Are Sunflower Seeds Keto-Friendly?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Sunflower seeds are low-carb, keto-friendly, and rich in healthy fats. They’re a great source of fiber, vitamin E, and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats.

Eating sunflower seeds supports cardiovascular health, promotes a robust immune system, and may reduce blood pressure.

Find out how you can incorporate sunflower seeds into your keto lifestyle!

Sunflower kernels

What is keto?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that helps your body to enter a state of ketosis. During ketosis, the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.

To maintain ketosis, consume no more than 20 to 50 grams of net carbs daily and get most of your calories from healthy fats.

Keto can lead to rapid weight loss and has other potential health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, increased energy, and reduced risk of type-2 diabetes.

Healthy Keto® is a nutritious diet focusing on high-quality, nutrient-rich foods that help you to maintain ketosis and support your health.

Watch the video below to learn which keto-friendly seeds and nuts you should eat to support your health and well-being.

Are sunflower seeds low-carb?

You’ll find sunflower seeds on our Keto Food List because they’re rich in healthy fat and dietary fiber and low in net carbs.

A one-ounce serving of hulled sunflower seeds contains:


  • 162 calories 

  • 14 g total fat

  •  6 g protein

  •  5 g total carbs

    • 3 g fiber

    • 2 g net carbs

How many sunflower seeds can you have on keto?

How many sunflower seeds you can have depends on your daily net carb count and how many other carb-containing foods you consume.

To maintain ketosis, you should limit your net carb intake to no more than 20 to 50 grams per day. Sunflower seeds contain around two grams of net carbs per ounce, making them a good option for keto.

Although sunflower seeds can make a great snack, they’re calorie-dense, and eating too many can quickly lead to weight gain. 

Adding one to two ounces of sunflower seeds to your meals won’t kick you out of ketosis and lets you take advantage of the many health benefits of sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds make an excellent topping for salads and soups and can be used to make keto-friendly crackers. Most health food stores stock keto sunflower seed butter, which is perfect as a spread and works well in many keto recipes.

refined sunflower oil

Best keto nuts and seeds

Seeds and nuts are nutritious and versatile. They benefit heart health and cognition, improve learning and memory, and help your body fight inflammation.

Keto-friendly nuts and seeds are rich in good fats, including linoleic acid, a fatty acid with potent anti-inflammatory properties that can lower your risk of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Seeds and tree nuts are good sources of fiber—which promote balanced blood glucose levels and digestive health—and contain essential vitamins and minerals linked to heart health.

Here are the best nuts and seeds that you should regularly enjoy as part of your ketogenic diet.


Pecans have the lowest net carbs per serving while being rich in healthy fats, making them perfect for keto.

Pecans are a type of tree nut and an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium. 

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are low-carb and high-fat. They’re highly nutritious and a rich source of selenium, an essential mineral crucial for detoxification, liver function, and thyroid health. 

Research suggests that a keto diet can increase your risk of selenium deficiency. Adding Brazil nuts to your menu plan is a great option to promote healthy nutrient levels and support your overall health. 


Walnuts are nutrient-rich nuts low in net carbs and contain good amounts of heart-healthy fats, vitamin E, and polyphenols.

Eating walnuts regularly supports cardiovascular health, can lower blood pressure, and promotes healthy cholesterol levels.

Seeds and tree nuts

Macadamia nuts 

Macadamia nuts contain more carbs than pecans, Brazil nuts, or walnuts but provide a lot of fat. 

Despite the higher carbs, eating macadamia nuts won't kick you out of ketosis. Macadamia's high-fat content buffers the carb's impact on your insulin and blood sugar levels. 

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds' low-carb to high-fat ratio makes them an excellent food for keto. 

Sunflower seeds can help you achieve a healthy weight. This study found that sunflower seeds promote balanced blood sugar levels, increase fat-burning, and benefit weight loss and weight maintenance.


Flaxseeds are highly nutritious and rich in anti-inflammatory fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats promote healthy blood lipid levels and lower the risk of heart disease.


Chia seeds

Chia seeds are keto-friendly and are high in fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. They’re an excellent source of calcium, promoting bone health and lowering your risk of osteoporosis in later life.

raw sunflower seeds

Key takeaways

Sunflower seeds are keto-friendly and highly nutritious. They’re rich in vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium and provide various health benefits, including improving heart health, promoting healthy digestion, and helping with weight loss. 

Adding keto-approved seeds and nuts to your keto diet is an excellent choice to promote healthy nutrient levels and support your overall health and well-being. 


1. Can I have sunflower seeds on keto?

Yes! Sunflower seeds are low-carb, high-fat, and Healthy Keto®-approved. 


2. How many sunflower seeds can I have on keto?

How many sunflower seeds it takes to kick you out of ketosis depends on your daily net carb count. A one-ounce serving of hulled sunflower seeds has two grams of net carbs. 

3. Can I have sunflower seeds while fasting?

Sunflower seeds are keto-friendly, but you should avoid eating them while fasting. While doing intermittent fasting, only have seeds and nuts during your eating window.

4. How many carbs are in sunflower seeds?

A one-ounce serving of hulled sunflower seeds contains two grams of net carbs, making them a good option for your keto diet.

5. What seeds are keto-friendly?

Sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds are keto-friendly and highly nutritious. Seeds are a good source of nutrients and healthy fats, and regularly eating seeds is a great choice to promote your health and well-being.

6. Are sunflower seeds good for weight loss?

Yes, sunflower seeds are good for weight loss. They’re rich in essential fats and dietary fiber, supporting satiety and curbing hunger. Sunflower seeds also promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels and support metabolic health crucial for a healthy weight.

7. Can I have sunflower seeds if I have diverticulitis?

Contrary to common belief, sunflower seeds are safe to eat if you have diverticulitis. 

Sunflower seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids that can lower your risk of an inflamed colon. Consuming sunflower seeds as part of a gut-healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables, cabbage, and fermented vegetables is a healthy choice if you have diverticulitis.

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan