Are you looking for a keto snack that could serve as an alternative to potato chips or other high-carb processed foods?
Nuts and seeds are a popular snack option for keto dieters since they are high in fats, fiber and rich in health-boosting nutrients.
However, while some nuts contain little to no carbohydrates, other nuts have a higher net carb count and require monitoring your portion size in order to stay in ketosis.
Are pumpkin seeds keto-friendly? What other products made out of pumpkin seeds can you consume while following a ketogenic diet and how much is a safe amount?
Read on and find out all about eating pumpkin seeds on the keto diet.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Low-Carb?
The ketogenic diet is high in fats with limited consumption of carbs. This allows your body to enter ketosis and utilize fats instead of carbohydrates for energy, thus promoting weight loss and other keto diet benefits (*).
Shelled pumpkin seeds or pepitas are the edible seeds found inside the butternut squash, that are often roasted and consumed as a snack.
They are low-carb, containing only 4 grams of net carbs per one 30 gram serving. Additionally, they contain 7.3 grams of protein and 13.7 grams of fat per serving (*).
Pumpkin seeds are therefore suitable for low-carb and keto diets, as long as you keep an eye on your portion sizes.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Keto?
Keto is not only a high fat and low carb diet, it also recommends maintaining a moderate amount of protein. The recommended ratio for a standard keto diet is 75% fat to 20% protein to 5% carbs (*).
While most of the time, protein is not the culprit and we only watch out for the carb content of the given foods, paying attention to protein is crucial too.
When you eat an excessive amount of protein, some of its amino acids might be turned into glucose, via a process called gluconeogenesis, which is why consuming more protein than your body needs can prevent your body from reaching ketosis (*).
Because pumpkin seeds are fairly high in protein too, we only suggest eating a serving size of these tasty seeds in order to stay within the recommended macronutrient ratio.
Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds aren’t only popular with keto dieters but are a favorite snack choice among vegans, macro-counting, low carb, and other diets.
This is because pumpkin seeds are nutrient-rich and contain many nutrients that will boost your health.
Pumpkin seeds are high in Magnesium, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels, supports good-quality sleep, and reduces the risk of diabetes (*).
They are also high in Vitamin E and antioxidants, which support your immune system, have anti-inflammatory effects, and have anti-cancer properties (*).
Pumpkin seeds also promote good heart health and lower the risk of stroke and heart disease, making them one of the most nutrient-rich foods that you should incorporate into your diet (*). Whether you’re keto or not.
Are Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Keto?
Pumpkin seeds have a mild pleasant nutty taste and are delicious to consume on their own. Roasting pumpkin seeds can provide extra flavor and add a satisfying crunch to the snack.
They can serve as a keto-friendly alternative to chips and other processed foods that are too high in carbs while providing you with powerful health benefits along the way.
When buying roasted pumpkin seeds from the store, you will find that some brands contain unnecessary ingredients and additives, including sugar.
If you want to take control of the ingredients list and make sure that roasted pumpkin seeds are still keto, we recommend that you roast the seeds yourself.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds?
Roasting your pumpkin seeds at home will ensure they are still low carb and full of nutrients rather than added ingredients.
How to roast pumpkin seeds at home?
You can start by using seeds from an ordinary butternut pumpkin. After removing the seeds, it is best to cook them in boiling water for around 10 minutes.
This speeds up the cooking process during roasting and gets rid of any pumpkin leftovers. Drain the water completely and dry the seeds before roasting.
If you’re using raw pumpkin seeds from the supermarket, you can skip the initial steps.
After the seeds have been completely dried, cover them with sea salt and your favorite spices, such as smoked paprika or cajun spice.
Roast the flavored pumpkin seeds in the oven for around 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (or 180 degrees C), stirring them occasionally to make sure they bake evenly.
Can You Eat Candied Pumpkin Seeds on Keto?
Pumpkin seeds are versatile and can make a tasty sweet snack too. As you would expect, many store-bought candied pumpkin seeds contain added sugar and sweeteners, ramping up their carb content and, making them unsuitable for keto.
You can adjust the roasted pumpkin seed recipe above and swap the savory spices for cinnamon or vanilla, add some butter, and sweeten the mixture with stevia.
Roast the seeds the same way and you can enjoy your keto version of candied pumpkin seeds that contain plenty of healthy fats, will maintain ketosis, and promote weight loss.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Cold-pressed oil, derived from pumpkin seeds, contains around 48 grams of fats, 30 grams of protein, and 12 grams of carbs (*).
Similar to the seeds, it has dark green color and is rich in Omega-3, Omega-6, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and phytosterol (*).
While pumpkin seed oil is keto, similarly to cold-pressed olive oil, it has a low smoking point, around 320 degrees F (or 160 degrees C) (*).
Therefore, we do not recommend cooking with pumpkin seed oil since it will get bitter and burnt as you heat it up. On the other hand, it is ideal to use for a salad drizzle, dressings, and other cold dishes.
Pumpkin Seed Flour
The pumpkin seed products don’t end there. Made from finely grounded pumpkin seeds, you can buy low-carb pumpkin seed flour, or make your own at home.
In baking, pumpkin seed flour behaves similarly to almond flour but it has a strong nutty taste and will turn your recipe green.
While you can use it to make low-carb pumpkin bread, because it is quite thick in texture and fairly high in protein, we recommend sticking with almond or coconut flour that are both higher in fats and easier to bake with.
Pumpkin Seed Crackers
If you’re following a ketogenic diet, even though you can enjoy cheese and many popular dips, the crackers are out of the question.
While pumpkin seed crackers might be the answer, we recommend throwing some other seeds into the mix rather than just using pumpkin seeds.
Combine them with sunflower seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds, or chia seeds, and prepare your own multiseed crackers at home.
How to Make Multiseed Crackers at Home?
These crackers are surprisingly easy to make, require little equipment or additional ingredients, and can be mastered even by a complete beginner.
All you need is a food processor where you grind your selection of seeds into a fine mixture, combine it with water, flatten them onto a baking sheet, set the oven to 350 degrees F, and bake for around 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
When you remove the baked mix from the oven, cut them into crackers and allow them to cool down and crisp up.
You can enjoy your homemade multiseed crackers with other keto foods low in carbs such as guacamole, cheese, or sour cream.
Pumpkin Seed Granola
Pumpkin seeds make a delicious addition to your keto-friendly granola that is full of healthy fats, low in carbs, and free of sugar or grains.
When buying keto granola from the store, check the label to ensure it doesn’t contain any added sugars or unwanted ingredients.
Otherwise, mix your favorite nuts and seeds, combine them with shredded coconut chips, a little bit of stevia, cinnamon, bake them, and enjoy delicious granola that is suitable for low-carb diets.
How Many Pumpkin Seeds Can I Eat on Keto?
While pumpkin seeds are low carb and suitable for the keto diet, we do not suggest you eat the whole pack while watching TV.
Because pumpkin seeds contain both protein and carbs that could kick you out of ketosis, when snacking on pumpkin seeds, we recommend sticking to the recommended serving or making sure that you do not consume more than 5-10 grams of net carbs per meal.
Pumpkin vs Sunflower Seeds on Keto
Most nuts and seeds are popular snack options for keto dieters since they are high in fats and low in carbs. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are very similar, but how do they compare?
They are both very high-calorie foods, with sunflower seeds providing slightly more energy. A 100g of sunflower seeds contains 584 calories and the same amount of pumpkin seeds contains 446 calories (*).
They both contain high levels of protein and all essential amino acids, with sunflower seeds winning the protein content by 2 grams per 100g serving.
While sunflower seeds contain more fats than pumpkin seeds, the latter are also significantly richer in dietary fiber, helping with digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Vitamins and Minerals
When comparing the nutrients of the two kinds of seeds, sunflower seeds are richer in most vitamins, including all B Vitamins, Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Pumpkin seeds are higher in Vitamin A and contain Vitamin K, which sunflower seeds lack.
All that being said, we don’t think there is a winner and a loser in this contest. Including both kinds of seeds will give you a varied selection of different nutrients and health benefits, making them both a suitable addition to your ketogenic diet.
The Bottom Line: Are Pumpkin Seeds Keto?
Nuts and seeds are a popular snacking option for keto diets since they contain healthy fats, low carb count, numerous health benefits, and lots of fiber.
Pumpkin seeds, with only 4 grams of net carbs per 30g serving are suitable for a snack for ketogenic diets.
They are full of antioxidants and contain vitamins and minerals that can promote heart health, boost your immune system, have anti-inflammatory properties, and can even protect you from cancer.
Apart from snacking on raw pumpkin seeds, you can use them to make many dishes or keto-friendly versions of popular foods such as crackers or granola.
While roasted pumpkin seeds are still keto, we recommend making them yourself to avoid nasty additives and unwanted ingredients.
Since pumpkin seeds contain some carbs and significant amounts of protein, sticking to recommended serving size will ensure you can maintain ketosis while enjoying this delicious snack.