Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds

Differences and Nutrition Comparison

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: July 11, 2023

Healthy snacks like nuts and seeds can be a great addition to your meals or enjoyed on their own. However, some varieties may be high in calories which could hinder your health and fitness goals.

Understanding the distinctions between different types of nuts and seeds is crucial. For instance, while pepitas and pumpkin seeds may seem similar, they are actually two distinct foods.

This article provides a detailed breakdown of the differences between pepitas and pumpkin seeds, along with a nutrition comparison to help you make informed choices for healthier snacking.

Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds

Are Pepitas Pumpkin Seeds?

Pepitas are pumpkin seeds without a shell and are cultivated from certain types of huskless pumpkins like oilseed and Styrian. In contrast, pumpkin seeds from your Halloween Jack-o-lantern have a white shell surrounding the seed.

It’s worth noting that shelled pumpkin seeds have a kernel inside that closely resembles pepitas. Hence, the term pepitas may occasionally refer to any pumpkin seed that has been deshelled.

Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds Differences

Here are some of the main differences between pepitas and pumpkin seeds.

  • Size – Pumpkin seeds are usually bigger than pepitas because they come enclosed in a shell.
  • Color – The outer shell of pumpkin seeds is rough and white or cream-colored, whereas pepitas are green and smooth.
  • Preparation – Roasting is the common method of preparing pumpkin seeds, while pepitas are more likely to be eaten raw. Both seeds are versatile ingredients that can be incorporated into various recipes.
  • Texture – The texture of pumpkin seeds is crunchier because of their fibrous shell, while pepitas are soft and chewier.
  • Taste – Pepitas have a nutty flavor that sets them apart from the blander taste of pumpkin seeds.
  • Nutritional Value – The nutritional composition of pepitas and pumpkin seeds may vary slightly depending on the preparation method.
Pepitas Raw vs Roasted

Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition

Let’s start our comparison of nutrition by examining raw pepitas and pumpkin seeds. This will create a baseline nutrition profile and highlight the main dietary differences between these two types of seeds.

Pumpkin seeds’ hard shell provides fiber and carbohydrates, resulting in a more well-rounded macronutrient balance. On the other hand, the meaty pepita seeds have a higher proportion of fat and protein.

Table 1. Raw Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition (per 1 oz serving)
  Raw Pepitas Raw Pumpkin Seeds (In Shells)
Protein 9g 8g
Fat 14g 9g
Carbs (Fiber) 3g (2g) 7g (5g)
Calories 180 140

Raw vs Roasted Pepitas & Pumpkin Seeds

You can check the packaging to see if the seeds have been roasted. Or you can identify roasted pepitas by their darker and warmer green color. Additionally, the shell of roasted pumpkin seeds takes on a yellowish-white hue.

While pepitas and pumpkin seeds can each be eaten raw, many prefer roasted seeds to add flavor and make them easier to chew. So you might be wondering how the nutrition profile differs between raw and roasted seeds.

The roasting process does not significantly impact the macronutrients such as protein, fat, and carbs. But high temperatures can diminish water-soluble B vitamins like folate, pantothenic acid, and B6.

The table below compares the percent daily value of various B vitamins in raw vs. roasted pepitas and pumpkin seeds. According to this USDA data, roasting seeds reduces B vitamin content by 67-90%.

Table 2. Raw vs Roasted Pepitas/Pumpkin Seeds B Vitamin Content (% RDI)
  Raw Seeds Roasted Seeds
B1 Thiamin 7% 1%
B2 Riboflavin 4% 1%
B3 Niacin 10% 1%
B5 Pantothenic Acid 4% 0%
B6 Pyridoxine 3% 1%
B9 Folic Acid 4% 1%

When roasting pumpkin seeds, people usually add salt to enhance the flavor of the snack. The amount of sodium added can vary between 100 to 300 mg, and some brands may contain up to 1,000 mg of sodium per serving.

For individuals who engage in frequent physical activities and sweat a lot, this may not be a significant concern. But for those with high blood pressure or who follow a low-sodium diet, it’s crucial to check the label for sodium content.

Table 3. Raw vs Roasted Pepitas/Pumpkin Seeds Sodium Content
  Raw Seeds Roasted Seeds
Sodium 5mg 100-1,000 mg

Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds: Which Is Healthier?

When deciding between pepitas or pumpkin seeds as a snack, your choice should depend on your dietary requirements. Pumpkin seeds contain a bit more fiber and fewer calories per serving, making them ideal for those on a low-calorie diet or weight loss program.

Meanwhile, pepitas are rich in protein and healthy fats, with only 1 gram of net carbs per serving, making them an excellent choice for those following a ketogenic diet or limiting their carb intake.

Keep in mind that the preparation of the seeds matters too. Raw seeds contain more vitamins than roasted ones and have less sodium. However, roasted seeds with extra sodium can benefit those who lead an active lifestyle and drink plenty of water.

Ultimately, the healthiest snack is the one that aligns with your meal plan and dietary goals. Whatever your preference, both pepitas and pumpkin seeds make for a nutritious snack that is far better for you than processed treats!

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More Nutritious Foods

By now, you have learned about the nutritional differences between pepitas and pumpkin seeds, as well as the contrasts between raw and roasted seeds. Armed with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about your snacking habits.

However, if you’re interested in exploring more healthy food options, I have several guides available for you to read.

How Much Protein In 3 Eggs – Whole, Whites, & Yolks

Cornish Hen vs Chicken Nutrition Compared

How to Tell If An Avocado Is Ripe

Protein & Calorie Content of Different Kinds of Milk

Plantain vs Banana Differences and Nutrition Facts

Or feel free to check out any of my other fitness-related content below. You’ll find practical information and helpful guides on everything from nutrition and supplements to exercises and workouts.

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By |July 11, 2023|Nutrition|Comments Off on Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Difference: Raw or Roasted
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