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Are Hemp Seed Keto-Friendly?

Hemp Seed on a kitchen counter

Are hemp seeds keto-friendly? The answer is a resounding yes! As you delve into this comprehensive guide, you'll discover the compatibility of hemp seeds with a ketogenic diet.

This versatile seed offers a low net carb content, a robust nutritional profile, and a multitude of ways to incorporate it into your keto meal plan.

Explore their carbohydrate content, understand their health implications, learn how to include them in your meals, and even discover keto-compatible alternatives.

Whether you're a long-time keto dieter or just starting your journey, this guide provides valuable insights into how hemp seeds can enrich your keto diet while also promoting overall health and wellness.

Let's dive in!


  • Hemp seeds are indeed keto-friendly, with their low net carb and high fiber content. But there's more to these tiny seeds than just their macro-nutrient profile!
  • These seeds offer a host of nutritional benefits including heart-healthy fats, high-quality protein, and an array of vitamins and minerals.
  • There are countless creative ways to incorporate hemp seeds into your keto meal plan. Discover them as you read on!

Are Hemp Seed Keto-Friendly?

So, let's address the burning question: Are hemp seeds keto-friendly? The simple and direct answer is yes, hemp seeds are indeed keto-friendly.

To understand why let's take a closer look at the macro-nutrient composition of hemp seeds. Remember, the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet is low-carb, high-fat intake. The goal is to encourage your body to enter a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of carbs.

Now, hemp seeds have an interesting nutrient profile that makes them ideal for a keto diet. For every 100 grams of hemp seeds, there are 4.67 grams of net carbs. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from total carbs, and it's these net carbs that are counted in a ketogenic diet.

Compared to other seeds and grains, hemp seeds have a relatively low net carb count, making them an exceptional choice for those adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle. But the goodness of hemp seeds doesn't stop there. These little powerhouses are packed with protein and healthy fats, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for our bodies and need to be obtained through diet.

Overall, the nutritional profile of hemp seeds aligns well with the principles of a keto diet: low in carbs, and high in quality fats and protein. So, you can confidently include hemp seeds in your keto meal plan. However, like with all foods, portion control is critical to ensure you do not go over your daily carb limit.

Can Hemp Seed be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Now, we've established that hemp seeds are keto-friendly, but you might be wondering: Can they fit into a strict keto diet? Again, the answer is a resounding yes, but with some considerations.

A strict ketogenic diet typically involves a cap of 20g of net carbs per day. With hemp seeds containing 4.67g net carbs per 100g, they can indeed be incorporated without exceeding this limit. However, moderation and balance are key here. Consuming large quantities of hemp seeds without considering their carb content can potentially push you over your daily carb limit, disrupting the state of ketosis.

Therefore, it's essential to keep track of your carb intake throughout the day. There are many apps and tools available that can help you monitor your daily macro-nutrient intake. By tracking your consumption, you can ensure you enjoy the benefits of hemp seeds without jeopardizing your keto diet.

Also, remember that while hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, a balanced keto diet should include a variety of foods. This ensures you're getting a spectrum of nutrients needed for optimal health. That means, while hemp seeds can be part of your keto diet, they shouldn't be the only component. Combine them with other keto-friendly foods like leafy greens, avocados, and lean proteins for a well-rounded meal plan.

In summary, hemp seeds can indeed find a place in a strict keto diet. However, like with all foods, it's essential to be mindful of serving sizes and maintain a balanced diet to ensure your nutritional needs are met while staying within your daily carb limit.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Hemp Seed

Now, let's delve deeper into the carbohydrate content of hemp seeds, a key factor in determining their compatibility with a ketogenic diet.

The total carbohydrate content of hemp seeds is 30 grams per 100 grams. However, a significant proportion of these carbs come from fiber—a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest. Fiber passes through our system undigested and doesn't raise blood sugar levels, which is why we subtract it when calculating net carbs.

Net carbs only include carbs that the body can absorb, i.e., starches and sugars. Therefore, when you're on a keto diet, what matters most is the net carbs. To calculate net carbs, subtract the fiber content from the total carbs. In the case of hemp seeds, the net carbs come to 4.67 grams per 100 grams.

To put this into perspective, a tablespoon of hemp seeds, which weighs around 30 grams, contains only about 1.4 grams of net carbs—making it a low-carb, keto-friendly food. By contrast, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, which weighs the same, contains nearly double the amount of net carbs.

Thus, understanding the concept of net carbs and how to calculate them is essential when following a keto diet. This knowledge allows you to incorporate nutrient-dense foods like hemp seeds into your diet without exceeding your daily carb limit.

Nutritional Snapshot of Hemp Seed

Hemp seeds offer a remarkable nutritional profile, making it a highly beneficial addition to any diet. For every 100g serving, these small but mighty seeds pack substantial amounts of essential nutrients.

The macronutrients in hemp seeds are highly impressive. With a hefty 31.56g of protein, they're an excellent plant-based protein source, providing all nine essential amino acids, including a significant amount of arginine at 4.55g.

Hemp seeds are also low in carbs, with just 4.67g of net carbs per 100g, and come packed with 4.0g of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. In terms of fat content, hemp seeds contain 48.75g of total fats, predominantly polyunsaturated fats (38.1g), which are known for their heart-health benefits.

Hemp seeds are a powerhouse of micronutrients too. They are an especially rich source of minerals like Potassium (1200.0mg), Magnesium (700.0mg), Phosphorus (1650.0mg), and Zinc (9.9mg). Such minerals are crucial for various bodily functions, including maintaining bone health, muscle function, and immune system support.

The seeds also contain vitamins, albeit in smaller amounts, including Vitamin E (0.8mg), Vitamin B-6 (0.6mg), and Vitamin C (0.5mg). These vitamins are known for their antioxidant properties and contribution to overall well-being.

While hemp seeds are relatively low in sodium (5.0mg), they contain beneficial fatty acids. The presence of both saturated (4.6g) and unsaturated fats, particularly monounsaturated (5.4g) and polyunsaturated fats (38.1g), contribute to the overall nutritional richness of these seeds.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 4.67g
Carbohydrate, by difference 8.67g
Fiber, total dietary 4.0g
Total fats 48.75g
Protein 31.56g
Sodium, Na 5.0mg
Potassium, K 1200.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 700.0mg
Calcium, Ca 70.0mg
Vitamin A 1.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.6mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.5mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.8mg
Copper, Cu 1.6mg
Iron, Fe 7.95mg
Phosphorus, P 1650.0mg
Zinc, Zn 9.9mg
Beta-carotene 7.0ug
Manganese, Mn 7.6mg
Thiamin 1.27mg
Riboflavin 0.28mg
Niacin 9.2mg
Folate, total 110.0ug
Calories 553.0kcal
Water 4.96g
Tryptophan 0.37g
Threonine 1.27g
Isoleucine 1.29g
Leucine 2.16g
Lysine 1.28g
Methionine 0.93g
Cystine 0.67g
Phenylalanine 1.45g
Tyrosine 1.26g
Valine 1.78g
Arginine 4.55g
Histidine 0.97g
Alanine 1.53g
Aspartic acid 3.66g
Glutamic acid 6.27g
Glycine 1.61g
Proline 1.6g
Serine 1.71g
Fatty acids, total saturated 4.6g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 5.4g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 38.1g
Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Hemp Seed on a Keto Diet

Incorporating hemp seeds into a ketogenic diet not only fits the macro-nutrient requirements but also brings a host of health benefits.

Firstly, hemp seeds are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, a key component that many low-carb diets lack. Adequate fiber intake is essential for digestive health, helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and can contribute to feelings of fullness, which may prevent overeating.

Moreover, hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats, specifically omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fats are known to support heart health, reduce inflammation, and even improve brain function. Adding hemp seeds to your keto diet can help ensure you're meeting your daily requirements for these crucial fats.

Furthermore, hemp seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein. A high-protein diet can promote muscle strength, recovery, and growth. It can also help keep you feeling full and satisfied, which is beneficial in maintaining a balanced diet and supporting overall health.

Beyond these basics, hemp seeds also pack a punch when it comes to vitamins and minerals. They are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage, and minerals like magnesium, which is vital for many body functions, including regulating muscle and nerve functions, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.

Also, hemp seeds contain a compound called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that has been linked to several health benefits, such as reduced inflammation and improved skin health.

In the context of a ketogenic diet, these attributes of hemp seeds align well. The fiber content supports digestion, the healthy fats contribute to the necessary fat intake, and the high-quality protein fits in perfectly with the moderate-protein requirement of a keto diet.

Incorporating Hemp Seed into Your Keto Meal Plan

Wondering how to incorporate hemp seeds into your keto meal plan? These versatile seeds can be used in numerous ways to add a nutritional punch to your dishes.

One of the easiest ways to include hemp seeds in your diet is by sprinkling them over salads. Their mild, nutty flavor pairs well with a range of vegetables and dressings, adding a satisfying crunch to your meals.

They also make a fantastic addition to your morning smoothie. Add a tablespoon or two of hemp seeds to your usual keto-friendly smoothie for an extra dose of protein and healthy fats. Or perhaps you're a fan of porridge? Try a keto-friendly hemp seed porridge, made with hemp seeds, almond milk, and a sweetener of your choice, like stevia or erythritol.

Hemp seeds can also be used as a topping for keto-friendly yogurt or mixed into cottage cheese for a nutrient-rich snack. If you're into baking, consider using ground hemp seeds (also known as hemp flour) in place of traditional flour for low-carb, keto-friendly bread, and muffins.

For a savory twist, you might even use hemp seeds as a crust for chicken or fish. Blend hemp seeds with herbs and spices of your choice, coat your protein, and bake for a delightful keto-friendly meal.

Lastly, let's not forget hemp seed oil. Known for its high omega-3 and omega-6 content, hemp seed oil can be used as a base for keto salad dressings or for low-heat cooking.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Hemp Seed

While hemp seeds are undoubtedly a fantastic choice for a keto diet, it's always good to have a variety of options for maintaining a balanced diet. Here are a few keto-compatible alternatives for hemp seeds that you might want to consider:

  1. Chia Seeds: Like hemp seeds, chia seeds are low in net carbs and high in fiber, making them a great choice for the ketogenic diet. Per 100 grams, chia seeds contain just 7.72 grams of net carbs. They can be used in much the same way as hemp seeds—sprinkled over salads, stirred into yogurt, or even used to make keto-friendly chia seed pudding.
  2. Flax Seeds: With only 1.9 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, flax seeds are another excellent low-carb option. They're also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Ground flax seeds can be used as a flour substitute in keto baking or added to smoothies for a nutrient boost.
  3. Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds have a slightly higher net carb count than hemp seeds at about 5 grams per 100 grams, but they're also high in protein and healthy fats, making them a good choice for a keto diet. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted for a quick snack, sprinkled over salads, or ground into a flour for low-carb baking.
  4. Sunflower Seeds: Per 100 grams, sunflower seeds contain around 11.4 grams of net carbs. While higher in net carbs than hemp seeds, they are also packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E and selenium. Sunflower seeds can be used as a topping for salads, in keto granola recipes, or enjoyed as a snack.

While these alternatives share similar nutritional profiles with hemp seeds, each brings a unique flavor and texture that can add variety to your keto meal plan. Remember, variety is the key to a balanced diet. So feel free to experiment with different seeds to keep your meals interesting and nutritionally diverse.

Concluding Thoughts on Hemp Seed and Keto

Our exploration of hemp seeds in the context of a ketogenic diet has shed light on their remarkable versatility and nutritional richness. Being low in net carbs and high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, these seeds are a fitting inclusion in a keto meal plan.

As we've established, hemp seeds can contribute to a balanced diet while adhering to the net carb restrictions of a ketogenic diet. Their unique nutritional profile supports overall health and wellness while complementing the dietary requirements of a keto regime.

The diverse ways to incorporate hemp seeds into your meals—from salads and smoothies to keto-baking or simply as a snack—make them an exciting addition to your keto diet. We encourage you to experiment with these seeds in your cooking routine and enjoy their nutty flavor and satisfying crunch.

Finally, in addition to their keto-friendly nature, hemp seeds may also support a more sustainable food system. Hemp plants are known for their hardiness, requiring little water and no pesticides, making them an environmentally-friendly crop. By choosing hemp seeds, one can contribute not just to personal health, but to planetary health as well.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

A 30g serving of hemp seeds contains roughly 1g of net carbs, making it a great choice for those following a keto diet.

Yes, both whole and ground hemp seeds (also known as hemp flour) are keto-friendly due to their high fiber and low net carb content. However, always check the nutritional label as some processed forms may contain added ingredients that increase the carb count.