replace them.

Here is a list of other seed options you can add if you want to replace them with a low-carb option.

You can also replace them with nuts. For example, you can add:

Remember that these options are not carb-free, meaning they do contain a small number of carbs. You need to measure their portion size and keep track of their carb intake to ensure you are within budget. 


FAQ about pumpkin seeds on a keto diet

Do you still have questions about this food and a keto diet? Here are the frequently asked questions about these topics. 

Yes, they have carbs. 

However, they have a very low carb content. One ounce provides only 1.3 grams of net carbs, making it a great option on a ketogenic diet. 

Still, measure the portion size to ensure you stay within your carb limit. 

They are very high in protein and fiber. These are key components in weight loss since they help increase your fullness levels. 

Nonetheless, they are high in calories.

For weight loss, you need to be in a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than your body needs). Measure the portion size to ensure you do not have more calories than you need. 

Yes, it’s ok to have them every day. 

However, a healthy diet has various foods that give you different nutrients. Rather than eating the same thing every day, add some variety with chia, hemp, or flax seeds. 

Flax seeds are higher in fiber, making them a great choice while doing keto to help you fight constipation. 

They are also higher in omega-3 content, which helps reduce inflammation in your body. 

Still, both types are healthy additions to your diet. 

Eating too many can result in gastric distress like bloating or abdominal cramps. 

Also, eating too much of them can result in weight gain because they are high in calories. 

The best way to eat them is raw or toasted. 

Roasting them gives an extra boost of flavor and changes the texture. It goes from chewy to crunchy. 

You can add some oils (like olive oil) and any other herb or spice.