The Best Seeds for Weight Loss (Data-Backed Comparison)


Weight loss is all about creating a calorie deficit in your diet.

When it comes to foods like seeds, there are a few things that might affect your caloric intake:

  • The calorie density of the seed
  • The amount of fiber (which can make it more or less “filling”)

That’s really it.

In order to find the best seeds for weight loss, let’s do a very simple comparison looking at the macro profiles of the most common types of seeds.

Nutrients in Seeds

Let’s start by looking at the macronutrient profiles for the 6 most common seeds. All the data is per 100 grams of each seed.

*If you’re on a small screen you may need to scroll horizontally to see all the data.

  Chia seeds Flax seeds Hemp seeds Sesame Seeds Sunflower Seeds Pumpkin Seeds
Energy (kcal) 486.7 534.0 553 573 584 559
Protein (g) 16.5 18.3 31.6 17.7 20.8 30.2
Total Fat (g) 30.7 42.1 48.8 49.7 51.5 49
Carbohydrate (g) 42.1 28.9 8.67 23.4 20 10.7
Fiber (g) 34.3 27.2 4 11.8 8.6 6
Sugars (g) 0.0 1.6 1.5 0.3 2.62 1.4

There are a few things in particular that are relevant to weight loss:

  • Chia seeds are the lowest in calories. Flax seeds are also lower in calories than all the others.
  • All seeds are high in fat, but sunflower seeds have the most fat.
  • Chia and flax seeds have way more fiber than the other seeds here

One other thing to note is that chia, flax, and hemp seeds all have a lot of omega 3 fats, which are generally healthy. See my page on the omega 3 to 6 ratio of seeds for more detail.

Which Seeds Are Most Filling?

seeds variety

How filling a food is typically depends on how much fat and fiber it has.

Unlike carbohydrates, fat typically suppresses appetite for longer, so even though it has more calories upfront, it can lead to better eating habits.

Let’s take a closer look at those 2 things:

  Chia seeds Flaxseed Hemp seeds Sesame Seeds Sunflower Seeds Pumpkin Seeds
Total Fat (g) 30.7 42.1 48.8 49.7 51.5 49
Fiber (g) 34.3 27.2 4 11.8 8.6 6

Since all seeds are high in fat, they will all be pretty filling. 

You can argue that sunflower or sesame seeds could be a bit more filling based on the fat content. However, since chia seeds and flax seeds have so much more fiber, they are the more “filling” food overall.


While all nuts are considered highly satiating foods, chia and flax seeds stand out because of their fiber content.

Which Seeds Are Best for Weight Loss?

When we put those 2 pieces together, it’s clear that chia seeds are the best for weight loss, and flax seeds are not far behind.

They have the least calories per serving, while also having the most fiber.

Other seeds are still okay to eat in moderate amounts and are filling foods, but they have more calories and less fiber, which is likely to result in a lower caloric deficit and less weight loss overall.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.