Whether you are just starting the keto lifestyle or have been in ketosis for some time, you may be eager to expand the variety of your snacks beyond avocados and cheese. Snack time can be a bit of a challenge when you’re low-carb, but it doesn’t have to be. There are tons of snack options out there that offer a satisfying alternative to high-calorie and high carb snacks with little nutritional value. One such option is sunflower seeds, but are sunflower seeds keto?
Sunflower seeds are a great keto snack because they are relatively low in net carbs while being high in healthy fats that encourage your ketosis. Just keep in mind to purchase sunflower seeds without added sugary seasonings, which can negate the health benefits of this type of seed.
How Keto-Friendly Are Sunflower Seeds?
Many people who are thinking of noshing on sunflower seeds are thinking of the convenient packages found by the cash register among the candy bars and other nutritionally-empty foods and drinks like sodas. While these may be packed with flavor, you’ll want to eat them in moderation as they are high in sodium. On the other hand, unsalted sunflower seeds promise great health benefits for everyone–keto diet or not.
When consumed in moderation, sunflower seeds are anti-inflammatory and contain high levels of antioxidants that improve body functions. For example, they tend to be high in vitamin E which is linked to protection from free radicals. Vitamin E is also responsible for many other tasks such as bolstering the immune system and widening blood vessels.
Sunflower seeds are also high in flavonoids and phenolic acids. These substances are great for the body and also help with inflammation and oxidative damage. High levels of flavonoids in the body can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reverse diabetes, and decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
How Much Should You Eat?
As with all things, it is important to consume sunflower seeds in moderation. They are relatively low in net carbs, but consuming too many of them could kick you out of ketosis. You might want to limit yourself to just one to two servings of these seeds daily, even though they are low-calorie.
A single serving of sunflower seeds has 4 grams of net carbs (6 grams total carbs with 2 grams of fiber). However, they also have a whopping 14 grams of fat for your body to turn into fuel. This means that they will pack a powerful punch to boost your energy and your weight loss when consumed once a day or so.