Are Pumpkin Seeds Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Nuts and seeds are often low-carb in reasonable amounts. Find out whether pumpkin seeds are keto-friendly too and what other options you have.

You can eat pumpkin seeds on their own as a snack or as an ingredient in other dishes.

100 grams of roasted pumpkin seed kernels contain around 9.5 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber).

Pumpkin seeds are typically not considered to be keto-friendly due to their above-average carb count.

At the same time, not many people will actually consume the full 100 grams of pumpkin seeds. You may be able to eat smaller amounts while staying in ketosis depending on details like the rest of your diet.

Additionally, if you decide to eat pumpkin seeds you likely want to choose the kernels. With shells, this food option is even higher in net carbohydrates.

Besides that, there are also other nuts and seeds that are more keto-friendly than pumpkin seeds. You may prefer some of these substitutes.

Carbs in pumpkin seeds without shell

If you want to follow a ketogenic diet successfully, you likely have to pay some extra attention to the number of carbs in pumpkin seeds and the other foods you eat.

100 grams of roasted pumpkin seeds without shell contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 13.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 3.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 9.5 grams

There are definitely foods with more net carbohydrates but at the same time, pumpkin seeds without shells are still above-average when it comes to carbs.

In combination with the other foods in your diet, 9.5 grams of net carbs can definitely be enough to kick you out of ketosis.

One cup of roasted pumpkin seeds without shell is about 227 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 30.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 8.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 21.6 grams

Making the portion of pumpkin seeds bigger by going for a full cup will increase your carb intake even more.

On the flip side, you could also go for 1 ounce (28 g) of roasted pumpkin seeds. This would be somewhat more keto-friendly with 2.7 grams of net carbs.

In short, whether pumpkin seeds are ultimately keto-friendly depends on your portions and the rest of your diet too. It is fair to say that this food is above-average in terms of carbs.

Other nutrients in pumpkin seeds without shell

Carbohydrates are important when following a ketogenic diet but you don’t want to forget about other nutrients in pumpkin seeds like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

These nutrients also influence whether you will stay in ketosis and how good your general health is.

100 grams of roasted pumpkin seeds without shells contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 522
  • Protein: 33 grams
  • Carbs: 13.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 3.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Manganese: 151% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 134% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 117% of the DV
  • Iron: 83% of the DV
  • Copper: 69% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

It is true that pumpkin seeds contain above-average amounts of carbs.

However, because of the large amounts of valuable nutrients per 100 grams, you could consider fitting in small amounts on a ketogenic diet anyway.

Carbs in pumpkin seeds with shell

The shells of pumpkin seeds are edible too. You do want to keep in mind that this influences the amounts of nutrients per 100 grams.

More specifically, 100 grams of roasted pumpkin seeds with shell contain the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 53.8 grams
  • Of which fiber: 18.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 35.4 grams

As you can see, pumpkin seeds with shells are a lot higher in carbs per 100 grams. In turn, it is fair to say that they are less keto-friendly. Even if you consider how much fiber they contain.

Why pumpkin seeds are sometimes keto-friendly

Whether or not pumpkin seeds are keto-friendly is not just a yes or no answer. To understand this, you quickly want to go over the ketogenic diet fundamentals.

The main goal of ketogenic diets is getting and staying in ketosis. This is a state where you mainly use fat as fuel (3). To achieve this, you have to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough.

Just how low is enough and in turn how many pumpkin seeds you can eat depends on details like your body weight, muscle mass, genes, activity levels, etc.

There are some general keto guidelines that are helpful but keep in mind that these are not perfect for everyone.

A typical recommendation is getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates if you want to stay in ketosis.

In practice, you can likely eat around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Do keep in mind that you typically don’t include fiber in these amounts. Fiber is a category of carbohydrates but your body processes them in a more keto-friendly way.

How many pumpkin seeds can you eat on keto?

By now it should be clear that how many pumpkin seeds you can eat on keto depends on a variety of details. It is hard to make any general statements that apply to most people.

Even very active people with a lot of muscle mass could get kicked out of ketosis by eating one pumpkin seed in combination with a diet that was already high in carbs.

On the flipside, in theory, if you would only eat pumpkin seeds, you could be able to eat 200 grams of them without issues.

So you want to get an idea of how many carbohydrates you can eat with general guidelines or measuring your ketone levels.

With that information and the carbs in the rest of your diet, you can estimate how many pumpkin seeds you could eat while staying in ketosis.

Substitutes for pumpkin seeds on keto

By now you know that pumpkin seeds are somewhat above-average in carbohydrates and in turn, not that keto-friendly.

Luckily, there are also other nuts and seeds that are lower in carbs. You may enjoy these substitutes just as much in terms of taste and nutrients.

The values next to these substitutes are the amounts of net carbohydrates per 100 grams (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9):

  • Flaxseeds: 1.6 grams of net carbs
  • Pecans: 4.4 grams of net carbs
  • Brazil nuts: 4.8 grams of net carbs
  • Macadamia nuts: 5.6 grams of net carbs
  • Dried chia seeds: 6.1 grams of net carbs
  • Hazelnuts: 7 grams of net carbs

You do want to keep in mind that these keto substitutes for pumpkin seeds still contain carbohydrates.

That means you can not just eat them in unlimited amounts and expect to stay in ketosis.

How to avoid eating too many pumpkin seeds

As mentioned, you can still consider fitting in small amounts of pumpkin seeds in your ketogenic for their valuable nutrients (or taste).

You do need to keep your portions small enough when doing this. If you just grab a big bag of pumpkin seeds you will likely overdo it.

Instead, some of the following tips can help you avoid eating too many pumpkin seeds:

  • Estimate how many grams of pumpkin seeds would align with your health goals
  • Weigh out this amount and put the other pumpkin seeds somewhere else
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts while doing other activities while watching TV
  • If you really like pumpkin seeds and crave them too much you may have to consider buying smaller portions or none at all

What is your goal with keto?

Pumpkin seeds can kick you out of ketosis in combination with certain diets. Whether or not this is a big problem depends on your goals with keto diets.

Some people need/want to stay in ketosis 24/7. These individuals want to be very careful about their carb intake and likely want to stay away from pumpkin seeds.

In a situation like that, you can still consider regular pumpkin which is more keto-friendly but even with this alternative, you want to be careful.

On the other hand, pumpkin seeds are still decent for weight loss and potentially good for general health even if you don’t stay in ketosis.

Ketogenic diets are typically not the only way to achieve these goals.

Related posts:


Are pumpkin seeds considered low-carb?

Pumpkin seeds without shells contain around 9.5 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams. This is typically considered to be above-average and in turn, not low-carb.

Are pumpkin seeds better for keto with or without the shell?

Pumpkin seeds without shells are lower in net carbs per 100 grams than the ones with shells. In turn, you can say that pumpkin seeds without shells are more keto-friendly.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.