Home / friendly / plants / seeds / Is Mustard Seed Keto-Friendly?

Is Mustard Seed Keto-Friendly?

Mustard Seed on a kitchen counter

When embarking on a keto diet journey, one invariably encounters the mystery of deciding which foods capably fit within their new dietary regime and which possibly do not.

In such a context, a particularly intriguing query springs up - 'Is Mustard Seed Keto-Friendly?' Well, if you’re expecting a simple yes or no, you might be in for a surprise.

Instead, we delve into a detailed examination of mustard seeds, their carbohydrate content, implications for those on a keto diet, managing their cravings, figuring out alternatives, and other related discourse.

Strap in for a comprehensive understanding of mustard seeds as related to a ketogenic lifestyle.


  • Mustard seeds pose a challenge for keto dieters due to their high net carb content.
  • They are, however, a rich source of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
  • Keeping ketosis while indulging in mustard seeds could be a tricky balancing act.

Is Mustard Seed Keto-Friendly?

Cutting straight to the chase, the simple answer to 'Is Mustard Seed Keto-Friendly?' is – not really.

First, let's talk about why. The staple of a ketogenic diet lies in the dictum of high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. An item fits a traditional ketogenic mould if it contains low net carbs - that is, total carbs minus dietary fiber. The bar is usually set very low, around the ballpark figure of 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day. This stringent requirement is what helps the body achieve a state of ketosis, during which it primarily burns fat, not carbohydrates, for energy.

The plot thickens when we examine mustard seeds under this ketogenic lens. A serving of 100 grams of mustard seed contains 15.89 grams of net carbohydrates. Despite their small size, these seeds can weigh in substantial net carb content, potentially rocking the careful balancing act of a ketosis-driven diet.

It’s crucial here to underscore the significance of these numbers. With an average typical limit of 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day in a strict keto diet, mustard seeds could contribute a substantial portion towards this intake. Therefore, they can't regrettably earn the title of being 'keto-friendly'.

Realistically speaking, they're unlikely to throw your diet off the rails with casual use. But if mustard seeds start making frequent appearances in your dishes or if you favor heavily mustard-laden recipes, then it's quite possible that these tiny grains could accumulate enough carb content to hinder your progress towards or maintenance of ketosis.

Thus, while mustard seeds make a delightful punch in numerous recipes with their tangy, spicy kick, they sadly don’t quite stand up to the rigorous carb demands of a ketogenic lifestyle. So, it's wise to rethink before sprinkling these zestful seeds in your keto meals or planning a dish that stars mustard seeds.

Can Mustard Seed be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Given our crucial finding thus far – mustard seeds' potentially impactful carbohydrate content – the question that naturally follows is whether they can somehow squeeze into a stringent keto diet. Unfortunately, the answer to that hooks to their high net carb content. To remind you, they pack approximately 15.89g of net carbs per 100g. To put it in perspective, this number could challenge a strict ketogenic diet, where the cap on daily carb intake generally rests around a meager 20 to 50 grams.

To maintain a state of ketosis, the goal is to keep our carb intake to the minimum while prioritizing fats and moderate proteins. Considering this, the carb content in mustard seeds could nibble away a considerable chunk of your daily carb allowance if consumed unrestricted. This leaves little room for other carb-containing food items that might be essential for nutritional balance and diversity in your diet. More importantly, overshooting this delicate carb balance could interfere with the coveted state of ketosis.

For these reasons, incorporating mustard seed into a strict keto diet could be a complex balancing act. Unlike spices known to be keto-friendly, mustard seeds could potentially feed your body enough carbs to hinder its switch from burning carbs to burning fat for energy - the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet.

While mustard seeds themselves pose this challenge, mustard as a condiment varies. Certain kinds of prepared mustards may contain added sugars, which could sneak in extra carbs. So, it's always advisable to read labels carefully.

Navigating this essentially comes down to careful portion control and meticulous carb accounting. It's where the art and science of meal planning and tools like carb tracking apps come to the fore. Keeping a keen eye on your total daily carb intake and fitting in mustard seeds, only if the balance allows, could be one way to do it. But remember, indulging in too many servings might mean you're playing with fire and possibly jeopardizing the state of ketosis.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Mustard Seed

To truly comprehend why mustard seeds present potential challenges to a keto diet, let's unpack its carb content.

Out of the numerous components that make up the nutritional profile of mustard seeds, carbohydrates figure prominently. A 100g serving of mustard seeds, for instance, contains a significant 15.89g of net carbohydrates. But what exactly does this mean?

Understanding this calls for a closer look at the concept of 'net carbs'. Net carbs are essentially the carbs that your body can fully digest and convert into glucose, providing it with the energy it needs. These carbs are the ones that impact your blood sugar levels and thus, are of utmost importance to anyone following a keto diet. Calculating net carbs is quite simple - they're the total carbs in a food minus the dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is subtracted as it isn't fully digested or absorbed by your body, and so, it won't affect your blood sugar levels.

Now, in the context of a keto diet, the goal is to keep net carbs to a bare minimum (typically no more than 20 to 50 grams per day). This is key to driving your body to achieve ketosis, when it metabolizes fats into ketones for energy instead of relying on glucose from carbohydrates.

Therefore, when we say a 100-gram serving of mustard seeds contains 15.89 grams of net carbs, that's potentially a significant amount for someone on a keto diet. For instance, if you're strictly capping your net carb intake at 20 grams per day to stay in ketosis, just a 100g serving of mustard seeds could almost completely max out your daily quota.

Say you were using mustard seeds in a homemade dressing or a curry. A tablespoon of mustard seeds, which weighs around 11 grams, equates to approximately 1.74 grams of net carbs. It may seem small on its own, but if combined with other carb-containing foods or use in larger quantities, the total carb count can very quickly add up.

Nutritional Snapshot of Mustard Seed

Mustard seeds come loaded with a wealth of nutrients per 100g serving. High in both macro and micronutrients, they are a potent source of dietary components. With 15.89g of net carbs and 12.2g of dietary fiber, these seeds do contain a significant carb content but also bring aboard a rich amount of dietary fiber essential for digestive health.

They're a robust source of fats, comprising total fats of 36.24g, but what's striking is the division with 22.52g of monounsaturated and 10.09g of polyunsaturated fats. These 'good fats' play a crucial role in maintaining heart health and balancing cholesterol levels.

On the protein front, mustard seeds present a substantial amount of 26.08g per 100g. Proteins are vital for tissue repair, muscle building, and overall growth. Also included within, you'll find essential amino acids like Leucine and Lysine, integral for protein synthesis and body functioning.

Mustard seeds also contain a remarkable range of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, is present in good measure (5.07mg), along with Vitamin A (2.0ug), contributing to skin health and supporting immune function. The seeds also bring a notable amount of B-vitamins including Thiamin, Niacin, and others, playing a crucial role in energy production.

The highlight in the mineral domain is the hefty volume of Phosphorus (828.0mg), supporting bone health along with important minerals like Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium. Selenium, an often overlooked trace mineral essential for cognitive function and immunity, stands out in mustard seeds with a substantial 208.1ug. It's noteworthy to see mustards seeds' contribution to daily iron intake, with 9.21mg of this vital mineral present.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 15.89g
Carbohydrate, by difference 28.09g
Fiber, total dietary 12.2g
Total fats 36.24g
Protein 26.08g
Sodium, Na 13.0mg
Potassium, K 738.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 370.0mg
Calcium, Ca 266.0mg
Vitamin A 2.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 7.1mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 5.07mg
Vitamin K1 5.4ug
Copper, Cu 0.64mg
Iron, Fe 9.21mg
Phosphorus, P 828.0mg
Selenium, Se 208.1ug
Zinc, Zn 6.08mg
Beta-carotene 18.0ug
Lutein + zeaxanthin 568.0ug
Betaine 1.9mg
Manganese, Mn 2.45mg
Thiamin 0.8mg
Riboflavin 0.26mg
Niacin 4.73mg
Pantothenic acid 0.81mg
Folate, total 162.0ug
Choline, total 122.7mg
Calories 508.0kcal
Water 5.27g
Tryptophan 0.26g
Threonine 0.84g
Isoleucine 1.18g
Leucine 2.08g
Lysine 1.84g
Methionine 0.48g
Cystine 0.68g
Phenylalanine 1.17g
Tyrosine 0.81g
Valine 1.51g
Arginine 1.93g
Histidine 0.88g
Alanine 1.17g
Aspartic acid 2.44g
Glutamic acid 5.26g
Glycine 1.59g
Proline 2.81g
Serine 0.76g
Fatty acids, total saturated 1.99g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 22.52g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 10.09g
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 Mustard Seed on a Keto Diet

The most direct implication of the integration of mustard seeds within a keto diet lies in the maintenance of ketosis, the metabolic state that fuels your body's reliance on fats rather than carbs. Given that mustard seeds contain a substantial amount of net carbs (15.89g per 100g), their ingestion could potentially disrupt the careful dietary balancing act required to keep your body in a state of ketosis.

Indeed, overindulging in mustard seed could supply your body with more carbs than desirable on a keto plan, risking the swift exit of ketosis and slowing down the shift towards fat metabolism, a vital aspect of a ketogenic lifestyle.

Switching gears from the keto perspective, it's worth noting that mustard seeds in themselves are not without merit. They provide a wealth of nutritional benefits that could contribute to overall well-being, keto aside.

Mustard seeds are a powerhouse of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. They're packed with antioxidants, and they bring beneficial plant compounds to the table, such as glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that have been linked with potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects according to some studies. They're also loaded with selenium, known for its antioxidant properties.

Nevertheless, in the context of a keto diet, irrespective of their other nutritional merits, their relatively high carb content places them in a tricky position. Including mustard seeds in moderate or high amounts might present a roadblock to those who are genuinely invested in a strict poly-ketogenic lifestyle.

Avoiding Mustard Seed in Your Keto Meal Plan

Navigating the potentially rocky terrains of a ketogenic diet can be tricky, given the carb minefield present in many mundane, every-day foods - such as our little protagonist - the mustard seed. Incorporating mustard seeds into your routine keto meals or snacks may appear harmless due to their minuscule size, but the fact stands that their carb content can quickly add up.

Keeping this in view, it's critical to realize that their omission is not so much a banishment as it is a necessary dietary revision to stay within the ketogenic framework. But how can one accomplish this?

Firstly, place emphasis on reading food labels vigilantly. Mustard seeds can make undercover entries into foods, especially in products like ready-made mustards and other condiments. Keep a lookout for added sugars and sneaky carbs, and always be mindful of serving sizes.

Next, it's about making smarter choices in the kitchen. If a recipe calls out sheerly for mustard seeds, might there be an alternative spice you could use that sits more comfortably within your carb allowance? Could you limit their use to bare quantities, or reserve them for occasional indulgence? Could you explore other low-carb replacements that might still bring a kick to your meals?

Coping with a palate accustomed to the peculiar zest of mustard seeds might seem daunting initially. Flavor adjustments could include exploring other spices that offer a similar pungency. Turmeric or horseradish, for instance, could potentially offer a sharpness resonant of the mustard kick at a fraction of the carb cost.

The advent of cravings is another aspect to address. If you find yourself craving mustard seeds or mustard-based foods, try to identify potential triggers. Are you stressing about something and turning to food for comfort? Are you genuinely hungry, or just bored? Turning your focus towards the root causes of cravings can help you manage and eventually overcome them.

And finally, be flexible, inventive, and forgiving. Making errors is just another part of human nature, more so when adhering to a restrictive diet. Even if you accidentally over-indulge in mustard seeds one day, treat it as a learning curve and move forward with increased consciousness.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Mustard Seed

Navigating a keto diet presents a fascinating game of dietary substitutions to stay devoted to the low-carb regime, but still derive a sense of variety and gastronomic delight. Since mustard seeds do not qualify as a keto-friendly item, one may seek alternatives that deliver a similar flavor punch but align more closely with a ketogenic dietary profile.

  1. Turmeric: This vibrant spice is a common ingredient in various cuisines and could be used as a mustard seed alternative. Turmeric has a unique flavor that can add an exciting dimension to your recipes. A 100-gram serving of turmeric only contains about 3.21 grams of net carbs, substantially lower than the net carb content found in mustard seeds.
  2. Horseradish: Another powerful substitute could be horseradish. With its pungent flavor and sharp, tangy fragrance, it bears some resemblance to the zing of mustard seeds. A 100-gram serving of prepared horseradish only packs around 4.9g of net carbs, making it a keto-friendlier option.
  3. Ground Mustard: Intriguingly, ground mustard can offer a mustard-like flavour with lower carb content. While not entirely carb-free, it does fare better than whole mustard seeds. It contains only about 2.7 grams of net carbs per tablespoon, provided no extra sugars or additives are in the mix. Be sure to verify nutritional labels thoroughly before purchasing prepared ground mustard.

Let's imagine you are preparing a keto-friendly chicken curry, and the recipe calls for mustard seeds for that typical tang. Rather than risk your ketosis with mustard seeds, you could substitute them with turmeric for an alternative yet flavorful spin to your curry. Not only would you be infusing your dish with bold flavors but also navigating around the carb challenge presented by mustard seeds.

In the context of a spicy dip or sauce where mustard seeds might typically play a part, horseradish could be your go-to alternative. It avails the same vibrant spiciness with considerably lower carbs.

Concluding Thoughts on Mustard Seed and Keto

Navigating the mustard seed terrain in a ketogenic diet has presented us with an array of insights. A primary takeaway is that while mustard seeds undoubtedly contain considerable nutritional virtues and can add a needed punch to various cuisines, their high net carbohydrate content may prove challenging for individuals following a strict keto lifestyle.

As we have elucidated, mustard seeds pack around 15.89 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, which may demand a sizeable chunk of a strict keto dieter's daily carb quota. Owing to their high carb content, unrestricted consumption of mustard seeds could easily tip the carb balance and jeopardize the state of ketosis - the one paramount aim of a ketogenic diet.

Nonetheless, mustard seeds are a treasure trove of essential nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. They are also loaded with beneficial plant compounds like glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, associated with potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. While they do pose a significant carb challenge to keto dieters, individuals not practicing a strict keto lifestyle might still reap their health benefits, albeit in moderated quantities.

For the strict keto followers, there are viable alternatives such as turmeric, horseradish, and even ground mustard, which can provide a zestful lift to meals while keeping the carb intake minimal. Choosing these spices can be an exciting culinary adventure, and they can still allow you to adhere to the golden rules of your diet.

However, what has not been covered so far, and something that might be worth considering, is the use of mustard seed oil as a possible keto-friendly tactic. Mustard seed oil contains zero carbs and is a rich source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. As a cooking medium or salad dressing, it might provide that mustardy kick you've been yearning for, all the while adhering to the low carbohydrate rigmarole of a ketogenic diet.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Are Sunflower Seed Keto-Friendly
Are SoyBeans Keto-Friendly
Is Amaranth Grain Keto-Friendly
Are Pumpkin Seed Keto-Friendly
Are Seeds Keto Friendly

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

Mustard seeds contain approximately 15.89 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, which might compromise the low-carb requirement of a ketogenic diet.

Due to their high carb content, excessive consumption of mustard seeds could potentially disrupt the state of ketosis, which is the fundamental goal of a keto diet.