You may not always consider how many carbs are in your favourite seeds. After all, many of them are often one ingredient in a recipe rather than a snack on their own.

Like nuts, seeds provide a lot of nutritional value including a substantial dose of healthy fat and essential vitamins and minerals.

Seeds and nuts are also high in calories due to their healthy fat content. Fat provides nine calories per gram, while protein and carbohydrate provide four calories per gram.

That’s a good thing when eating low carb because fat keeps you fuller for longer. It also means you don’t need much – so keep an eye on your portion sizes.

Chia Seeds

7.6g net carbs per 100g

carbs in seeds - chia seeds

Calories: 486
Carbohydrates: 42g
Fibre: 34.4g
Sugar: 0.9g
Fat: 30.7g
Protein 16.5g

Touted as a superfood many years ago for their nutritional value, chia seeds are one of the highest plant sources of omega 3 at 18%, making them popular with vegetarians.

The omega-3 comes as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is the form of omega-3 found in plants but the body must convert it to EPA and DHA before it can be used. However, the body can only convert low levels of ALA to EPA and DHA.

Chia seeds are very versatile and have no flavour. They expand to 10-12 times their original size and absorb the liquid and flavour of what they have been added to. Because of this, they also fill you up easily.

Commonly used in chia puddings, this may not be for everyone. Add them to yoghurt, granola, muffins, bread or smoothies. Be mindful though, that eating too many chia seeds may cause constipation.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of Vitamins B6, K, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc.


carbs in seeds - flaxseeds

1.6g net carbs per 100g

Calories: 534
Carbohydrates: 29g
Fibre: 27.3g
Sugar: 1.6g
Fat: 42.2g
Protein 18.3g

Flax seeds are a popular edible seed, known for their anti-inflammatory properties. There are also very few carbs in these seeds.

Also known as linseeds, they have a mild nutty flavour and can be used in sweet and savoury meals.

Extremely nutritious, flaxseeds are available in several forms;

  • whole seeds
  • powder (ground flaxseeds)
  • oil

Flaxseeds are light-sensitive so store them and the oil in the dark to prolong degradation of nutrient profile.

Flaxseed oil is touted as super healthy; however, it does oxidise very rapidly, going rancid in about 6 weeks from pressing, removing all its health benefits.

Oxidation is due to its high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

This process happens within just a few hours if left in sunlight. Keep flaxseed oil in the fridge once opened.

Flaxseed oil is not suitable for cooking. Just use it to pour over a salad or cold breakfast such as porridge or granola and yoghurt.

Flax seeds can be stored for up to a year. The powder has a shorter shelf life, much like the oil. Ground into a powder when ready to use. Add to breakfast, smoothies, salads, baking. Anything really.

Whole flax seeds contain high levels of Vitamins B1, B6, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc.

Hemp Seeds

carbs in seeds - hemp seeds

4.7g net carbs per 100g

Calories: 553
Carbohydrates: 8.7g
Fibre: 4g
Sugar: 1.5g
Fat: 48.8g
Protein 31.6g

Hemp seeds are not as high profile or common as other seeds. However, their nutrient density is undisputed.

High in protein and healthy fats and low in carbs, hemp seeds are a nutrition powerhouse.

Hemp is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Hemp seeds are high in protein. They have a full amino acid profile including all essential amino acids. And they contain the optimum 1:1 ratio of essential fatty acids – omega-3 and omega-6, plus omega-9.

The oil is harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. It has a green tinge and a subtle nutty flavour.

Hemp seeds are an excellent anti-oxidant and the oil can be beneficial for managing anxiety and reducing the symptoms of ailments related to skin and joints.

Hulled hemp seeds are very versatile and are used in many aspects of cooking including baking, smoothies, nut butter, salads, or as a breakfast topper.

Hemp seeds naturally contain Vitamins E, B1, and B3, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, and zinc.

Poppy Seeds

carbs in seeds - poppy

8.6g net carbs per 100g

Calories: 525
Carbohydrates: 28.1g
Fibre: 19.5g
Sugar: 3g
Fat: 41.6g
Protein 18g

Poppy seeds are not really eaten on their own. Instead, they are consumed as an ingredient in food, mainly in baked goods such as bread, bagels, cakes, and biscuits.

They are rich in nutrients particularly manganese and antioxidants including polyphenols.

Poppy seeds are also rich in healthy fats.

Derived from the poppy plant which is also the source of opium. The seeds are legal to buy, are safe to eat, and are not generally contaminated during harvesting.

Poppy seeds are a rich source of Vitamin B1, calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, and zinc.

Pumpkin Seeds

carbs in seeds - pumpkin

8.2g net carbs per 100g

Calories: 574
Carbohydrates: 14.7g
Fibre: 6.5g
Sugar: 1.3g
Fat: 49g
Protein 29.8g

Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, making them one of the best food sources for this important mineral.

They are delicious when roasted, sprinkled with salt & pepper or some spices such as curry powder or cayenne pepper.

Pumpkin seeds are now milled as flour. You can make your own in a food processor or coffee grinder.

Often used as a garnish on salads, sprinkled on top of a low carb bread loaf or they are great in a trail mix or grain-free granola.

Pumpkin seeds are a high source of some minerals including copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, and zinc.

Sesame Seeds

carbs in seeds - sesame

0.1g net carbs per 100g

Calories: 631
Carbohydrates: 11.7g
Fibre: 11.6g
Sugar: 0.5g
Fat: 61.2g
Protein 20.5g

Due to their high fibre content, sesame seeds are practically carb-free when net carbs are calculated.

Sesame seeds are a major player in many international cuisines, namely Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian. Sesame oil is one of the main components of Asian sauces.

They have a lovely nutty flavour when toasted.

Sesame seeds are also the base ingredient of tahini, a popular smooth paste commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.

Make your own hummus with tahini as a base. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto stir-fries, salads, salmon or chicken. Or add them to your low-carb loaves.

Sesame seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 as well as B3, B6, and folate. They are also high in many minerals including copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc.

Sunflower Seeds

carbs in seeds - sunflower

11.4g net carbs per 100g

Calories: 584
Carbohydrates: 20g
Fibre: 8.6g
Sugar: 2.6g
Fat: 51.5g
Protein 20.8g

Eat raw or add to salads for crunch. Like many seeds, they take on a nutty flavour when toasted or roasted.

Sunflower seeds are most commonly used in the mass production of sunflower oil. It is one of the dangerous ultra-processed seed oils that is used in commercial kitchens and processed foods. But is also readily available in supermarkets.

Touted as a healthy oil, it is far from it. You can read more about industrial seed oils here.

Sunflower seeds are often used in grain-free granola, sprinkled on salads, or in a trail mix. They can also be used as flour for baking. You can buy sunflower flour or grind your own.

Sunflower seeds are extremely high in Vitamin E and also contain Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, selenium.

Did the carb count on any of these seeds surprise you?

Why not give this keto seed cracker recipe a try. It combines many of these seeds for a great low carb option to crackers with your cheese.

Check out all our low-carb visual guides here.

Nutritional values are obtained from cronometer, a nutrition tracking application you can get access to for free.

low carb seeds
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